The Best Trade-In Programs for Your iPhone, iPad or Laptop

Get the Most Money for Your Devices

iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6
Comparing the iPad Air 2 and the iPhone 6 side by side may convince you to get both. Pexels

While the best bang for your buck is selling your device yourself, the various electronics trade-in programs can be convenient for those who don't have the time to sell, don't want to deal with the hassle of selling, or want the safest overall option for getting cash for their iPhone, iPad or laptop. And trade-in programs tend to make the process pretty simple, either mailing you packaging to send your device in or letting you print out a mailing label to ship it free of charge, with cash (or credit) hitting your account when the device arrives.

In preparing this list, we used an iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi only with 16 GB of storage to compare prices across the most popular programs. Prices of other electronics will vary, so you may want to check several trade-in programs for the best price.

Best Overall Trade-In: Gazelle

What We Like

  • Accepts cellphones, tablets, and broken iPhones.

  • Get paid immediately at drop-off kiosks.

  • Payment by Amazon gift card, Paypal, or check.

  • Free shipping for items worth $1 or more.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't buy e-readers like Kindle or Nook.

  • Doesn't buy non-Apple laptops or desktops.

Gazelle has stepped up its game in recent years, going from a middle-of-the-pack to one of the best overall places for trading in your electronics. You can get a better deal with other sites if you are willing to take in-store credit rather than cold, hard cash, but if you want money in your hand, Gazelle has risen to the top. 

  • Gazelle offered $135 for the iPad Air 2

Best Trade-In for Store Credit: Amazon

What We Like

  • Free shipping; printable label.

  • Accepts Kindle E-readers, tablets, cellphones, and other electronics.

  • Immediate trade-in offers.

What We Don't Like

  • No trade-ins for laptops or desktops.

  • 10 business days to process payments.

Amazon doesn't offer cash for your device, but considering the wide range of products sold by the largest online retailer, Amazon credit is the next best thing. They'll generally offer as much or more than other trade-in programs and do a fairly good job on the customer service side.  

  • Amazon offered $125 in credit for the iPad Air 2

Best Trade-In for Apple Products: Apple

What We Like

  • Accepts Apple and other brands.

  • Recycles other brands if a trade-in isn't offered.

  • Pre-paid trade-in kits and shipping labels.

What We Don't Like

  • Accepts limited manufacturers and models for trade-in.

  • Payment by Apple Store Gift card or as store credit toward an Apple device.

Believe it or not, Apple has one of the best iPad trade-in programs with their Computer Reuse and Recycling program. The trade-in actually offers more value than Gazelle or Amazon, but Apple pays out in store credit. This makes it an excellent choice if you are planning to upgrade to the latest and greatest Apple gadget, but not quite the right choice if you are looking to buy a non-Apple product with the money.

  • Apple offered $190 for the iPad Air 2

Best Alternative: Glyde

What We Like

  • Buy or sell guaranteed technology through their TessaB Database.

  • Payments in cash or cryptocurrencies.

What We Don't Like

  • Selling to Glyde is not yet implemented.

  • Sell mobile devices from Apple and Samsung only.

  • International shipping is not avaible.

Glyde isn't actually a trade-in program, but they've tried to make the process of selling your iPad similar enough that they deserve a mention on this list. If you like the prospect of getting higher cash for your iPad, but you find eBay a little imposing, Glyde could be your solution.

They've simplified the buy-sell process, even suggesting a good price for your iPad. You can choose to sell it for slightly higher than suggested, which may take longer to sell, or slightly cheaper to get your money faster. 

  • Glyde suggested we sell our iPad Air 2 for $166 of which we would keep $137.

Great for Gamers: GameStop

What We Like

  • Trade in games, electronics, consoles, and more.

  • Get cash or store credit.

What We Don't Like

  • Must bring items to store for trade-in.

  • Cash offers not available in all stores.

If you are a gamer, GameStop may be your best option. The baseline store credit isn't as good as you might find with Amazon and you won't get the cash Gazelle will give you, but if you belong to one of their paid memberships, they'll actually give you more store credit than customers without a membership.

  • Gamestop offered $120-144 for the iPad Air 2 depending on membership level.

Best In-Store Trade-In: Best Buy

What We Like

  • Accepts a large variety of devices and games.

  • Trade in devices and games at a local store or by mail.

  • Pre-paid shipping labels.

  • Accepts unplayable software and devices at a reduced offer.

What We Don't Like

  • Trade-ins are limited to 3 of the same item in a 6-month period.

  • Part of your offer includes the cost of shipping.

Best Buy's trade-in program is middle-of-the-pack, with prices slightly lower than what you can get from other trade-in companies on this list. They also deal in store credit rather than cash. But since you probably have a Best Buy around the corner, this may be the fastest of the bunch if you plan on buying a gadget from the electronics giant.

  • Best Buy offered $120 for the iPad Air 2

Best Trade-In Shopper: Flypsy

What We Like

  • Finds the best prices for your trade-ins from over 20 sites.

  • Lists the best places to donate used cell phones.

  • Displays device condition, payment type, and processing time.

What We Don't Like

  • Does not take trade-ins.

  • Not a reseller; brokers for other vendors.

If you want to get the absolute best price for your trade-in, you will need to shop all of the trade-in programs. Just because one may offer more for an iPad Air 2 doesn't mean they offer the best for an iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone.  

That's where Flypsy comes into the picture. Flypsy isn't a trade-in program. They search trade-in programs for the best price to help you get more for your money. Unfortunately, they can't search every service, so you won't see price comparisons from Gazelle, Amazon or Apple. 

The Trade-In Program to Avoid: YouRenew

What We Like

  • Free shipping for items that have a value.

  • Businesses can trade in bulk.

What We Don't Like

  • Monetary offers are low.

  • Claims to be the only environmentally conscious company.

YouRenew's focus on the environment sounds nice, but they make this list as a warning rather than a recommendation. YouRenew's program stinks of a way to take advantage of those who want a 'green' alternative.

Here's the thing: All trade-in programs are 'green' ways to cash in on your device. Trade-in programs are recycling at its finest: someone else buys your electronics and uses it. Pushing the 'green' angle is irrelevant.