Electronic Recycling: Nextworth vs Gazelle vs Usell

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Buy Used Electronics
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Sell Used Electronics
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Sell Damaged Electronics
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We all want the latest smartphone when it hits the market but what do we do with our used cell phones? Why not make some money off your used cell phone or electronics? Electronic recycling not only makes you money but it keeps our landfills “cleaner” by putting the parts to good use or reselling them.

Article Overview

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 our old, unused phones, tablets and computers for cash, provides great justification for doing the right thing.

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!

Get Quotes From All Companies To Compare Price

Before we share the best companies, we wanted to point out that you should be sure to get a quote from all of them because one may give you a better offer than the other!

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 (Note the pricing changes frequently so this info may be outdated. However, we wanted to show for comparison sake).

We should also point out 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!

Where’s The Best Place To Recycle My Electronics?

Here are our top picks (in no particular order).

Best To Buy Used Electronics: 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.



  • 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

Best To Sell Used Electronics: 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.



  • 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

Best To Sell Damaged Electronics: 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!



  • 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.

Video: How Are Electronics Recycled?

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

Our Personal Experience Selling 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.

Other Ways To Recycle

In addition to everyday products you probably already reuse or recycle (see our handy list of recycle codes), you might try tossing your food scraps into a compost bin or donating your car to a charity.

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

About The Author:

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.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Sonya J
March 6, 2019 5:26 pm

What about Cash For Your Mac? The best offer I got from the services you review was $330 for my old 2012 Retina Macbook Pro. Cash For My Mac is offering me $490 (flawless condition), worst case I get $440 for “good.” Any chance you’ll consider them for your review?

Sadie Cornelius
March 6, 2019 6:05 pm
Reply to  Sonya J

Sonya, that’s great news about getting so much for your used laptop computer! We’ll look into them and add to our list for our next audit. Thanks for letting us know.

Joseph R
January 5, 2019 6:53 pm

On which of these services can I sell laptops on? Specifically I’m looking to sell my Macbook Pro. It looks like Gazelle is the only one that has a laptop sell option? I also ran into iGoTOffer, which gave me a better price, but I’ve never heard of them. Have you?

Chris Klow
September 19, 2018 7:10 am

A Good Read. For Electronic Recycling You can also consider Telecom Recycle, helping you extract maximum value from your redundant equipment!

August 9, 2018 5:02 pm

Interesting read, KIMBERLY
Much appreciation on bringing valuable insights!

Mildred 2001
June 21, 2017 2:13 pm

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
June 15, 2017 1:06 pm

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
June 14, 2017 5:56 pm

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).

November 10, 2016 5:32 pm

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
November 10, 2016 5:47 pm
Reply to  Debbie19

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