Upgrading Your Tech? Amazon Will Buy Your Old Gadgets

By | January 30, 2024

Amazon boxes piled in front of a yellow wall
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Are unused gadgets taking up your closet or junk drawer? You could trade them in for an Amazon gift card. Through Amazon’s Trade-In program, you can offload your old game consoles, smartphones, and more. While Amazon Trade-In is far from a moneymaker, it’s an easy way to get rid of unwanted devices.

About Amazon’s Trade-In Program

Amazon Trade-In is a program that enables you to “sell” your unused devices back to Amazon. In exchange for your device, you’ll receive an Amazon gift card or a discount on another purchase, depending on the device.

It’s important to note right off the bat that Amazon doesn’t accept all gadgets. Here are the categories of devices currently eligible for trade-in:

  • Kindle E-Readers
  • Tablets
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Echo, Bluetooth Speakers, and Headphones
  • Home Security Devices
  • Wireless Routers
  • Phones (Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, and Motorola)
  • Gaming (Consoles, Games, and Accessories)

Trading in an item is a relatively simple process. Once you select your item from the options on the website and go through a quick questionnaire, Amazon will send a return shipping label to your email address (yes, Amazon pays for your shipping). Then, you send it packing to Amazon via UPS.

Amazon then recycles or re-sells the devices you trade in to “give them a new life.” This is why it’s important to prepare your tech for sale, which we’ll discuss a bit later.

Pros and Cons of Amazon’s Trade-In Program

The key benefit of Amazon’s Trade-In program is its simplicity. You can start your trade-in and receive your shipping label in just a few clicks.

Payment is seemingly quick too. According to Amazon, once your item is received and appraised, you’ll receive an email notification within two days indicating whether your item was accepted or rejected. Some items are also eligible for Instant Payment. This means you’ll receive your Amazon gift card immediately after submitting a trade-in.

Warning: If you do accept Instant Payment and your item is rejected for any reason, Amazon may revoke the payment or charge your account. We recommend waiting until you know your device was accepted before using your gift card.

Of course, the trade-in and payment process can be significantly impacted by factors such as shipping times. If time is of the essence for you, it might be best to consider finding a physical trade-in location to bring your device to.

While the trade-in and payment process is relatively straightforward, Amazon doesn’t accept all devices. In addition, Amazon Trade-In isn’t necessarily a moneymaker when it comes to payment.

For example, currently, a Nintendo Switch will cost you around $299.99. However, the trade-in value of a Nintendo Switch without defects and with the original accessories is $75. For newer tech, such as the Switch, you’re probably better off searching for another trade-in program or selling the gadgets yourself.

The bottom line is this: If you’re looking to quickly and simply offload devices that have been gathering dust for some time, Amazon Trade-In might be a solid option for you.

How to Trade In a Device

As mentioned above, trading in a device through Amazon’s Trade-In program is quite simple. First, you’ll want to visit the Amazon Trade-In website.

Once there, you’ll see various categories to choose from. You’ll want to select the category your device belongs to and start your search.

For this example, let’s trade in a Roku streaming stick. Select “Streaming Media Players” from the category options.

In the window that appears, we’ll search for “Roku streaming stick 4K” and hit “Enter.”

Entering Roku streaming stick 4K into Amazon Trade-In window

Next, we’ll find the device we want to trade in and place a checkmark in the box to the left of the device. Then, we’ll click “Continue.”

Amazon will then ask a few questions about the device. We’ll answer “Yes” or “No” by clicking the boxes. Then, we’ll click “Continue.”

Amazon Trade-In program device questionnaire

On the next screen, Amazon gives us the details of our offer. In this case, Amazon is offering to give us 20% off a new Fire TV device and a gift card bonus.

To accept, we’ll click “Submit your trade-in” to finish the process.

Submitting device inside Amazon Trade-In

After submitting the trade, you’ll need to watch your email for your shipping label. Once received, place your item and its accessories (if applicable) into a box or envelope and add the shipping label. You can then ship your item by taking it to a UPS facility or drop-off location.

You can now track your trade-ins via your Trade-In Account. Be sure to also review the Amazon Trade-In Terms & Conditions before moving forward.

Alternatives to Amazon’s Trade-In Program

In some cases, you may be able to get more for your devices by checking out other trade-in programs such as:

  • Apple Trade-In: Apple’s trade-in program is specifically for Apple devices and offers credit toward future purchases as well as Apple gift cards for qualifying devices.
  • Best Buy Trade-In: Best Buy’s trade-in program covers a wide range of devices, from iPhones to DSLR cameras.
  • GameStop Trade-In: GameStop’s trade-in program isn’t just for games and consoles. Instead, GameStop also accepts various smartphones, tablets, and wearables.

Or, Sell Your Gadgets Yourself

If you’re looking to get top dollar for your gadgets, you could try selling them yourself via eBay or Facebook Marketplace. There are also various apps you can try for selling used stuff, such as Decluttr, which is great for tech products.

If you do decide to sell your items yourself, just be on the lookout for scams. And don’t forget to follow the steps below to protect your information.

Do These Things Before You Offload Your Devices

Before you trade in or sell your devices, there are some things you should do first. Otherwise, your critical data could fall into someone else’s hands.

RELATED: How to Prepare a Computer, Tablet, or Phone Before Selling It

With any device, make sure you back up your personal data so you don’t lose anything. After backup, you should then wipe your device clean and reset it back to its factory default state.

This process varies between devices and platforms. Be sure to look up the instructions for wiping and resetting the devices you plan to trade in.

RELATED: How to Factory Reset an iPhone or iPad