Trade-In Wars: eBay Instant Sale vs. Gazelle vs. Nextworth vs. Amazon

Starting today through Friday, eBay is in New York City giving the citizens a chance to experience the company’s Instant Sale process in person. Drop by The Ainsworth at 122 West 26th St between 6th and 7th Avenues from 6PM to 9PM each night to see how much your electronics are worth.

There’s always a bit more buzz around trade-in programs when a new Apple product launches, though this service has been around since February of last year. And while many are all about trading in an old iPad to get a new one, there are plenty of other electronics that will earn you some cash.

However, last night when I attended the eBay preview event and had them look up some of my devices, I was surprised that several of them werenÂ’t in eBay’s database. The company will take anything for recycling purposes. But, if you want money, it has to be on their list.

eBay Event

That got me wondering about the range of items all of the popular trade-in sites would take and how they compared on trade-in offers. I looked up several devices that I either have lying around or are the type of thing consumers might be ready to get rid of in favor of new models and looked them up on eBay’s Instant Sale, Amazon’s Electronics Trade-In, NextWorth and Gazelle.

Product eBay Amazon NextWorth Gazelle
iPad 2 Wi-Fi 16GB $200 $310 (Like New) $279 (Good) $241.50 (Like New)$230 (Good) $240 (Flawless)$220 (Good)
Galaxy Tab (original) Wi-Fi 16GB $64.69 $89.00 (Good) $112.83 (Good) n/a
HTC Evo 4G $53.75 $75.25 (Good) n/a $44
Kindle 2 $11.64 $21.50 (Like New) $19.59 (Good) n/a
Toshiba Camileo S30 n/a $23.00 n/a n/a
Samsung NC10 $35.77 n/a n/a n/a
Dell XPS 15 $254.16 (Good) n/a $7.87 (Generic Dell w/ same specs) n/a
Apple MacBook Pro 13-in (2009) 2.53 GHz
Core 2 Duo 250GB
$395.60 n/a $297 $448
Samsung Series 5 Chromebook n/a n/a n/a n/a

As you can see from the table above, eBay usually offers the lowest trade-in value for smaller electronics, but does pretty well when trading in laptops. It also had most of the items I looked up in their database.

Amazon consistently offered the highest trade-in for the products I could find. iPad 2 owners should probably jump on that $310 offer ASAP. Though it did well on smaller devices, I didn’t find any of the laptops I searched for, including the MacBook.

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NextWorth isn’t great for laptops that aren’t a MacBook of some kind. Their database didn’t have any specific Dell models, but let me give the specs of a generic Dell. As you can see, the result isn’t great. It wouldn’t even let me enter information for a generic ASUS or Samsung laptop.

Gazelle

Gazelle only takes a few kinds of devices these days

Gazelle is problematic because they no longer accept all items for trade-in, only a few narrow categories. It’s the place to go if you want to sell an Apple product, of course (not always at the best price) and cell phones from BlackBerry, Motorola, Samsung and HTC. That’s all.

One thing I noticed about these sites is that the age of the product doesn’t matter as much as I thought. For instance, eBay has the Samsung NC10 netbook from 2008 in their database but not the Samsung Chromebook. No one would take the Chromebook for money. The Toshiba Camileo camera isn’t that old, either, yet only showed up in Amazon’s search.

I would have assumed that laptop trade-ins would be very popular for these sites because, unlike phones and even tablets, they’re still usable and sellable long after they’re new and hot as long as the owner takes care of them.

The other lesson I learned is that Apple products fetch some of the best prices, even those not in good working condition. I have a semi-broken iPhone 3GS (16GB) and when I looked it up I found that Gazelle would give me $30, NextWorth offered $42, and eBay valued it at a modest $20.25. For a broken phone.

The Bottom Line is that if you have devices you want to get rid of, be sure to check across multiple sites. All of them give you a way to ship for free, so all you have to do is pack them up. It might be a little extra work to do so, but the prices vary enough that it’s worth it.

Also, keep an eye out for in-person trade-in events such as the eBay Instant sale in New York and Target’s trade-in specials. In some cases you get your money right away and don’t have to wait.

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Comments

  1. Doug Feirstein says

    If you would like an easy way to check across multiple sites, you can go to usell.com where we compare the different offers from different buyers.

  2. Margie Powers says

    Nextworth is currently advertising that you can double the regular referral rate of $10 to $20 for friends who sell back iPhones to them. I did this and had three referrals (besides my own) but when I received the confirmation emails it mentioned a “gift card” , not cash, for the first time. I scoured their web site, including the small print, and it doesn’t refer to gift cards. I left a message at the company and their rep called at first saying it was wrong and I would receive cash. Then she called back and said she was wrong, it would be a gift card. I asked what kind and she said I had a choice of three… iTunes, Starbucks and she didn’t know the third. (And you cant get that info on their site until you have a code that you only receive after the deal is done.) That is not useful to me and I am disappointed that they are pulling this “bait and switch” at this stage. I will not follow through the selling of my phone and I will contact my three referrals and recommend they do not do business with this company. After reading more reviews on values being deflated after sending in the phones, I am wary of this also now.

  3. Lee says

    I started BuybackBoss.com. We payer higher than any other buyback website. We specialize in iPhones and Blackberries.

      • Lee says

        We offer higher prices because we are a small company and we have small expenses as compared to the “Big Guys”. Since we are small and new, we are offering the highest available prices to attract customers and a following.

        -Lee

  4. mike says

    Ebay instant sale is a scam operation. NEVER buy or sell anything with these thieves! Gazelle, Nextworth are reputable. Sent a practically new macbook air, itouch, nanos to them for an “offer” of close to 1k and they respond that the macbook doesn’t have a HD or OS and countered with an offer of $51. Are you f-ing kidding me? Total value of my goods went down across the board. Offer reduced to $200 for everything. I said no thanks and to return everything. Of course, they managed to scratch up my mint itouch when shipping it back so it actually did actually lose value! This whole scam fronted by some shady outfit called AllTechWholesale, but ebayers don’t know that up front until they receive your goods. Just google their list of complaints. Ebay should be ashamed to be in bed with these crooks and I’m going to make sure as many people knows about them as possible to save others from such rip-offs. End story is, I sold the same goods to Gazelle for the exact offer amounts even though I had to take a hit on the itouch since I couldn’t in good faith claim it was in “perfect” condition after the con artists at AllTechWholesale were done with it.

  5. FR says

    I just tried to sell my iPhone 4 to Nextworth only to have them renege on their offered amount saying my phone was “damaged.” It was in perfect condition so I had them send it back. Gazelle offered to take my phone for $100 more than Nextworth…I sent it in and my check is on the way! BEWARE OF NEXTWORTH!

  6. Lee Lowden says

    Mr. Bradford,

    Great article, but next time I would focus on the smaller buyback companies that pay more cash for used devices. My company, Buyback Boss pays way more cash for used iPhones than the companies that you listed within your article. Please check out my website: http://www.BuybackBoss.com – I would loved to be featured in your next article. Thanks! Lee

  7. gabrielle barone says

    All of these big companies pay PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR, and then resell on ebay for hundreds upon hundreds of dollars more. Mail in companies like gazelle set things up on their website to allow them to plausibly lower the quoted price for your wares, once they receive it – a classic bait and switch scam which further bolsters their corporate profits. Impossible to get the word out because these companies spend fortunes to bolster their reputation.

  8. Phil says

    NextWorth is a scam. They told me something I sent into them was broken when we both knew it wasn’t, then they wouldn’t return it to me and therefore got to sell the item for 100% pure profit. There are negative reviews everywhere on the internet about NextWorth and there’s a reason for that.

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