Best Places to Sell Your Used Electronics for 2023
Want to sell some of your old gadgets for cash? It's a lot easier than you think. Here are the best services to use right now.
Updated Oct. 25, 2023 9:00 p.m. PT
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Adam OramDeals Writer
Adam Oram is a Deals Writer at CNET. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as a Senior Writer at iMore, Deals Editor at Thrifter, and as an Apple Genius. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food.
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It may surprise you to read this, but you don't need to keep all of your unused gadgets. Before you toss an unused phone or Xbox controller in that drawer to be forgotten forever, you should check and see how much you can get paid for that hardware. There are a ton of great options for selling used electronics both online and in-store. If you're not sure where to start or which service would get you the most for your tech, we're here to help. CNET is full of tech-obsessed folks who buy the latest gadget when they can, and a lot of us trade or sell our used personal gear to keep that habit going. Here's what we've learned along the way.
What is the best place to sell used electronics?
When it comes to value, ease of use, and knowing you're protected against scams we have found one of the best options out there is Swappa. There are some great options available if all you want to do is put your phone or tablet in a box and get paid a few days later, but if your goal is to make the most money and do so quickly you'll find this is the ideal option. Swappa allows you to list your own tech at whatever price you think is fair, and the company helps you make that decision by giving you a look at what other versions of your products are currently selling for.
When you sell on Swappa, you're selling directly to another person. If someone is interested in making a purchase but would like additional photos or details, they can request them from you directly. And when it's time to make that purchase, Swappa ensures you are paid quickly and they buyer is assured you'll be shipping the product quickly. Everyone wins, and the Swappa staff are involved in the whole process to avoid scams.
Where many of the other services on this list have you send hardware to them for evaluation and payout, Swappa is a direct-to-consumer service. You list the hardware you want to sell with photos and whatever price you want to start at, and once the listing is approved by staff you'll be listed for any buyer looking to make a purchase. And if you're the one buying, Swappa is sure to enforce timelines on shipping and payment so everyone is treated fairly.
While this method requires a little more work on behalf of the seller, the end result is frequently a much higher payout and the Swappa team protects both sides of the transaction from any shady behavior.
If you've never used Decluttr before, you're in for a treat. This is one of the fastest bidding services you can use for selling a ton of different kinds of tech. Plug in your details to the form, and you'll see a bid for your gadget in seconds. As long as it's a bid you like, you'll be presented with an option to complete the sale and start the shipping process. Payments are made quickly, which is why this company has one of the highest TrustPilot ratings you can find.
Amazon's trade-in program works a lot like its retail store. You do an easy search for an electronic item, enter any necessary details (storage, screen size and so on) and then select the device's condition. Amazon will then make an offer for your electronic gadget and, if you accept it, provide a free 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.
If you'd rather trade-in a device in person, Amazon has a list of locations, where you can take Amazon devices and select phones. Amazon states that even nonworking devices can be accepted.
The drawback? Your money is locked to your Amazon account.
Unlike the previous services for selling electronics online, the ItsWorthMore program will pay you through your choice of PayPal, Zelle or an old-fashioned paper check.
The process for selling electronic goods entails answering some questions about the old cell phone, tablet, Apple Watch (or other Apple device) or computer you're selling. ItsWorthMore will then give you an offer and, if you accept it, provide you with a prepaid shipping label. During the checkout process, you can select how you want to receive your payment. You also have the option to pay $15 for two-day shipping and 24-hour processing time. Otherwise, standard shipping and a turn around target time of 72 hours. However, processing can take up to five business days.
When your device is received, ItsWorthMore will verify if the indicated working condition is accurate -- that is, whether it's in good condition, fair, broken, and so on. If there's a discrepancy, you'll have a chance to ask for the device back or accept the revised offer.
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 unwanted device and give you an instant quote. The offer amount, if you choose to accept it, will only be awarded as store credit in the form of a Best Buy gift card.
Best Buy's payment turnaround time is slower than other services, but the company accepts a wider variety of gadgets -- matching nearly every type of electronic device it sells, including various laptop options, smartphone options, wearables, digital camera options, and video game consoles. You can trade in your gaming system, video games and an iPhone or iPad at the same time, for example.
BuyBackWorld will buy a wide range of products including phones, tablets, iPods, cameras, game consoles, computers, headphones, drones and, well, you get the point. You can even get a custom quote for products that aren't listed on the site.
After getting a quote and selecting how you want to be paid, send your item(s) into BuyBackWorld. Once they receive your shipment, they'll inspect your items and you'll get paid. If the quote is adjusted after inspection, you'll have the option to accept the new offer or have your device returned to you.
Apple's trade-in program will take devices from a wide range of companies, not just its own. Currently, Apple will accept your laptop, smartphones, tablets, watches and "other" devices and old equipment. If the company doesn't have a trade-in offer for your device, like iPods or AirPods, Apple will recycle it free of charge.
Apple states it will take two to three weeks to complete the online trade-in process. If you want to place your order for a new device right now, the company will credit your payment method with the trade-in value once it's processed. Alternatively, if Apple Stores are open in your area, you can visit the store and get an instant store credit for your trade-in. It's especially helpful with the launch of the iPhone 14.
Using Apple's trade-in service makes sense if you're already planning on buying a new iPhone or Mac. It's not a worthwhile option for someone who wants to buy the latest Samsung Galaxy phone, for example.
BackMarket makes it very easy to trade in your old gear for cash in your account, quickly. The company accepts phones, tablets, game consoles and even headphones with payouts of up to $815 depending on the product and its condition. Getting started is quick and easy, all you have to do is answer a few questions and then you'll see the offer. If you accept, you ship your device out (which is free), and then once it's inspected they send you the money.
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Factors to consider when selling your used electronics
Know the value: Nearly every service will tell you the value of your tech before you actually list it, by asking a series of questions about the current state of your phone. Using any of those services will let you know what you can expect to make before you make any decisions. Check multiple services: Every service offers a different price for just about everything, and while most of the time those differences are only a couple of dollars in either direction you will occasionally find significantly better offers depending on the time of year. For example, if you're selling a phone its value is typically at its highest just before a new phone is released. Beware of scams: If you're using a service that lets you talk directly to a person who might be buying, it's important to keep that conversation on the service you're using. Don't start separate conversations, especially if that person is promising to pay you more or help you avoid seller's fees. Be honest: If your tech has some scratches or damage, be sure to claim this damage. Failure to do so will end in not getting the amount you were promised, and in some cases can result in your getting banned from selling other tech in the future.
Used electronics FAQs
Are used electronics worth anything?
Broadly speaking, if you've got something less than five years old and it's in good condition there's a good chance you could sell it. When it comes to smartphones and tablets, anything made by Apple tends to sell for more even when it's slightly older.
What do I do if I can't sell my used electronics?
If you've looked up the value of your tech and it's not much, but you still want to get it out of the house, you can still recycle that tech responsibly instead of throwing it away. We recommend using the Best Buy recycling service, which can be used either in the store or online.
What if my used electronics have swollen or damaged batteries?
If you're trying to get rid of something with a swollen or puffy battery, please do not throw it away or attempt to ship it to a sales facility. Swollen batteries represent a significant fire risk, and should be disposed of quickly and correctly. The best way to do this is to look up e-waste facilities in your area and safely deliver either just the battery or the whole device to that facility.