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Need money for an old phone? Local stores and kiosks are the safest bet, but not necessarily the most profitable

Kiosks such as these are one of the easiest routes to cash for an old phone. (Source: YouTube)
Kiosks such as these are one of the easiest routes to cash for an old phone. (Source: YouTube)
The online device valuer Flipsy.com has released the results of a new study on the best way to sell a phone in 2019. Marketplaces - both in a user's vicinity and online - emerged as those associated with the greatest payouts, albeit with some caveats. However, other "buyback" options such as online stores were found to be the most convenient, although the seller might sacrifice the best deal this way.

Flipsy.com is a website that offers services such as 'blue-booking' for older phones should the user wish to sell them on. It has published a report on new research in the used-device market in 2019. This data was gathered on second-hand sales of these devices through local or online marketplaces (including Swappa, Craigslist, eBay, OfferUp, LetGo and Facebook Marketplace); online buyback stores (such as Gazelle, Mazuma or Eco-Cell or other companies that send pre-paid envelopes for devices whose value is then quoted back to the seller); in-store kiosks (such as ecoATM); in-store buybacks (for example, Best Buy has such a program) or carrier buyback programs (possibly dependent on carrier or location).

This research indicates that the best way to unload an old phone is (somewhat unsurprisingly) local or online marketplaces - in terms of potential monetary gain, that is. On the other hand, these options are linked to drawbacks, most notably fraud and seller fees that cut into the final pay-out. Flipsy also found that online buyback stores are associated with the most convenience in selling devices. Carriers were comparable in this regard, although they typically offer store credit rather than cash.

However, in terms of certainty in getting at least some money for the device, buyback stores and kiosks were deemed the best option. These avenues may also offer the quickest pay-outs, although this obviously depends on their availability to the seller in question. Therefore, this report concluded that the marketplaces were the most potentially lucrative, yet also the most risky, method of selling a second-hand phone in 2019. On the other hand, online buy-back stores struck the best balance between risk, resale price and convenience.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 09 > Need money for an old phone? Local stores and kiosks are the safest bet, but not necessarily the most profitable
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-09-22 (Update: 2019-09-22)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.