Need some extra cash? It may pay to dig through your cabinets and drawers for old electronics, computers, gadgets and even video games. There are companies that will pay you cash or gift cards in exchange for your old equipment.
How Trade-In Companies Work
The way that most trade-in companies work is that you get a quote based on the popularity and current condition of an item you are interested in selling. If you agree with the quote you pack up your item and send it to the company. You then wait to see if they revise their quote based on their inspection of the item. Once you both agree how much the item is worth, your check or gift card will be issued. Seems simple enough, doesn't it? For some companies, but not all, it is just that simple.
Unfortunately there are some companies that will offer you more cash than their competitors, but will come back with revised quotes that are dirt-cheap after they have possession of your items. Why do they do this? Because they are betting that you will accept the low-ball offer rather than continue to hassle with the transaction.
These tips will help you avoid companies who make a habit of not paying what they've agreed to pay or those who are just out to scam consumers.
Read Customer ReviewsOnce you find a company that you may want to do business with, do a search on Google for reviews from people who have dealt with the company.
You will also want to check the Better Business Bureau, but keep in mind that a company could receive an A+ rating if they resolved consumers' complaints, regardless of how many they may have received.
Performing searches on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can also produce worthwhile results or go directly to the company’s social networking sites and see what people are talking about. Are people complaining about not getting what was promised? If so, you may want to think twice before using that company even if they did give you the highest quote for your items.
Who Do They Partner With?Some of the bigger, more reliable trade-in companies are partnered with large retail stores. A good reputation with consumers is important to them in order to maintain their relationship with the retailers.
For example, Target and the trade-in company Nextworth.com have partnered together for customers interested in trading in their iPhones. Gazelle is associated with Walmart.com and Office Depot. Doing business with larger companies will likely result in an overall good experience.
Watch Out for High QuotesThe company offering the highest quote on your old GPS, may not be the best company to go with and you risk getting a revised low quote once they receive your item.
Doing a few searches to find out what the item is generally selling for can help you determine if you are getting a "too good to be true" quote.
Also, check eBay and other auction sites to see what people are actually paying for your item. This can help you determine if an offer is too good to be true.
Check Out Their PoliciesYou will want to find out the basics of how the company handles its trade-in transactions. These guidelines will walk you through what to ask the company representative, before you ship your item.
Rating Your Items
Once you have decided on the company that you will want to do business with you will want to do an honest assessment of your item. Using a simple rating system of 1 to 3 (three being the highest) will usually work.Rate the following:
- Does it work?
- Do you have the power adapters for the item?
- Do you have the original packaging? It is a plus if you do.
- Do you have the product manual? Again, if yes, that is a plus.
- What is the physical state of the item? Look for scratches, dents and worn spots.
- Do you have the accessories that came with the item?
Remember that it is important to answer these questions honestly. The company you send your item to will base their quote on your item's true condition.Other Information You Will Need to Know
Make sure you list the actual manufacturer and model number of your item. Do not just guess by looking at pictures of items. Also, when selling computers the CPU type and speed along with the RAM should be installed.
The Actual Trade-In Process
- Go to the company website and answer all the questions about the item you want to trade for cash. Be a tough critic and answer honestly.
- Create your account by providing your name, shipping information, email and other contact information.
- Decide how you want to be paid. Some companies offer different options like PayPal, checks and gift cards. Some even offer the option for you to donate the money to charity.
- Once you submit all of the information and have agreed on the amount you are to be paid, you will receive prepaid shipping labels with instructions on how to ship the items. Depending on the company you may also receive shipping boxes.
- Follow the instructions and ship your item, then begin checking your email for any possible revised payment notifications.
- Once a final price agreement has been reached your check will likely be processed within a week to 10 days time.
- If it is determined that your item has no value a good company will then send it back to you or offer to recycle it.
Companies Rated High on Consumer Reports:
Other Popular Trade-In Companies:
The Bottom LineGood trade-in companies will:
- Have corporate contact information posted on their website.
- Have a representative contact you to discuss the transaction.
- Offer a fair quote for your item.
- Send boxes and or free shipping labels.
- Offer a fair revised quote if you fail to rate your item properly.
- Pay to return your item if you do not agree with the quote.
- Will not have corporate contact information posted.
- Will not have a phone number that connects to a human.
- Will offer high quotes that seem to good to be true.
- Will expect you to pay to ship the item.
- Will send a revised quote that is super low.
- Will expect you to pay for them to return the item.