Yes, I know, I sound like a hypocrite because I sell most of my phones on Ebay and Craigslist. However, I do believe that Gazelle is the best option for some people. First, lets look at what Gazelle is. As an electronics buyback company, you can go on Gazelle’s website, select the type of phone you want to sell and they will make you an instant offer. If you agree to the offer, they will send you a paid postage box to ship your phone to them in. Then they send you the cash via PayPal or check. You can do this for both cell phones, tablets, and many other electronic devices. What they don’t tell you is that they will then resell your mobile device for a profit. Mostly they resell devices through sites like eBay or Overstock.com, or through wholesalers.
The way I see it, Gazelle is like a used car dealership for electronics. When you want to upgrade to a new car, most people sell their old one. You can spend the time finding another driver to sell your car to, or you can take your car to the used car lot and sell it for less money. The salesman will tell you that he is giving you the Kelly Blue Book price, you hand over the keys, and he writes you a check. Then the car dealership washes, buffs, and shines up the car and puts a sticker price on it for more money than they paid you for it. It’s a simple arbitrage situation where the dealer makes your life easier and does all the work finding a buyer at a higher price.
Now with cellphones and tablets, you can sell directly to another wireless user on eBay or Craigslist, but there are risks. Not only risks, but there is more work and time required than to simply trade it in to Gazelle.
A used car dealership saves you time. You don’t have to find a buyer, allow the buyer to test drive your car, handle much paperwork at the DMV, or manage all of the inquiries about your car. The dealership does this for you. You simply walk into a car dealership, they check out your car, make you an offer, and then write you a check. Similarly, you can sell your phone to Gazelle quickly. The Gazelle website instantly gives you a quote for your phone and you can have it shipped and you’ll be paid not to long after. From my experience, it took 8 days to get paid from the day I accepted their website’s offer. My time is worth money. Avoiding hassle is worth money too.
2. Avoid scam and fraud
The dealership is a middle man and has licenses and insurance coverage to prevent risk in a used car transaction. Gazelle takes precautions too. And they also deal with all of the risks and scams that you may encounter if you sell your phone on Ebay or Craigslist yourself. Here is an example… When I first started selling used cell phones, I sold a device on Ebay. The seller immediately paid me with PayPal. I sent the buyer the cell phone and guess what. They lied and said that it arrived water damaged. Long story short, PayPal reimbursed the buyer and I had to repay PayPal the sale amount. This sucked. Luckily Gazelle is a reputable business and won’t try to screw you over.
3. Customer Service
Have you ever sold your car to a friend? If you have, I’m sure that friend called you a million times after the sale asking all sorts of questions or complaining when something wasn’t working right. Dealing with buyers can be a pain in the butt. But once you sell to Gazelle, you don’t have to deal with them again. (assuming you sent them the actual device you said you were going to send them). Gazelle won’t call you asking about the phone’s features or complaining that it’s operating system is slow.
I am not a lazy person but I certainly have a lot of lazy friends. People don’t want to deal with all the work of auctions. That is why you see so many Gazelle commercials on TV. Most people are lazy. And most people are so lazy that they would rather get $100 less for their used phone than to put a little extra work into selling it. This is OK and is what keeps Gazelle in business. If you are lazy, Gazelle is perfect for you. Don’t be ashamed, it’s better to sell your phone on Gazelle than not to sell it at all and let it sit in your closet collecting dust and depreciating. And if you’re really lazy, don’t throw your phone in the garbage either, they aren’t so great for the environment sitting in a landfill.
I prefer to sell on Craiglist over Ebay mainly because of the Ebay and PayPal fees. However, sometimes I can’t find a buyer on Craigslist and I’m forced to try selling on Ebay. Well Ebay is a global market which mean more buyers and quicker sales. But it also means that Ebay has to make money also. And they do this my charging seller fees on the listing. Then you also have to pay PayPal fees, and last you have to pay for shipping unless you charged the shipping to the buyer. The great thing about Gazelle is that they pay for your shipping. Additionally, the quote they offer you is what they are going to pay you. No Fees! (This only applies if your cell phone or tablet is in the condition you stated it was in on their website. Just be honest with yourself about the condition, they’re going to be picky with any defects and scratches.)
At the end of the day, Gazelle is a middleman that will help you recycle your phone. If you do decide to sell your phone, don’t forget to look for coupons to get bonus money for selling your device. Retailmenot is a good source for this. Don’t forget, Gazelle isn’t the only buyback website. Even Amazon buys back electronics, and they usually offer more money (only Amazon gift cards, no cash).