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Electronic Recycling: Nextworth vs Gazelle vs Usell

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Buy Used Electronics
Gazelle logo
Sell Used Electronics
NextWorth logo
Sell Damaged Electronics
uSell logo

We all want the latest smartphone when it hits the market but what do we do with our used cell phones? Don’t just recycle your iPhone or Galaxy. Sell it! Why not make some money off that old hunk of junk that seemed so crucial to your existence a few days ago? ūüėČ Selling used cell phones not only makes you money but it keeps our landfills “cleaner”. Selling your iPhone to one of the companies listed in this article (or by visiting a local recycling facility) might be a great opportunity for you. You might even be able to recycle that old laptop that’s been sitting around!

Why Should I Recycle My Electronics?

Electronics are filling our landfills, causing our planet immense harm. If you don’t recycle your electronics properly and in a safe way you are causing our environment to become more polluted. Electronics can emit hazardous pollutants, too. All of this, paired with the opportunity to recycle electronics for cash, provides great justification for doing the right thing.

Where’s¬†the Best Place to Recycle My Electronics?

We personally tested out an electronic recycling service with an iPhone that had pretty severe water damage. Within a matter of seconds we got instant quotes from multiple companies and within in a few days and a few easy steps the phone was shipped off (free of charge). It took a little over a week to receive the funds, but well worth it considering the damaged phone was worthless to use. Below we review 3 of the top electronics recyclers.

Pro tip: Be sure to get a quote from all of them because one may give you a better offer than the other!

Follow Along With Our Sample Phone Sale

And just to backup our pro tip, we’ve run a sample phone through each quote system to give you an idea of how they work: a factory unlocked iPhone 6S Plus, 64GB, space gray color. Note that the values are not necessarily indicative of a general trend – marketplace bids vary by device and time – so if you run the same phone you might get completely different quotes. If you’d like, share your findings in the comments, we’d love to hear whom you went with!

Gazelle Review

Gazelle logoVisit Website

In addition to selling your used electronics for cash, you can also buy certified pre-owned phones and tablets for a discount. Worried that the device you purchase may not have all of its features working? Don’t worry! Gazelle has a 30+ Point Inspection that insures that all the features are fully functional, the touchscreen is intact and set to factory default settings. And they’ll even give you more than quoted if they find it’s in better condition than you thought!

You can also sell iPods and Mac computers through Gazelle.

Pros

Cons

  • A+ BBB rating
  • 30+ Point Inspection insures that all devices have components that work
  • Bought and sold more than 2 million phones and tablets
  • FAQs, live chat and phone support
  • Available for all major carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile)
  • No contracts
  • Buy/sell phones, tablets, iPods and Mac computers
  • Get paid via Paypal, check, or Amazon gift card (get a 3% bonus if you choose Amazon)
  • Receive a $20 credit towards a purchase when you sell a device
  • Sturdy box for free return shipping
  • 1 year warranties on all cell phones and iPads
  • No phones for smaller carriers like US Cellular
  • Don’t pay as much for used phones as uSell

Click here to read our in-depth Gazelle Review

How Did Our Sample Phone Do?

Gazelle came out on top with an offer of $260, which was $40 higher than our 2nd best offer (uSell).

Gazelle's offer for our used iPhone

Nextworth Review

Nextworth logoVisit Website

You can sell more than just your phone on NextWorth. Other electronics you can sell for cash include wearables, laptops, tablets, iPods, games, portable audio and action cameras. NextWorth partners with 1,500 stores so you may be able to take your electronic device to the store and get paid on the spot. Visit the website to find a Next Worth partner location near you.

Pros

Cons

  • More than 500,000 customers and 8 years in business
  • Buy/sell wearables, iPods, smartphones, laptops, tablets, games, portable audio and action cameras
  • Get paid with PayPal, check, Next Worth Discover Prepaid Card or Target gift card
  • Phone, FAQs and email support
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Quote guaranteed for 30 days
  • Free shipping and insurance included
  • Can’t buy electronics on NextWorth’s site (you must bid on them through eBay)
  • Does not accept phones from smaller carriers like US Cellular

How Did Our Sample Phone Do?

NextWorth came up way short with our sample phone, clocking in at a poor $160. Notice, however, that Nextworth asks a lot more questions regarding the phone’s condition than the competition does.

What Nextworth offered us for our iPhone

Usell Review

Usell logoVisit Website

uSell is the only company in this article that will purchase a damaged device. So, even if your iPhone’s screen is cracked or it won’t power on, you can still make money on it. This is why we chose them as the best company to buy your damaged device. We found no major cons with uSell but we do wonder what they do with all of the products they purchase since they don’t sell them back to customers. They also buy iPads, textbooks, consoles, gift cards and more!

Pros

Cons

  • Sell working or damaged phones
  • Sell phones from all major brands (Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola, and more!)
  • More than 418,000 customers
  • Get paid by check or PayPal
  • FAQs and email support
  • Accepts smaller carriers like US Cellular
  • Good price offered for broken/damaged photos
  • Not BBB accredited
  • Cannot purchase from u Sell
  • Shipping packaging is envelope which is less sturdy than a box

How Did Our Sample Phone Do?

uSell actually came in a solid second with our sample phone, ringing in at $220.

uSell's offer for our iPhone

How to Prep Your Phone for Shipment

The providers more or less cover this when you checkout, but it can’t hurt to mention it here given how important it is to a) protect your privacy and data and b) make the sales process more efficient and ensure that you actually get paid what you were quoted.

Gazelle: prepping your phone for shipment

This example is from Gazelle, but all the providers mention the two most important things:

  1. Turn off “Find my iPhone” – this is another type of “lock” that can hold up the sale of your phone
  2. Deactivate your service – make sure you’re all paid up and out of contract before you sell. If you’re selling a “factory unlocked” phone, make sure you unlocked it with your carrier (ie. AT&T), as they used to be “carrier locked” when you were in contract, meaning they won’t work with another carrier’s SIM card. If you are selling an iPhone, you’ll also need to unlock with Apple.

We also advocate, for privacy purposes, that you fully delete your phone (on iPhone’s go into Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings). Important: make sure you’ve backed up your data first!¬†And remove your SIM card before mailing (that may contain personal data as well, and besides, it can’t be re-used). Lastly, for¬†Android phones, make sure you¬†delete your Google account (Settings > Accounts > Google > More > Remove Account). Before shipping, it’s probably not a bad idea to take photos of your device for documentation purposes (in case damage occurs during shipment). Got questions? Hit us in the comments below.

How Are Electronics Recycled?

Want to know how electronics are recycled? Check out this short video about the process behind recycling electronics.

How Much Electronic Waste Ends Up In Our Landfills?

In 2009 alone, discarded electronics, including TVs, computers, printers, and cell phones,¬†totaled about 2.37 million tons! That’s more than 2 million tons that could’ve been recycled.¬†Recycle cell phones and other electronics to help keep our planet healthy!

Do you feel you got a good return on the sale of your electronic device?

One of Kimberly’s favorite things to do is cook. She is trying her best to be more conscious about the nutrients she puts into her body and enjoys trying new recipes. Kimberly grew up helping her dad with the family garden and hopes to have her own garden some day. She enjoys brightening up her dishes with the food mother nature can provide and enjoys composting her produce scraps.

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5 Comments on "Electronic Recycling: Nextworth vs Gazelle vs Usell"

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Mildred 2001
Mildred 2001

Great review Kimberly, thank you. For me because Gazelle had the best offer as well, and the best packaging. The uSell return kit came with simply a little bubble wrap pouch while Gazelle came with a box complete with Styrofoam padding and clear instructions on what to include and how to mail back.

Jenny W
Jenny W

Got another one to add to your review: I got a quote from thewhizcells.com that was slightly better than the one I got on uSell. Interestingly, they didn’t provide a “factory unlocked” option (only carrier names), which tends to drive the price even higher, doesn’t it?

George H
George H

Great article thanks! If it wasn’t for this review I would’ve only gotten an offer through uSell, and missed out on Gazelle, which offered me $40 more! Here’s the quote I got for an iPhone 6S Plus, 64 GB, factory unlocked, and in good condition: Gazelle, $260 (who I’m going with); uSell $220, and Nextworth, a measly $160. Gazelle is also paying me $8 more since I chose Amazon gift card as payment, and I have a $20 credit with their store should I ever buy a device there (probably not, but you never know).

Debbie19
Debbie19

I got quotes and packaging from but Gazelle and usell but usell ended up giving me way more for my old iPhone 5 which had water damage. And my husband sold his iPhone 4 (which is several years old) too and Gazelle was not buying that model of phone anymore.

Sadie Cornelius
Admin
Sadie Cornelius

Debbie, glad to hear you were able to get money back for both you and your husband (and help save the planet too!)

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