Go the Refurbished Route
The difference between “refurbished” and “used” is that refurbished products are professionally processed, which involves cleaning and repairs to get products back in perfect working order. This is no dubious third-party shop down the street: Apple has its own guaranteed refurbished product program that you can shop right from their site to spot any great deals. It’s a very effective method of getting even the newer Apple products for big discounts, averaging around $200 off for iPhone 11 models and so on. Plus, you can combine it with your trade-in credit to save even more.
This is a great choice for those who are using Apple devices that are several years old or more and decide it’s time for an upgrade. The downside is that the newest models usually aren’t available, as there isn’t time for a refurbished market to grow until it’s been a couple of years. You could also try looking for used iPhones to save even more. These pop up everywhere, from eBay to dedicated sites like Swappa and Gazelle. That’s a viable option for those who want to save as much as possible, but otherwise, it’s difficult to recommend. These iPhones aren’t professionally refurbished, quality and security are harder to guarantee, and popular models usually aren’t available.