Are Cellphone and Gadget Buy Back Sites Worth It?


So are those cellphone and gadget buy back sites worth it? Short answer is no. Long answer is no. It’s just no overall.

The idea for this little article popped into my head because of a persistent marketer. I got an email from a guy representing a company I won’t name, but it’s one of those cellphone and gadget buy back site where you can sell your old cellphone and other electronics for cash.

I didn’t respond to the guys first email message but it was basically an article ‘pitch’, at least that’s the way he made it sound, but in reality he wanted free advertising for his site or the site he was representing. He even went so far as to say they’d write the article for me to post, how nice of them. Yeah it was just advertising in the form of pretending to be helpful. So his first email went unanswered then two days later I get another one from him saying that since he didn’t hear back he thought he’d follow up, again, how nice right? Wrong.

I responded to the second message basically saying that I didn’t respond to your first message because I don’t do free advertising and I don’t think his sites and sites like his are worth it for the consumer so it’s not something I’d promote. I like a good deal, I think we all like a good deal and from what I’ve seen these cellphone buy back sites are not in the best interest of the consumer. I then even included examples of what phones are going for used most places and what his site was asking for them, which was less than 1/4 the price for those used ones. It’s a rip-off plain and simple, at least in my opinion it is. So anyway, of course the guy never responded back to me..

For example I’m selling my HTC Titan cellphone, it’s in mint condition, has had screen protector and case since the day I got it.

The used price on Ebay averages out to about $135 plus shipping. Some sold for lower, and some sold for higher, but the average comes out to about $135.

If you go over to Amazon, lowest used is $140 plus shipping, so about $135 is right.

Now I went to this cellphone buyback site and they offered me $35 for a mint or flawless (as they categorize it) condition phone. 

Seriously, they expect someone to sell their phone to them for $35 when it’s selling on average for about 5 times more everywhere else? That’s just ridiculous.

I’m selling my Titan because I have an HTC One now. The HTC One is a new phone, it just came out as you might know.

Amazon is selling the One for $600-$700 new and $400-$500 used.

On Ebay there’s hundreds of them and they’ve consistently been selling for over $400 used. Some have sold for under $400 but I noticed they said bad ESN or bad IMEI or other problems. So we can say the used price averages about $400 or so for a working, good condition phone.

I went back to that cellphone buyback site and looked for the HTC One and they offered me $170 for my mint condition HTC One. It’s a joke, it’s funny, all you can do is laugh at that price.

So are they worth it? No, not at all.

They’re going to buy this phones at such a low price and then turn around and double, triple, quadruple or even quintuple their money..

I was curious about some other things I own and don’t own.

They offered me $40 for a mint condition Nintendo 3DSXL.

They offered $15 for a mint condition regular 3DS. Cheapest I found used was about $150.

They offered $42 for a mint condition Sony PS Vita. Cheapest I found used was about $140.

They offered $2 for a mint condition Xbox 360 Arcade. Yes that offer is not a typo it is TWO DOLLARS that they offered! That’s not even worth the time and gas it would take to go to the post office. 

Or $16 for a mint condition Xbox 360 Elite with 120gb HDD.

I have an original perfect condition 80gb PS3 (I upgraded it to 750gb) and they offered me $12 for it.

Those prices are a joke

You also have to take into account those offers are for what you consider the condition to be. They might get the product and say no according to them it’s not mint condition, then you’ll get even less. Those what I listed are what I would call best case scenarios, chances are that’s not what you’ll get as their definition of mint or flawless and your might differ greatly. Now me, I know my stuff is mint condition, I do everything I can to take care of my electronics, screen protectors, skins and cases for everything I own. I want to protect my products that I paid good money for so I always have a case and screen protector on then and I usually order the cases and screen protectors before I even get the gadget so I have them ready to go.

All I can say is you need to be an informed consumer.

Don’t just jump on an offer from one of these sites, you have many other options.

Ebay and Amazon are the two best sites of course but you could sell on forums you belong to if they have a for sale/trade section. Ebay and Amazon take a but of the final price so you have to take that into account. Selling locally or person to person is your best bet I think.

You could even sell it locally on Craigslist and not have to worry about shipping or anything and you’ll make a lot more money than one of those buyback sites will ever give you.

I think it’s sad that sites like this exist as all they do is take advantage of the uninformed consumer. Sure it might seem convenient, but in the long run it isn’t at all as you’re not getting anywhere near the actual value of your device. The only thing you’re really doing is putting a lot of money in their pockets that could be in yours.

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