Gazelle.com is most known as a website where you can trade-in your used cell phone or any other electronic device for cash. If you’ve read my Gazelle reviews, you already know that the company makes the trade-in process simple by sending you a prepaid shipping box for your mobile phone and will quickly send you back cash via check or PayPal after they approve the device.
What you probably didn’t know about Gazelle is that they also sell used phones. Think about it, they buy back all these mobile phones from consumers. They must be reselling these phones otherwise they would be out of business. So where are all of these phones available for sale? They certainly are not listed for sale on Gazelle’s website.
The secret is that there is a Gazelle store on eBay. Yes, just like you and I can sell our used phones on eBay, Gazelle does the same with their phones that they buy directly form you. In fact, Gazelle sells 90% of what people send them on eBay!! The other 10% are either recycled or are too old of phones to be worth very much.
Gazelle’s business model is simple. They offer trade-ins on their website for less than the fair value of the device. In return, you’ll receive a quick and easy/little stress transaction, and a nice lump sum of cash. Then, Gazelle takes your used cell phone, and handles all the dirty work of selling it on eBay at a higher price. Think about Gazelle as a used car lot. It’s a lot easier for you to sell your car to a dealer at less than fair market value than to try to sell it to another driver on your own. For a full rundown of Gazelle’s business model, check out this Wall Street Journal article from a few years ago.
The Gazelle Store
Now that you understand how Gazelle works, let’s take a look at their phones and tablets that they are selling. You might be in need of a used phone. Perhaps your cell phone broke, you lost your phone, your phone was stolen, or you simply want to buy a newer used phone. If you are looking on eBay, you may be hesitant to buy a used phone from an unknown seller, even if they have great feedback. So as an alternative, you can buy a used phone from someone you have heard of before. The Gazelle Store on eBay showcases all of their used cell phones for sale. Isn’t it a relief that you can buy a used mobile device from a company you have heard of and seen commercials for?
Let’s say I want to buy a newer Verizon iPhone. I have an iPhone 4s but I want some of the new features that the iPhone 5 has. I can buy it from Verizon for full price, or I can buy a used iPhone 5 on eBay for a lot cheaper. Let’s checkout the Gazelle eBay store.
When you first visit the Gazelle store, you’ll notice they are selling all electronics including cell phones, iPods, laptops, tablets, monitors, and desktops. Gazelle is selling all the newest and most popular phones from Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry.
Since I want an iPhone 5, I searched within Gazelle’s store for “Verizon iPhone 5”. They have a total of 37 phones for sale. To narrow the results, I want a black 32 GB model. I change my search to “Verizon iPhone 5 black 32”. I sorted these results to show the least expensive at the top. The first result is an iPhone 5 that is for sale at a price of $422.19. Gazelle included the following notes about the phone:
“This device is used but in good cosmetic condition; it has signs of normal wear and tear with some minor flaws such as scuffs, scratches, or nicks. It has been tested and is in normal working condition. It will be boxed in Gazelle packaging containing only the phone. It has an internal, nonremovable battery. No other accessories (e.g., USB cable, AC adapter, SIM Card, SD Card) will be included.”
So this is a phone in good condition, except it doesn’t come with a charger. Since the charger for the iPhone 5 is different than my iPhone 4s, I will need to also buy one. I can get a charger on ebay for an additional $10. So altogether, the phone will cost me $432.19 with free shipping. This is a lot cheaper than what it would have cost me at the Verizon store, $650. A total savings of $217.81.
Gazelle Customer Service
If I were to buy a phone from the Gazelle store, there are still a lot of things I want to check out before making the purchase.
First, all of Gazelle’s phones are fixed priced. This means they are not for sale via auction. This is a lot less stressful and creates a quicker transactions, meaning the phone will be shipped to me quicker. There is no guarantee you will be the highest bidder in an auction on eBay, so with fixed priced listings, the phone is listed at a specific price and if you like that price, you simply buy it on the spot. If you lose an auction, you have to start all over again with another phone for sale. You might be able to get a slightly better deal from an auction but Buy It Now is quicker and easier.
All of Gazelle’s phones for sale include free shipping as long as your address is within the United States. Shipments are processed within 1 day, Monday-Friday. Your shipment may arrive by FedEx or USPS. If you are interested for expedited shipping, you can pay to upgrade to this feature.
Gazelle has a great return policy. If you aren’t happy with your purchase, Gazelle has a 30 day return policy.
Let’s take a look at Gazelle’s history on feedback. Gazelle has received feedback for 174,555 items sold on eBay. That is a ton of devices they have sold. In the last 12 months, they have received 98.6% positive feedback. In the last 12 months, they have received 5 stars for all of the following: Item as described, communication, shipping time, and shipping and handling charges. On their most recent page of feedback, I only saw one negative review with the following description:
“Phone arrived with water damage but money was refunded after a week or so.”
In my opinion, I don’t think this should be a negative review since the buyer was refunded. Gazelle is responsible for the water damage but who knows what happened during shipping. I like that they honored their refund policy.
Just like any eBay seller, make sure you perform your due diligence on Gazelle and the phone you are buying. What is nice about Gazelle is that you can call them with any questions you have about the phone. You can rarely do that with most phone sellers on eBay. Now you know, not only can you sell your used electronics to Gazelle, but you can buy them from Gazelle as well!
UPDATE: A reader informed me that Gazelle now offers a store directly on their website to buy certified phones. Check it out here.