Gazelle predicts price drop for used iPhones today

The electronics buyback service is seeing a used iPhone sold back every 15 seconds today and a spike in volume from all types of smartphone users, with the pending announcement of the latest iPhone.

If the pace of used iPhone buybacks is any indication, many gadget lovers have already made their minds up about upgrading.

Buyback service Gazelle is seeing a used iPhone being turned in every 15 seconds today, according to company representative Michael Schneider. Last week, the company received about 5,000 used iPhones for buyback and reselling. On Friday alone, it received 1,000, he said.

Screen capture by Martin LaMonica/CNET

The rapid volume is most likely due to people trying to lock into buyback prices before today's iPhone announcement. By later this afternoon, prices, which have been volatile, will likely fall significantly, he said.

Based on Gazelle's recent data, a good number of Android and BlackBerry phone owners appear to be thinking about making a move to the Apple device.

Over the past three weeks, there has been a 102 percent increase in Android buybacks and a 49 percent increase among BlackBerry users. Of iPhone users planning to sell back their phones, 52 percent are iPhone 4 users.

With buyback services like Gazelle, people sell their used electronics for repurposing. Older products are either resold on eBay or Amazon.com, or recycled, if there isn't sufficient residual value. In the case of Gazelle, people can lock into a price for 30 days before sending in their used gadgets.

Buyback services are flourishing, as the universe of gadgets expands with more types of devices, such as tablets. People sell their goods through buyback services to avoid the trouble of selling directly to another consumer.

Updated at 11:00 a.m. PT with correction to how quickly Gazelle is seeing trade-ins.

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