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Gazelle Review: Sell Your Old Smartphones, Tablets and More

Gazelle Review: Sell Your Old Smartphones, Tablets and More
Candice Elliott Jun 23, 2018
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

Want to make a little money from your old electronics? Need to save a little money on your next electronics purchase? There is a website that can help you do both. We tried it and bring you a Gazelle Review.

It’s Easy Being Green

If you have old cell phones, computers, and tablets that you no longer use but haven’t thrown into the trash, good for you! Electronics like those things are full of toxic stuff like arsenic and lead that shouldn’t be tossed into landfills because those agents can leak into our soil and groundwater when not properly disposed of.

Another thing to consider is how much of your personal data is contained on those old devices. If you just throw them out with the trash, who knows who could take them and access sensitive personal information.

If you’re in the market for a new device, buying a used, refurbished one is not only more green than buying a brand new one, it’s cheaper too. At Frugal For Less, we love making and saving money and being environmentally responsible, so we love Gazelle.

What is Gazelle?

Gazelle is a reCommerce company, a term they coined. Gazelle buys and sells pre-owned electronic devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.

Selling on Gazelle

Gazelle buys a range of electronics. If you have an Apple, Google, HTC, LG Motorola, Nokia, or Samsung phone, you can sell specific models. Gazelle also buys broken iPhones so if you’ve smashed your screen or dropped it into the pool, it may still be worth something.

Gazelle buys certain models of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung tablets. If you’re looking to sell a MacBook or Mac desktop, iPod, or Apple TV, Gazelle will buy those as well.

I have an old iPod that I wanted to sell. Well, I didn’t want to sell it. I loved that iPod. I had it for years, and I found it to be easier to use to listen to music or podcasts while running than my iPhone. But it died one day after many years of faithful service and was just taking up room.

I went to the iPod section on Gazelle, and it asked if my device was 5th or 6th Generation. I have no idea, but luckily Gazelle shows you how to determine that. It will give you a description of what the device looks like and the Model Number. I had to go by description because the Model Number on the back of my iPod was too small and the etching too light to read.

It turns out I have a 6th Generation, 160GB iPod. On this screen, you will see what the device looks like in case you’re still not sure what kind you have. The next step is to click “Get an Offer.” You will be asked whether or not your device is in working condition or it’s not. Mine is broken, it won’t power on, and I assume the reason is that the battery is dead. I check the box for “Broken.”

The next question asks whether the device has any engraving on it (a personal message etched on the back by the person who gave it as a gift). Mine isn’t engraved, and I’m asked no further questions.

Gazelle offers me $10. Not a spectacular offer but I can’t use the iPod, I don’t know where I can responsibly recycle it (although I could find out with five seconds of Googling) and it’s taking up space, it’s moved with me twice since it stopped working.

So I decide to sell it, more for the accuracy of this article than anything else. Gazelle asks for your email address and will send you shipping details and updates. Gazelle asks if you have any additional devices you want to sell, I didn’t so I moved forward.

The next step is deciding how you would like to be paid. You have three options. You can choose an Amazon gift card, and if you take this option, you will earn an additional 3%, not a lot on $10, but if you’re selling a more valuable device or several at once, it can add up.

You can choose to receive payment via PayPal or a paper check that is delivered within ten days of your device being received. I opted for Amazon. The next step is to provide your mailing address, so Gazelle can create the shipping label so you can print it out. The shipping is free.

There are two ways to ship your item, and you get to choose. You can opt for a pre-paid FedEx label or pre-paid USPS label. I got a message that my device doesn’t entitle me to a free shipping box because the value was too low or because Gazelle doesn’t have the correct box size available.

Gazelle surely has every kind of box for whatever they buy and sell; I’m concluding that my device wasn’t worth enough to include a box. I’m a little miffed but I order plenty of stuff from Amazon, so I will repurpose one of those boxes or mailing envelopes.

I opted for USPS because I don’t want to find a FedEx drop off box. The final step is to confirm that all of your information is correct.

Prep Your Device

The next screen shows you how to prepare your device to be mailed in. It also includes an offer of $20 off when you buy something from Gazelle, so that’s a nice bonus.

To prep, you’re instructed to remove password protections so that Gazelle can access the device in order to test it. Be sure to save your files and photos and to remove the SD card if the device has one. If you’re selling an Android phone, Gazelle instructs you to delete your Google account and gives you directions to do so.

Once I send in the device and Gazelle receives and tests it, it will take about a week for the Amazon gift card to be emailed to me.

You Can Speed It Up

It turns out there’s a way to speed this process up. Gazelle has kiosks called ecoATMs in dozens of locations across the U.S. I had nine within a 30-minute drive of me and one just over a mile away in a Walmart.

At the kiosks, you can sell iPhones and Samsung Galaxies, a variety of cell phones, tablets, and MP3 Players. You’ll need to prep your device in the same way you would to send it in by mail and remove any covers or stickers otherwise the kiosk may not be able to recognize it.

You can also recycle any accessories that go along with your device in an Accessory Bin located next to the kiosk. You won’t be paid for these items, but they will be safely recycled.

You need to bring a valid form of ID which is scanned by the attendant manning the kiosk. The transaction is declined if you don’t match the photo on your ID, you’re under age 18, or the ID is not valid. This is all done to make sure that the kiosks aren’t used to make money from stolen devices.

At the kiosk, you will put your device into the test station. The station will examine it, and each device will be priced based on the model, condition, and current market value. The more popular the device, the more it will be worth and of course the better the condition, the better your offer.

If you accept the amount you’re offered, you get cash immediately! This is a big advantage to using the kiosk rather than mailing your device in. The other is that the offer you get when you agree to sell your item by mailing it in can change once the item has been received and tested.

If you didn’t get the model right or the item is in worse condition than you stated (and to be fair to sellers, you don’t get a chance to explain the condition beyond “Working” or “Non-Working”), Gazelle can amend the original offer you were given. They may even rescind the offer entirely and either offer to send back your device or recycle it. In that case, you won’t get any money at all.

But when you use the kiosk, your device is tested and assessed on the spot so the offer you are given is the offer you will get. The whole process takes less than five minutes.

Buying On Gazelle

If you’re in the market for a new device like an iPhone or iPad, you know how expensive they are. You also know they have a limited life and paying hundreds of dollars for something you are going to have to replace in a few years can be a hard pill to swallow when you’re trying to be Frugal For Less.

But for better or worse we have come to rely on our devices, and it can be argued that they are an essential part of life. I certainly can’t imagine life without my iPhone, and I wouldn’t be able to make a living without my laptop.

But Gazelle gives us a way around the tricky problem of having to buy a smartphone or tablet or computer without paying full price.
What happens to all of those devices people are sending into Gazelle and dropping into kiosks? Well, some of them are recycled if they’re not in saleable condition. But the ones that are in good shape are sold as refurbished devices.

Many of the same things that you can sell on Gazelle are available to buy, and the savings are pretty substantial. You can choose the model of the device you’re shopping for, the amount of memory, the cosmetic condition, and the carrier. You can search by price too if you’re looking to stay within a certain budget range.

A 256GB iPhone X retails at AT&T for $1,149; you can buy one on Gazelle for $919. A 256GB iPad Pro 12.9” Second Generation retails for $1,079 but can be had on Gazelle for just $839. Gazelle is no place for those who don’t act quickly.

There are dozens of some devices available and just a few available for the newer, more popular devices. If you have done your research and are ready to buy and you see what you want on Gazelle for a good price, act fast, or someone else might beat you to it.

Gazelle’s inventory is what other people are selling so they can’t manufacture more devices if they run out of stock.


If you can’t afford to pay cash for a device, Gazelle does offer a financing option. We caution against financing non-essential items, but if you depend on a phone or computer for your livelihood and can’t pay cash, you can finance for 6, 12, or 18 months at APRs ranging from 10% to a very steep 30%.

Choose Your Carrier

When choosing a device, be sure to choose one that is currently on your preferred carrier’s network. If you wish to change carriers, the device may need to be modified which can cause problems and void the 30-day return policy.

What About Accessories?

Each certified device comes with a USB charger and charging cable. Other accessories can be purchased at a discount through Gazelle.

Will It Work?

How can you be sure that the device you buy from Gazelle will work? Each device sold has gone through a thorough inspection process to make sure it functions as it should. And all devices are reset to their original factory settings before being sold.

If there is a problem with the device you’ve purchased or you’re dissatisfied with it for any reason, you have 30 days to return it with no strings or contracts attached.

My Experience

I printed out my shipping label but had to do some digging to find a box. I just used old newspaper as packing material to cushion the iPod. I shipped it off on a Monday and once it is processed at the Post Office will be able to track the shipping progress and order status.

This is where I am in the process at the time of this writing. I had sold an old iPhone a few years ago, and the whole process went as expected but it’s been awhile, and I didn’t remember the particulars of how long it took to receive payment once Gazelle received the phone.

Do We Recommend Gazelle?

I was a little underwhelmed by how much I was offered for my iPod, but that’s probably more to do with the fact that I was sort of still fondly attached to it rather than feeling like I was offered less than it is worth.

I don’t know how much it’s worth and really didn’t care, I was just happy to be able to get something to for it and to know that it won’t be taking up space in my apartment (admittedly it took up very little space, but I live in a small apartment and don’t like unnecessary clutter) and that it won’t be sitting in a landfill leaching poison into the environment.

If you want to make sure you’re getting a good deal from Gazelle, you can use a site like Sage Blue Book to do some research before accepting an offer from Gazelle.

I was not in the market for any new devices so didn’t order anything from Gazelle, but I have purchased refurbished electronics in the past from local, much smaller sellers than Gazelle so I can speak to buying refurbished products more generally.

I don’t know why more people don’t take this option. New smartphones, tablets, and computers are expensive. If you can get them for less than full price with a money back guarantee, why not?

If you’ve ever shopped in a thrift store, you have seen brand new clothing for sale with the tags still attached or clothes that have clearly only been worn a few times. Why do people sell clothes that have never been or barely been worn? For lots of reasons and the same is true of electronics.

Maybe someone got a two for one deal that you see advertised sometimes and didn’t need the second device so figured they’d make some money from it. Maybe it was a gift, and the receiver didn’t like it. Who knows? Who cares? All that matters is that now you get a great deal on a device that works perfectly well.

Selling things you aren’t using whether its clothes or books or electronics is a great way to make some extra money. If you have old phones or tablets sitting around cluttering up your place, take a look at Gazelle and see what you can get for them.

Candice Elliott

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