Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our
review process here.
We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
While the best bang for your buck is selling your device yourself, 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 store credit) hitting your account when the device arrives. Here are some of the best trade-in programs currently available (plus one you should avoid).
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.
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.
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're 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.
Free shipping with a printable label.
Accepts Kindle e-readers, tablets, cellphones, and other electronics.
Immediate trade-in offers.
No trade-ins for laptops or desktops.
10 business days to process payments.
Amazon doesn't offer cash for your devices, but considering the wide range of products sold by the largest online retailer, Amazon credit is the next best thing. It generally offers as much or more than other trade-in programs and does a fairly good job on the customer service side.
KENA BETANCUR / Getty Images
Accepts Apple and other brands.
Recycles other brands if a trade-in isn't offered.
Pre-paid trade-in kits and shipping labels.
Accepts limited manufacturers and models for trade-ins.
Payment by Apple Store Gift card or as store credit toward an Apple device.
Trade-in process takes 2-3 weeks.
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 toward a purchase or Apple Store gift cards only. This makes it an excellent choice if you're planning to upgrade to the latest and greatest Apple gadget, but not if you're looking to buy a non-Apple product with the money.
Buy or sell price guaranteed through TessaB blockchain technology.
Payments in cash or cryptocurrencies.
Quick quiz tells you how much your device is worth.
Glyde accepts Apple and Samsung devices for trade-in only.
International shipping is not available.
Trade-in credit applicable to certain Glyde devices only.
Glyde isn't actually a trade-in program, but it tries to make the process of selling your iPad similar enough that it deserves a mention on this list. If you like the prospect of getting more cash for your iPad, but you find eBay a little imposing, Glyde could be your solution.
It simplifies the buy-sell process by using a blockchain-powered ecosystem called TessaB. You can use TessaB to directly sell your device or you can trade it into Glyde for credit towards a higher-quality pre-owned device.
Smith Collection/Gado / Getty Images
Trade in games, electronics, consoles, and more.
Get cash or store credit.
Many locations throughout the U.S.
Must bring items to store for trade-in.
Cash offers not available in all stores.
Some trade-in offers available to PowerUp Rewards members only.
If you're a gamer, GameStop is a good option. Its baseline store credit isn't as good as you might find with Amazon, and you won't get the cash Gazelle gives you, but if you join the PowerUp Rewards program you'll get some decent deals like $30 guaranteed credit for certain video game titles. GameStop has lots of locations throughout the U.S., and some of them offer cash instead of store credit (you won't get nearly as much value for your trade this way, though).
Accepts a large variety of devices.
Trade in devices at a local store or by mail.
Pre-paid shipping labels.
Will recycle devices with no trade-in value.
Trade-ins are limited to three of the same item in a 6-month period.
Part of your offer includes the cost of shipping.
Offers less value than other sites on this list.
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 if you have a Best Buy around the corner, this may be the fastest of the bunch if you plan on trading in a device and upgrading to a new one.
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.
Does not take trade-ins.
Not a reseller; brokers for other vendors.
It doesn't list all trade-in services.
If you want to get the absolute best price for your trade-in, you 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 Flipsy comes into the picture. It's not a trade-in program, but it searches trade-in programs for the best price. Unfortunately, it can't search every service, though, so you won't see price comparisons from Amazon or Apple.
Free shipping for items that have a value.
Businesses can trade in bulk.
Companies can sell electronics in bulk.
Monetary offers are low.
Claims to be the only environmentally conscious company.
Only sends payment by check via USPS.
YouRenew's focus on the environment sounds nice, but it makes this list as a warning rather than a recommendation. The program stinks of a way to take advantage of those who want a "green" alternative. But, here's the thing: All trade-in programs are "green" ways to cash in on your device, because someone else buys your electronics and uses them. YouRenew's offers are lower than other websites on this list as well.