How do you make a brand-new phone cheaper? Sell your old one.
With nearly every wireless carrier using device payment plans, you may not have as many old phones sitting in a drawer. But most trade-in program options now accept tablets, smartwatches, fitness trackers 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 usually a little lower than what you could sell electronics for by directly listing them onor . But you don't have to deal with the hassle of negotiating a sales price, paying for shipping or the fees some services charge. And you don't have to cope with the even bigger hassle of going to a pawn shop or hosting a yard sale. Read on to see the best places to sell electronics and gadgets.
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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 search for an item, enter any necessary details (storage, screen size and so on) and then select the device's condition. Amazon will then make 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.
Apple Trade In
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 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.
Best Buy Trade-In Program
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 ship 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 ($1,000 at Amazon) or iPod 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 it, 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.
eBay Instant Selling
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.
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 list 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.