Amazon Trade In: Best Tips & Hacks

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Everybody knows that you can buy from Amazon and, most people know that you can sell there too but, not many know about the Amazon Trade-In.

Part 1: What is the Amazon Trade In Program?
Part 2: How does it work?
Part 3: What Categories does Amazon Trade In support?
Part 4: What you should know about Amazon Trade In program?
Part 5: Summary: Is Amazon Trade In program worth trying?
Part 6: Are there alternatives to Amazon’s Trade In Program?

What is the Amazon Trade In Program?

Launched in 2010, The Amazon Trade In Program allows Amazon customers to exchange their used and unwanted tech and other items for Amazon Gift Cards.

Customers can send devices such as e-readers, laptops and game systems to Amazon free of charge and can, in some instances, be paid instantly by gift card.

The trade in program means that customers can get rid of their unwanted items and receive Amazon credit toward a shiny new one.

How does Amazon Trade In Program work?

Step 1: submit an online application

First, you need to submit an online application to Amazon for your device. You can do this through the app as follows:

  • To submit a trade-in:
    Go to the Trade-In Store or access the app and search for eligible items.
  • From the drop down menus, choose the items you wish to add to your submission.
  • Choose the condition of your item from the listed options (it’s always best to be honest about the condition as the item will be appraised).
  • Select an option for action in the event that the device is judged to be of an inferior condition than the one you selected, then click on ‘continue’.
  • Enter your address which will be used if your item needs to be returned to you.
  • Once you’ve entered all of the items you wish to trade in and, have checked that the details are correct, click onto ‘Confirm Trade-In.

If your item is eligible for the Amazon Trade-In Program, you’ll be sent a pre-paid shipping label so that you can send the item to Amazon free of charge.

Step 2: ship your item

You need to post your device to Amazon within seven days of receiving the label or your submission may be cancelled.

Your item should reach Amazon’s warehouse within 10 business days (you can track the progress online), at which point you’ll receive confirmation of receipt by email.

Step3: judge your item

Then, your item will then be processed and checked by Amazon’s staff. Once appraisal is complete, you’ll receive a second email to let you know if your item has been accepted.

You’ll also be told the results of the appraisal which will include whether or not your item has been judged to be in the condition that you stated it was.

It may be that your item has been judged to be of an inferior quality or condition, in which case you’ll be given the option to either have the item returned to you or, to accept a lower price.

If your item has been rejected, you’ll receive notification of the reasons and the item will be returned to you free of charge. If, for any reason, you don’t receive the email notifications, you can log into your account to access the status.

If your device or item has been accepted, payment will now be processed and you should receive your Amazon gift card within a few days. In some cases, you may be eligible for Instant Payment in which case you’ll receive your card straight away.

What categories does Amazon Trade In program support?

You can trade in a large variety of items with Amazon’s Trade-In Program and, although the criteria is regularly expanded, the main categories are as follows:

  • Laptops and tablets
  • Video games and consoles
  • Cameras
  • Music players including MP3 and iPod
  • E-readers
  • Cell phones
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Books
  • Some clothing items
  • Some sporting equipment

The Amazon Trade In Program is constantly adding to the categories so, if your item is not eligible at the moment, it may become so in the future so it’s worth checking back now and again.

What you should know about Amazon Trade In program?

Before whizzing your item off to Amazon and committing to a trade in, there are a few things to bear in mind:

Payment – Amazon will pay for your device with a gift card which is added to your account and is non-transferable. There is no cash alternative and, the non-transferable status means that you will be unable to sell the card on to somebody else.

Packing – Although Amazon provides a shipping label, you are responsible for the packaging of your product and may be penalized if the item is damaged in transit.

Downgrades – Perlow, the company which runs Amazon’s trade in program, is known to regularly downgrade items from the condition stated on the submission and, Amazon holds no responsibility for this.

Final price – Once you’ve submitted your trade-in, you’ll be asked what you would like  to do if your item’s condition is downgraded. The options are: Free return to your address, or accept a lower price (a range will be given). You need to be aware that, if you choose  ‘accept the price’ you are committing to possibly receiving the very lowest price on offer.

Shop around – Although Amazon’s Trade-In Program is quick and easy, it may not give you the best price for your device or item – remember, Amazon is in business to make as much money as possible. Before committing to a trade in, take a quick look at other sites such as eBay to make sure that you’re getting a fair price for your belongings.

Return – Although the program stresses the importance of careful packaging when you’re sending your device to them, the opposite is often the case should Amazon need to return your device to you. To keep costs down, the program will often use flimsy inadequate packaging and, your device may be damaged in transit, leaving you with a worthless item.

Summary: Is Amazon Trade In program worth trying?

If you’re simply looking to offload an unwanted item as quickly as possible and, without expense, then the Amazon Trade-In Program may be for you. Free shipping means that you can clear out the clutter and receive a gift card toward an item that you really do want.

However, proceed with caution if you’re hoping to get a good deal from your trade-in. The program is in the habit of downgrading the condition of items – including some dishonest practices where damage is stated as the reason for the downgrade.

Although Amazon’s customer services will try to help in such cases, it’s worth repeating that the program is run by a third party and so, technically, is not Amazon’s responsibility.

The main problem with the Amazon trade in program is a general inconsistency when it comes to appraisal of the condition of a device or item. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a solid criteria on which an item is judged which means that the appraisal is down to the individual inspecting the item and so is entirely subjective.

There is also confusion regarding what the program deems to be a ‘complete item’. In some cases, this simply means that the item is in proper working order and, in other cases, an item will be rejected because it does not include the original packaging and user guides.

In conclusion, Amazon’s Trade In Program is an adequate solution for ridding your home of unwanted items but do keep in mind that you are unlikely to anything close to market value for your possessions.

Are there alternatives to Amazon’s Trade In Program?

There are a few sites which allow you to trade in devices although, like Amazon’s program, you’re unlikely to get the best price for your item.  Some other sites include:

Mazuma – This site pays cash for mobile phones, tablets and other tech.

Mazuma amazon trade-in

Music Magpie – For the UK, this site buys phones, tablets and CDs and DVDs.

Music Magpie amazon trade-in

Gazelle – Trade in site for cell phones.

Gazelle amazon trade-in

Before committing to a general trade in site, it’s always worth taking a look at the manufacturer’s website as many, including Apple, offer trade in services for their own products.

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