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Best places to sell your used electronics in 2020

Do you have old gadgets collecting dust in a junk drawer? Sell electronics and turn them into extra cash.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

How do you make a brand-new phone a little more affordable? Sell your old one.

With almost every wireless carrier using device payment plans, you might not have many old phones sitting in a drawer. But most trade-in program options now accept smartwatches, fitness trackerstablets and other gadgets. 

To help with the cost of upgrading to the latest and greatest tech, take advantage of websites that offer you cold hard cash in exchange for selling your electronics. 

The prices offered with trade-in programs are typically a little lower than what you could sell electronics for by directly listing them on Swappa or Craigslist. But you don't have to cope with the hassle of negotiating a sales price, paying for shipping or the fees some services charge when you sell electronics. And you don't have to deal with the even bigger hassle of hosting a yard sale or going to a pawn shop. Read on to see the best places to sell electronics and gadgets.

Read more: Best cell phone trade-in options for iPhones and Android phones  

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Payment method: Amazon gift card 

Turnaround time: Two business days after Amazon receives the item 

Amazon's trade-in program works a lot like its retail section. You do an easy search for an item, enter any necessary details (storage, screen size and so on) and then select the device's condition. Amazon will then quote you an offer, and if you accept it, provide a shipping label for the item. 

Once you ship the item, Amazon will inspect it to ensure the item matches your original description. If it all checks out, your Amazon account is credited with an Amazon eGift card for the offer amount. If the item is in better condition than you described, Amazon's customer service promises to pay you more. 

Your gift card is usually available within two business days after Amazon receives the shipment.

The drawback? Your money is locked to your Amazon account.

Payment method: Apple Store gift card

Turnaround time: Instant if done in an Apple Store. Two to three weeks if done online

Apple's trade-in program will take devices from a wide range of companies, not just its own. You can either walk into an Apple Store or use Apple's online service. Currently, Apple will accept smartphones, tablets, computers, watches and "other" devices. If the company doesn't have a trade-in offer for your device, like iPods, it will ask if you'd like to recycle it free of charge. Visit the site or an Apple retail store to begin the easy trade-in process. 

Using Apple as a place to sell electronics and get some extra cash makes sense if you want to stay within the Apple ecosystem, or if you're making the jump from Android. You can't, however, use the Apple Store gift card to buy a Samsung device, for example.

Read more: The best ways to sell or trade in your old iPhone in 2020

Payment method: Best Buy gift card

Turnaround time: 10 business days

Getting a quote from Best Buy is as simple as picking a product category, manufacturer, model and condition. Once you've filled out the questionnaire, the tool will estimate the value of the electronic items and give you an instant quote. The offer amount, if you choose to accept it, will only be awarded as a Best Buy gift card.

You can either send the item to Best Buy using a prepaid label, or find a local store that accepts in-store trade-ins.

Best Buy's mailing turnaround time is slower than other services, but the company accepts a wide variety of gadgets -- nearly every type of electronic device it sells, including smartphones, wearables, cameras and game consoles. You can trade-in video games, gaming systems and an iPhone or iPad at the same time, for example. And if you do it in-store, you'll receive a Best Buy gift card without the wait.

Read more: How to make the most money from old gadgets

Payment method: PayPal or check

Turnaround time: A week after receiving the device 

Unlike the previous services, Nextworth's program will pay you through your choice of PayPal or a check. 

The process of selling electronics entails answering some questions about the phone, tablet or smartwatch you're selling. Nextworth will make you a buying offer and, if you accept their sales price, send you a prepaid shipping label. 

When Nextworth receives your device, it will verify if the indicated condition is accurate, and if there's a discrepancy, you will have a chance to ask for the device back or accept the revised offer.

Read more: How to recycle your phone for cash

Payment method: eBay Instant Voucher 

Turnaround time: Same day

eBay's Instant Selling program monitors eBay phone listings, and if a device is in good working condition, will offer to instantly purchase the phone and give the person selling it an eBay Instant Voucher. That's marketing speak for an eBay gift card. 

The seller (you) will then ship in the device to a company that's partnered with eBay, where it will be inspected and verified that the device is as described. 

If there's a discrepancy, your eBay payment method will be charged the difference. 

Of course, the downside here is that with eBay Instant Selling, you will have to spend the gift card on eBay, instead of another service.

Read more: eBay wants to help you sell your old phone fast with Instant Selling

It's a good idea to shop around and check which service will offer you the most money for your device. That's where Flipsy comes in. 

Flipsy doesn't accept trade-ins itself, but instead, it curates other services that do and provides you with a listing of services and the amount each one is currently offering for your device. 

You can then quickly glance over the list and select the service or website that offers the most for your device.

Read more: Best trade-in options for iPhones and Android phones

Originally published in the dim and distant past. Periodically updated with new recommendations.