Where to Sell Your Old Electronics for Cash or Trade-In Credit

Those old electronics collecting dust on the shelf may be worth more than you think.
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Once the latest smartphone, gaming console, or tablet comes out, your existing devices can become obsolete. Software updates (or a lack thereof) may eventually be the death of your electronics. So, what do you do with them?

In some cases, selling your gadgets is a good option. You'll clear out items you're not using and get some cash to put toward the latest model. Win-win. Luckily, there are a lot of options when it comes to selling your old electronics. We've put together a guide to help you tackle this all too common modern problem.

Preparing to Sell Electronics

Before you put an item on the market, you need to answer this question: does it work? While working devices are obviously going to earn more cash, broken electronics may still have value. Either way, you’ll want to verify the functionality of your device in order to find the best place to get rid of it.

Now, first of all, be sure to back up the information stored on the device. For instance, transfer files from your laptop to an external hard drive or cloud storage before you sell it. Then, you’ll have this data to transfer onto your new device once you sell your laptop or phone.

Finally, determine exactly how much you can get for your device before you put it up for sale. Depending on its condition, the pricing may vary. For obvious reasons, a non-functioning device will likely fetch less than near-mint products.

Websites such as Sage BlueBook and NextWorth.com can give you a real-world idea of what you can get for your devices.

Where to Trade In or Sell Used Electronics

Whether you're looking to unload a smartphone, gaming console or tablet, there are lots of places for you to get a few bucks for your items, even if they’re broken. Here are some of the top places to sell old phones and other used electronics:

  • Amazon – Amazon isn't just for shopping; you can also sell your unwanted items. Additionally, you can take advantage of the Amazon trade-in program for certain electronics. Just ship your items to Amazon for free and you'll get an Amazon gift card for the value of your item.
  • eBay – The next best site to Amazon is eBay, which is known for its auction format. However, eBay comes with seller fees if you truly want to capture the attention of buyers on the massive site.
  • Best Buy - The Best Buy laptop trade-in program is one of the best deals for your used computer. You can get up to $300 for any working laptop that you have lying around. For all other used electronics, Best Buy has you covered and gives an acceptable trade-in value with frequent incentives.
  • Decluttr - Quickly becoming the best place to trade in your older electronics online, decluttr.com is simple and easy. The site guarantees their online quoted price and allows you to take the device back for free if they need to alter the value after seeing the item in person.
  • ecoATM - If you need the money for your trade-in quick, you may want to drive to your closest ecoATM. There are more than 700 machines nationwide, and you receive an instant offer after scanning your device. Better yet, you'll get cash for your phone or used electronics right away.
  • GameStop - GameStop allows you to sell everything from video games to smartphones. In exchange, you can receive cash or store credit towards your next purchase. The store credit value will be higher than the cash option since it forces you to spend the money at GameStop. That said, GameStop is notorious for offering aggressively low prices on trade-ins.
  • Gazelle - Gazelle is another online marketplace that's ideal if you're specifically trying to get some cash for your phone, though they work with other electronics as well. You can also purchase certified pre-owned gadgets directly from Gazelle.
  • NextWorth – In addition to getting quotes, you can also sell electronics on NextWorth.com. You can receive payment in multiple forms, including check or Discover Card credit.
  • Glyde – Glyde.com is a marketplace designed to make it quick and easy to sell your unwanted used electronics. Once someone buys your item, you’ll get a Glyde shipping kit with insurance and tracking. If you want peace of mind, Glyde is a good choice. It will subtract transaction fees and mailer costs from your sale price, but you have the option to ask for more money.
  • Swappa - Swappa is an online marketplace that helps give you the best chance to buy or sell used electronics. Their platform shows sellers exactly what other items have sold for and helps give you an idea of how long you may wait to find a buyer.

There is no shortage of places that will buy phones near you. Some retailers, including Best Buy and Walmart, are willing to give consumers a store credit when they trade in used electronics. While you may not receive the full value of your item, this credit can go toward a new device from the retailer.

For example, GameStop currently has an in-store promotion that allows you to get up to $300 credit for a PS4 Pro, $250 credit for a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One S, or regular PS4, and $200 credit for an Xbox One.

Apple iPhone Trade-In

Manufacturers like Apple are also willing to help potential customers sell old phones and give you credit to upgrade. If you want to trade in your iPhone 6 to Apple, for instance, you can receive either a store credit or gift card. This makes it easy to simply upgrade to the latest device in one stop.

Still not sure where to sell? Here's an example of what you could get* for a 16GB iPhone 6 in good condition through the services mentioned above:

*Estimated values, as of August 2018.

This small sample showcases why sites like Amazon, Decluttr, and Gazelle are known to be the best for trading your devices. But the convenience and instant payment of the ecoATM come at a high (or rather, low) price. You'll only get about half the value offered by most popular online trade-in sources.

If you have the time and patience, selling your devices to another person directly still nets the biggest payday. Sites like Glyde, Swappa, or even Craigslist have their benefits if you know what you are doing.

Tips for Selling Electronics Through a Marketplace

If you decide to list your electronics on one of the marketplace sites, it's more difficult than most people assume. Remember, sites like Amazon are huge retailers with many sellers offering the same device you're trying to sell.

You'll need to get your buyer's attention, which means more than just throwing the item up at market value. You'll have better results if you include nice photos of the device. But even a low-quality photo will serve you better than no photo at all.

Additionally, don’t forget to include the details. Mention everything from screen dimensions to RAM when you’re selling a laptop, for example. Your target consumers will definitely be looking for this information while shopping.

Finally, make sure you’re available to answer customer questions. Some consumers may want to know a little more about your device before taking the plunge.

Recycle Your Electronics

You may be in a bind if you find that there simply isn’t a large demand for your electronics. Depending on their age, your gadgets may have extremely low (or negligible) value. If that's the case, recycling might be your best bet.

It’s important to note that many electronics contain materials that can be hazardous if disposed of improperly. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website has information on how and where you can recycle your unwanted gadgets before you upgrade.

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Do you make a habit of selling your old electronics? Where have you found to have the best trade-in value? Keep the conversation going in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Best Buy, and Amazon


Any product or service prices/offers that appear in this article are accurate at time of publish, and are subject to change without notice. Please verify the actual selling price and offer details on the merchant’s site before making a purchase.

About the Author
Nolan Browning Contributor

Nolan is an avid automotive, electronic, and gadget enthusiast. If it has an engine or a processor, he can't keep his hands off it. He was introduced to Windows 3.1 in the early '90s and has been hooked ever since. Deal alerts include "mechanical keyboard," "smart watch," and "bulk candy."


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