TULSA – With a Bluetooth attached to his ear, Doug Taylor’s always ready for the next phone call.
When it comes to his electronic gadgets, he’s always ready to save some money.
“It paid off really well for me, it’s gravy, it’s easy to do,” said Taylor.
He first tried this out when a friend sent a text message saying a local store was giving store credit for cell phones.
“I ran straight down there and found out what the deal was,” said Taylor. “They were offering a little under $200 for a 3GS.”
So Taylor traded his in for a new iPhone 4. He only needed to pay an extra $16.
“I was concerned about the data, but they wiped out the data on the phone when I turned it in,” said Taylor.
RadioShack is just one of several retailers and websites that give money or store credit for gently used gadgets.
“I think it’s a great idea because it helps people know they have money in their products,” said Megan Canady, RadioShack manager.
She says the top five gadgets RadioShack gives credit for are phones, MP3 players, GPS units, cameras and laptops.
Elsewhere, gaming systems are big at some retailers.
Canady says you can bring your gadgets into the store to be checked out and appraised.
Most appraisals range from zero to a couple hundred bucks, with newer phones being the highest and other gadgets in the $5 to $30 range.
Canady tells us how they arrive at the value of a GPS unit.
“We would make sure the screen isn’t damaged, make sure it powers on, make sure it has all the megapixels on it and make sure there are no heavy scratches or dings on it,” said Canady.
You don’t even have to come into the store to find a gadget’s value.
“They can do it online at home, get a rough estimate on what they can get for it,” said Canady.
Some retailers’ online trade-in programs allow customers to get a prepaid label to send their gadgets in with free shipping, then get a gift card.
It’s similar to Web-based trade-in programs like Gazelle.com .
In this case, you sell your gadget outright and get a check, gift card or PayPal payment.
“It was a real simple, easy process,” said Taylor.
And while he was amazed at how much he got for his phone, Taylor was a little disappointed in the value of his other electronics.
“I took in a small IPod Nano to see what it was worth and I felt I could sell that myself on EBay and get more than they were offering,” said Taylor.
What happens to those old gadgets you trade in? Some are refurbished or used for parts.
We’re told those that can’t be used are disposed of properly.
So when it comes to those gadgets, your wallet and the environment, you get can a little green while being green.
Here are some retailers and websites that offer credit or cash for gently used electronics:
RadioShack stores and RadioShack.com
Best Buy and BestBuy.com
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