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7 Retailers That Will Pay for Your Old Electronics

Trade-in programs offer cash for unwanted devices 

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Looking for ways to defray the cost of the new iPhone 15?  If you have old electronic devices lying around you are in luck. Several big-name retailers have trade-in programs, offering you gift cards for your old gadgets. It’s not purely altruistic: They lure you in and in many cases make a little profit on your old goods. If you frequent one of the stores and the devices will otherwise gather dust, it may be worth it. 

“With electronics, the worst possible thing you can do is put it in the drawer and plan on dealing with it later,” says Christie Nordhielm, a marketing professor at Georgetown University. “As soon as you have a piece you're not using, find some way to recycle it, whether you give it away, sell it online or use one of the resale options.” The decline in the value of electronics is “super steep and super rapid” and “becomes the worst kind of garbage,” which is why you shouldn’t wait, she says.

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Retailers aren’t the only option for getting rid of your old gadgets. But if you shop at the store or prefer instant gratification, they could be the way to go. With that in mind, here is a look at seven retailers that pay for your old electronics. 

1. Costco 

Costco’s trade-in program gives you gift cards in exchange for your old Mac, Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, smartphone and tablet. To see how much, visit Costco’s website and search for your device. You’ll get an instant quote based on the condition and market value. Ship it using a free shipping label. Once Costco receives and inspects the electronics, it will issue you a digital gift card or send one via mail. All items have to be in working condition and undamaged beyond reasonable wear and tear. Remember to scrub all of your data. It can take one to two weeks for the card to arrive by mail. The digital option takes three to five business days, Costco says.  

2. Walmart 

Walmart accepts a wide range of electronics including cellphones, tablets, video game consoles, voice speakers, MP3 players, wearables and laptops. Choose your device type at Walmart’s electronics trade-in website, answer a few questions and get your instant quote. Walmart accepts working and damaged devices, although you get a lot less for the latter. Once you accept the offer you can print out a free FedEx or UPS shipping label. Walmart will issue you an e-gift card after inspecting the device. 

3. Amazon

The e-commerce giant buys a variety of electronics including tablets, streaming media players, audio headphones, home security systems, wireless routers, smartphones and gaming systems. In addition to the trade-in value, you’ll get 25 percent off one Amazon device in the category of your choice. Visit Amazon’s trade-in website, search for your device, answer a few questions about the condition and get your offer. You’ll have 45 days to ship your item for free via UPS or drop it off at an approved trade-in location. Payment via gift card may be issued instantly or upon inspection of the device. Amazon accepts both working and nonworking gadgets. ​

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4. Best Buy 

When it comes to variety, Best Buy tops them all. The electronics retailer lets you trade in everything from cellphones to massagers. At Best Buy’s trade-in website you can search for your gadget through several categories and get a price based on how you answer a handful of questions. You have the option to either bring it to a participating Best Buy store or mail it. Best Buy provides a free shipping label for the latter. In exchange, you’ll receive a Best Buy gift card. 

5. Target

If you want instant gratification, Target’s electronics trade-in program may be right for you. Available online through its trade-in website or at select Target stores, the program will give you e-gift cards for a variety of devices including mobile phones, tablets, wearables, MP3 players, video games and consoles and smart speakers. Do an online search for your device, answer questions about its condition and Target will quote you a price. If you accept, Target will email you a shipping label and instructions to send in your device. Once it’s inspected, Target will issue you a gift card. ​​Another option is to bring your device to the store. Go to the electronics department and start the trade-in process at the Target Tech center. You will receive your gift card within seven business days once the device is received. The trade-in quote is valid for 30 days. ​​

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​6. Staples 

Staples lets you trade in your “gently used” cellphone, laptop or tablet in store or online. Either way, you’ll receive an electronic cash card in the amount of the trade-in. 

Bring your device to the store and an associate will inspect the device and provide a quote. If you agree, you’ll receive an e-cash card. To do it online, visit the Staples trade-in website, select your device, answer a few questions and receive a quote. Staples provides a free shipping label. ​

7. Sam’s Club 

The warehouse retailer’s electronics trade-in program is limited to smartphones and can only be done in the store. Through its program, you can get the current value of the device up to $250 in a Sam’s Club e-gift card within 30 days of when the offer is accepted. The smartphone has to be in good working condition, must power on, the screen can't be cracked, and passwords including for “Find my iPhone” must be disabled. After the in-store appraisal, you have seven days to accept the offer and mail in your old device.

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