“If you’re looking to trade in your ‘old’ iPhone for cash, there’s no better time than right now,” Julianne Pepitone reports for CNNMoney.

“Rumors are rampant that Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) will announce the iPhone 5 on September 12, with a release date soon after that. But if you want to offset the cost of your new phone by scoring the highest value possible for your old one, trade-in experts say you’ll need to lock in your trade now — before everyone else gets the same idea,” Pepitone reports. “‘We always get a rush of people who wait to get a quote until they have the new [iPhone] in their hands,’ said Jeff Trachsel, the chief marketing officer for trade-in service NextWorth. ‘But as the volume increases, the value of your phone declines.'”

Pepitone reports, “Smart traders play arbitrage: Lock in a price now, then wait until you have the new phone in hand to actually send in your old model. Old iPhones hold their value remarkably well. At NextWorth, a 16 GB iPhone 4S in good condition currently fetches $274. Rival site Gazelle is offering $277 for an AT&T phone or $260 for a Verizon or Sprint device. Go one model older, to the iPhone 4, and you can fetch $175 at NextWorth for an AT&T phone or $162 for a Verizon phone. Gazelle will pay $160 to $165.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: At Gazelle, settlers can get around $200 for a Samsung Galaxy S III in “good” condition. Now is the time for them to get prepare to get the iPhone they always wanted!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]