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Five websites that turn your used electronics into money

There are many trade-in programs to choose from. Here are the top five.

Photo by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Photo by Jason Cipriani/CNET

How do you make a brand new device cheaper? Sell your old one.

Here five sites where you can trade in used electronics for cash or gift cards, in no particular order.

Amazon trade-in

Payment method: Amazon gift card

Turnaround time: Two business days

After using Amazon's tool to identify the product you wish to send in, and describing its condition, you'll be given a value.

Once you ship the item (Amazon covers shipping) Amazon will ensure the item matches your original description. If it all checks out, your Amazon account is credited with an Amazon Gift card for that amount. If the item is in better condition than you described, Amazon promises to give you the higher value.

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

The drawback? With Amazon's trade-in program, your money is locked to your Amazon account.

Best Buy trade-in

Payment method: Best Buy gift card

Turnaround time: 10 business days

Getting a quote 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 item. 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.

As with Amazon, the drawback with Best Buy is that your money is locked into spending it with Best Buy. Plus, the turnaround time of getting your gift card is longer than Amazon, 10 business days after receiving and reviewing your items.


Payment method: Check, PayPal or Target gift card

Turnaround time: 10 business days, plus a few more days

Unlike the Best Buy or Amazon services, Nextworth lets you choose from a check, PayPal deposit or Target gift card for your items. (Finally, a service that gives you choices!)

To send your items away, you have two options: ship the items to Nextworth (it pays) or you go to your local Target store to trade them in and get a Target gift card.

If you choose to ship your items in, it can take 10 business days after the initial inspection for Nextworth to initiate your payment. Meaning, tack on several more days to actually receive that payment.


Payment method: Amazon gift card, PayPal or check

Turnaround time: Within seven days

Gazelle is entirely focused on electronics. Like the other services, you provide a description of the devices and it gives you an estimate.

Gazelle lets you to choose from an Amazon gift card, PayPal payment or a check. You can expect payment within a week of receiving your item.

eBay Instant Sale

Payment method: PayPal

Turnaround time: Within five business days

eBay Instant Sale is a quick way to get rid of old electronics, even if they don't work. Just answer some questions about the condition of your used device to receive an offer. eBay will pay for the item to be shipped in and then evaluate it once it has been received.

If your item is as described, you can expect a deposit into your PayPal account for the quoted amount within five business days.

If you have a PayPal debit card, that means you'll be able to withdraw that cash from an ATM.