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Amazon’s Trade-In Program Will Buy Your Old Smartphone

Amazon’s Trade-In Program Will Buy Your Old Smartphone
Jason Wuerch Oct 22, 2015
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Sometimes I look back and regret not saving my old smartphones. I would either give them away or throw them out, figuring that they weren’t worth anything. Nowadays there are multiple online companies that will pay you to trade in your used smartphone. With Amazon’s Smartphone Trade-In Program, you can exchange your smartphone for an Amazon Gift Card.

What Is Amazon Trade-In?

Amazon Trade-In is another branch of Amazon’s website that allows you to take your old smartphone and send it to Amazon in exchange for a free gift card. Right now they are only accepting phones that are considered to be of “higher status,” meaning if you have an old Tracfone lying around, it’s most likely not going to qualify.

The current phones that Amazon is accepting for trade-in include the following:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • Nexus 6

Some of you may be thinking that this is nothing new, since you could already send in your used products and exchange them for Amazon Gift Cards. Yet what makes this program a little bit different is because of three reasons:

  • You’re actually going to receive a decent amount of cash. iPhone 6 Plus goes for up to $580, iPhone 6 for $450, and Galaxy S6 for up to $300
  • Once you submit a trade-in you lock in that price for 45 days.
  • Amazon offers one of the highest trade-in value for your smartphone compared to other trade-in sites.

Let’s take a look at an example. A perfectly good iPhone 4 with 8 GB of space can only be traded in for as little as $.85 cents, and that’s in like new condition. If it’s just a little bit scratched, you’re going to have to knock it down to $.72 cents for the very good condition. We all know that the phone originally costed a lot more than that.

By taking a smartphone from the list that we mentioned above, we’re going to be getting an offer that’s a lot closer than what we paid for it. Here’s an iPhone 5 that normally costs $344 and can be traded-in for $128.97. You’re losing nearly $200 by selling it back to Amazon, but at least this way you can recuperate a lot more cash than with an older version of the iPhone.

Any phone that is NOT on the list should be kept for yourself as a backup, as Amazon will only give you pennies for it. We’ve noticed that older smartphones tend to trade-in for a lot lower value than new ones. This leads us to just one conclusion:

Sell Your Old Smartphone Immediately

Unless you’re hoping to keep a backup, it’s extremely important to get rid of your old smartphone or any other used electronic device immediately. Since technology is improving at an ever-increasing rate, the longer you hold onto your phone, the more it will depreciate in value. If you don’t have a use for it, get rid of it.

If it’s come to the point that so much time has passed that you can only get a small amount on Amazon, you might as well hold onto it. You might be able to use it for spare parts or sell it to someone other than a company (such as on Craigslist) for a much higher price.

What Other Items Can I Trade-In?

Aside from smartphones, that are a wide array of products that you can trade-in to Amazon and get a decent return on your money. This includes other electronics, music, CDs, laptops, cameras, books, video games, watches and pretty much anything else that you can think of.

Out of all of the products available for trade-in, I would say that trading in electronics and books will yield the highest amount of cash, especially with their Textbook Buy-Back Program. As with smartphones, book value also depreciates with age, so it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible.

How Do I Go About Trading In My Smartphone In Exchange For Amazon Gift Cards?

Amazon makes this really simple, but we’re going to show you how to do it just in case in 3 simple steps.

1. Select your phone. Go directly to Amazon’s Smartphone Trade-In page. Select your make and model.

2. Select condition. The amount you can get for your phone depends on the condition that your phone is in. Unless your phone is basically perfect, you’re going to want to select the “Good” condition.

3. Get your gift card. All exchanges are made in the form of Amazon Gift Cards. It may take up to 10 business days to receive yours via email once your package arrives at one of their facilities.

Other Things To Keep In Mind

Here are some answers to some questions that you might have regarding the Amazon Trade-In Program.

  • Shipping to Amazon is 100% Free.
  • Items need to be in “acceptable” condition. This means that the item functions properly but may have some cosmetic damage. You can check here for more info.
  • Payments can take up to a total of 10 business days once your trade-in is received.
  • If your trade-in is postmarked within 7 days of submitting it, you’re guaranteed that price on Amazon (for smartphones it’s 45 days).

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking at other smartphone trade-in services, you’re most likely going to come back to Amazon since they typically have the best offers around. The only downside is that you can only receive payment in the form of Amazon Gift Cards. This personally doesn’t bother me, but it may for those who aren’t frequent shoppers of Amazon products.

Let us know if you’ve ever traded-in a smartphone or any other product with Amazon and be sure to tell us how much you got!

Jason Wuerch

My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.

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