Friday, April 29, 2011

Land of Misfit Gadgets - what to do?

The launch of the iPad2 marked the biggest event in reCommerce history. After receiving a record 13k iPads, Gazelle, a site only known for only taking used gadgets, has made the first move to resale opening, a first in the company’s history. The move brings up a trendy topic of reCommerce - cashing in and also getting paid for it. Of all the segments I have done in the past talkin' reCommerce on both The Nate Berkus Show and CBS The Early Show had people asking the most questions. Afterall, its an average of $100 in gadgets most people have just collecting dust around their homes.

Allow me to break it down:

How big is reCommerce?

Cashing in gadgets (or reCommerce) is really growing in popularity. As noted we especially saw this with the latest release of the iPad2 - making it the largest reCommerce event to date. With more people understanding more places to trade in they can cash in literally but also it speaks to how we are being greener recycling gadgets.

What are the most popular sites to trade in your old gadgets for money?

Some of the most popular sites for trading in old gadgets are:

GAZELLE.COM - the most popular 22 categories and in most cases top dollar

ECOSQUID.COM - kind of like the Orbitz/Expedia of reselling sites

NEXTWORTH.COM - partners with Target

FLIPSWAP.COM - tailored specifically for phones

RECELLULAR.COM - tailored specifically for cashing in phones or donating to a good cause; also a great site for telling you how to clear your phone data no matter what the model

How do these sites work?

Each site works a little different than the other but essentially you'll answer just a few questions as to the gadgets condition, do you have the cables it came with, is the battery is working properly, etc. You then receive a bid and will get a check in the mail or a gift card. That's pretty much the gist. My recommendation is get bids on each site and go with the best site. Do your homework some sites offer checks while others just give gift cards to particular stores.

Besides doing it online, what retail stores have buyback programs as well?

BEST BUY – Trade in gadgets for a Best Buy giftcard (or check of lesser value) in over 20 categories. Best Buy also now offers a buy back program that you can purchase at the check out when you buy a new gadget. If you return the item in X amount of months you can get cash back. Though in many calculations you would be better off trading online.

TARGET – Over 850 Target locations now offering in store trade ins – get a Target gift card.

RADIO SHACK – Locations offer instant Radio Shack credit on trade -ns.

GAMESTOPWith Gamestop, you can trade-in your old video games and systems for credit towards the latest games, consoles and gear! Over 7,000 products area accepted in trade and they frequently will make special offers with additional incentives.

What should you know about cashing in gadgets to get the best price?

Obviously you want to have the device in the best working condition possible. Also, you should think twice about personalizing anything; ex. engraving it or putting stickers on it. “Engraving an iPod or an iPad could drop the trade in price by as much as 20-30%”, said Gazelle’s Director of Marketing Kristina Kennedy. Also use a screen protector where possible. And keep the cables, manuals and anything else that come with the gadget this includes the box if you have the space for it.

*Note Gazelle does have an eBay storefront but does not sell anywhere quite like they would if they were turning everything they received around.


  1. Great advice, Katie! I'm holding onto my original iPad 3g for at least another year though, as I can't see investing in yet another 3g version.

  2. Thanks for readin Tim :)

    I hear ya on that - but you will def like the upgrade when you are ready the cameras and speed is worth it. And know when you are ready you can swap your 3G plan to another 3G'er. :)



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