Got an old phone collecting dust in your desk drawer? Turn that useless clunker into cash! You know iPhones are valuable – even when they are older models. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know that it’s possible to transform their unused electronics into cash, let alone the best way to do it. Enter the trade-in program.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it: if you’re sick of staring at that decaying iPhone 8, MacBook, or iPad taking up valuable real estate in your home, it’s time to trade in and trade up. But, where do you even begin?
With so many options to choose from, wading through all the possibilities out there can be a daunting task. Aside from Apple Trade In, carrier trade-in programs like those offered by Verizon and T-Mobile, or other well-known options such as Best Buy Trade-In or the ubiquitous ecoATM, one of the first buyback sites people will encounter online is Gazelle.
When it comes to online buyback sites, the Gazelle trade in program is one of the oldest names in the business, but are they the best? Read on for our breakdown.
How Does Trading in With Gazelle Work?
How Does Gazelle Pay You?
Money Matters: Gazelle Trade-In Values
Saving Money: Gazelle Rewards
Is Gazelle Legit?: The Proof Is in the Reviews
Pros and Cons: Gazelle vs. GadgetGone
The end goal with any trade-in is to pull in some much-needed cash, right? Gazelle promises just that for your gently used electronics. Everything is done online, so you don’t need to go to a store. You can simply sit at your computer, make a quick visit to the post office, then wait for your cash to come in.
Here’s how the process works. Once you’re on Gazelle’s site, you’re first prompted to select the gadget you’d like to sell. Gazelle takes a wide range of electronics, including:
|•||iPhones||•||Samsung Phones||•||Google Phones|
It’s important to note that unlike GadgetGone, Gazelle only accepts the items that are listed on their website. In contrast, potential GadgetGone customers are able to request a custom quote if their specific device isn’t listed. Furthermore, unlike GadgetGone and some other buyback sites, Gazelle doesn’t accept smartwatches.
|After you’ve selected your device, you’re then asked to share some information about it. In order to receive an accurate quote, you’ll want to provide as much detail and be as accurate as possible.
Once you’ve entered in your device’s details to the best of your knowledge, you’ll get your initial quote. If you’re happy with the figure, simply accept the offer and Gazelle will send you a prepaid shipping label to ship out your item.
Next, head on over to the post office to drop the phone or tablet in the mail. Keep in mind that your offer is only good for 30 days, so you do have some time to shop around for other (AKA better) quotes before you ship your gadget, if that’s your thing—and it definitely should be. Of course, the sooner you mail in the device, the quicker you get your money!
Once received, Gazelle will inspect the device. If they need to change their offer, you will be notified via email. From there, you can either accept the new offer or deny it. If you refuse it, no worries! Gazelle will send your item back to you for free.
After your final offer is accepted, your funds will be released to you via your chosen method, leaving you free to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for making some extra cash and keeping your old electronics out of a landfill.
One of the great things about Gazelle is its variety of payment methods, unlike Apple’s and Best Buy’s trade-in programs which only offer store credit. When getting your initial quote online, you’ll have the option of choosing between a check, an Amazon electronic gift card, or PayPal.
Then, once your item is received and assessed and your final offer is accepted, your payment will be processed in three to five business days. As both PayPal and Amazon payments are sent electronically, you should receive it 24 to 48 hours after processing. Meanwhile, checks typically arrive five to 10 days after processing.
Now that the particulars are out of the way, let’s get to the real heart of the matter: the money. Trading in your device is a quick way to put cash in your pocket, depending on who you trade with. After entering in your used gadget’s details with Gazelle, you’ll receive an instant quote that looks like this:
It’s super simple and straightforward, and depending on how honest you were—no cheating the system here, people—the quote is fairly accurate.
Now, as far as the value of those quotes goes, just how does Gazelle stack up in the industry? We rounded up some of the most popular options for cashing in your old phone, tablet, or MacBook to see how they compare.
Note: These are estimated values based on the specified details given online that were accurate at the time of publishing. These are not final offers.
|iPhone 8 – 256GB, Verizon, good condition||iPhone 11 – 256GB, Verizon, good condition|
|Gazelle: $119 (cash)||Gazelle: $356 (cash)|
|GadgetGone: $177 (cash)||GadgetGone: $427 (cash)|
|Apple: $130 (credit)||Apple: $350 (credit)|
|T-Mobile: $106 (credit)||T-Mobile: $301 (credit)|
|Verizon: $116 (credit)||Verizon: $313 (credit)|
|Best Buy: $150 (credit)||Best Buy: $430 (credit)|
|ecoATM: Up to $70 (cash)||ecoATM: Up to $225 (cash)|
|Galaxy S10 – 128GB, Verizon, good condition||Pixel 3 – 128GB, Verizon, good condition|
|Gazelle: $176 (cash)||Gazelle: $105 (cash)|
|GadgetGone: $260 (cash)||GadgetGone: $136 (cash)|
|Apple: $160 (credit)||Apple: $80 (credit)|
|T-Mobile: $212 (credit)||T-Mobile: $100 (credit)|
|Verizon: $228 (credit)||Verizon: $100 (credit)|
|Best Buy: $210 (credit)||Best Buy: $90 (credit)|
|ecoATM: Up to $100 (cash)||ecoATM: Up to $35 (cash)|
|iPad Pro 3 – 256GB, 12.9″, WiFi + Cellular, good condition||2019 MacBook Pro – 15″, touch bar, Core i7 2.6GHz, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM, good condition|
|Gazelle: $476 (cash)||Gazelle: $976 (cash)|
|GadgetGone: $580 (cash)||GadgetGone: $1,100 (cash)|
|Apple: $500 (credit)||Apple: $1,130 (credit)|
|T-Mobile: $455 (credit)||T-Mobile: —|
|Verizon: $555 (credit)||Verizon: —|
|Best Buy: $275 (credit)||Best Buy: $915 (credit)|
|ecoATM: —||ecoATM: —|
If you’ve sold used electronics before, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of special trade-in promotions and discount codes. Who isn’t trying to get a deal these days? And considering how much less Gazelle tends to offer for devices as compared to its competitors, you might need a deal or two to help sweeten the quote you receive. To its credit, Gazelle does come through with a pretty unique incentive: Gazelle Rewards.
With this incentive program, frequent Gazelle customers are able to earn trade-in bonus points with each item they sell to Gazelle. As points are earned (one point for each dollar of your device’s value), they can be redeemed for extra trade-in value on a future device.
If you’re a tech fiend with a penchant for frequent upgrades and a passion for all things Gazelle, that’s a pretty sweet deal.
In business since 2007, there’s no question that Gazelle is legit. A better question might be “is Gazelle a legitimately good deal?” Occasionally lackluster trade-in values aside, Gazelle has some good things going for it, namely over a decade in business and flexible payment options.
But, what do the Gazelle reviews have to say about how trustworthy they are? After all, when you’re looking for information about a service, it’s best to go straight to the customers who have used them in the past.
Trustpilot, a leading online review site for all types of companies, currently lists a “poor” 2.5-star review (out of five) for Gazelle. The customer comments are a mixed bag, with some saying they had a great experience and others saying theirs was downright terrible. Many cited Gazelle low-balling them on a counter-offer, as well as taking up to three weeks to return their device when the customer turned down the counter-offer.
Everywhere we looked, the reviews told a similar tale. The Better Business Bureau showed Gazelle sitting at a piddling 1.77 stars out of five, albeit with an A rating. ResellerRatings showed them with one measly star, with only 12.5% of the reviews submitted in the last year receiving a positive rating. And even though things initially appeared better on Sitejabber with 3.37 stars out of five, they quickly went south when we saw that precisely 0% of reviews received in the past year gave Gazelle a positive rating.
Compare that with GadgetGone’s reviews on Trustpilot, the BBB, and ResellerRatings. On Trustpilot, GadgetGone has a score of 4.9 stars, with 94% of the reviewers giving the site an “excellent” rating. Again, reviews with the Better Business Bureau are similarly rosy, with GadgetGone receiving a score of 4.81 stars out of five and an A+. And on ResellerRatings, GadgetGone boasts a 4.97 stars out of five and a perfect 100% track record of positive reviews for the past year.
Of course, any review should be taken with a grain of salt, particularly since people are more apt to share their feelings with the world when they’re upset about a bad experience. Nevertheless, the contrasts are glaring, and we aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed. Even CNET noted Gazelle’s fall from grace off their list of the best iPhone and Android trade-in options. You know who did make the cut? GadgetGone.
When it comes to trading in used electronics, there’s no question that we’re blessed with a wealth of options. For some, Gazelle may be just what they are looking for. However, although using Gazelle has its benefits, it also leaves much to be desired.
|Gazelle Pros:||Gazelle Cons:|
|•||Able to get a quote quickly and easily online||•||Middle-of-the-pack trade-in values|
|•||Shipping your device is free||•||Narrow list of accepted devices|
|•||Able to earn a trade-in bonus with Gazelle Rewards loyalty program||•||Doesn’t price match competitors (as far as we can tell)|
|•||Variety of payment options including PayPal, an Amazon gift card, or a check||•||Payments take longer to receive than other competitors (i.e. 3-5 business days vs. 2-3|
|•||More than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics buyback industry||•||Tons of negative ratings and reviews from past customers|
|•||Able to have device shipped back for free if unhappy with updated offer||•||Updated offers are often much lower than initially quoted online|
|•||Can take a while to have device sent back if unhappy with an updated offer|
Now, let’s take a look at how GadgetGone stacks up to Gazelle. We’re obviously a bit biased, but we think the proof really is in the pudding.
|GadgetGone Pros:||GadgetGone Cons:|
|•||Able to get a quote quickly and easily online||•||No loyalty program|
|•||Shipping your device is free||•||Not as established in the buyback industry|
|•||Variety of payment options including PayPal, an Amazon gift card, or a check|
|•||Some of the most competitive trade-in values in the buyback industry|
|•||PriceMatch+ Guarantee – If you get a better offer from one of our competitors, we’ll beat it by $5|
|•||Payment is sent within 2 business days after your device is received|
|•||Able to have device shipped back for free if unhappy with updated offer|
|•||Wider variety of accepted devices|
|•||Tons of positive ratings and reviews from past customers|
At first glance, Gazelle and GadgetGone look pretty similar. They both offer fast, free quotes online with complimentary shipping and a variety of payment options including the all-important cash payment. They also both quick to provide updated trade-in offers once your device is received and will return it to you for free if you don’t like your updated quote. However, this is where the similarities end.
While Gazelle is known for giving much lower counter-offers to customers once they have received the device, some GadgetGone customers have actually received an updated quote that was more than their original offer. Talk about operating with integrity!
Gazelle was also cited for taking a considerable amount of time to send back devices when the offer was refused. This is frustrating for the customer, who just wants to get the device back so they can sell it somewhere else. As for GadgetGone, we make sure you get what’s yours as quickly as possible, whether that’s your money or a used iPhone.
Whatever option you choose for selling your phone, tablet, or laptop, make sure you do your homework first. There are too many buyback options out there to settle for one that doesn’t give you or your item the full value that’s due. So, do your research and choose a trade-in partner that treats you like a person and not a number.
Accept the trade-in program you deserve. Choose GadgetGone.
Our no-obligation quotes are simple, fast, hassle-free.