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Are gadgets you don’t use taking up your closet or junk drawer? You could exchange them for an Amazon gift card. Through Amazon’s Trade-In program, you can get rid of your old game consoles, smartphones, and more. While Amazon Trade-In is far from a moneymaker, it is an easy way to get rid of unwanted devices.

About the Amazon Trade-in Program

Amazon Trade-In is a program that allows you to “sell” your unused devices to Amazon. In exchange for your device, you’ll receive either an Amazon gift card or a discount on another purchase, depending on the device.

It is important to note up front that Amazon does not accept exhibit contraption. These are the device categories currently eligible for trade-in:

  • Kindle e-readers
  • tablets
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Echo, Bluetooth speakers and headphones
  • home security devices
  • wireless routers
  • Phones (Apple, Google, Samsung, LG and Motorola)
  • Games (Consoles, Games and Accessories)

Trading an item is a relatively simple process. Once you select your item from the options on the website and complete a quick questionnaire, Amazon will send a return shipping label to your email address (yes, Amazon pays for your shipping). Then, you ship it packaged to Amazon via UPS.

Amazon then recycles or resells the devices it trades in to “give them a new life.” This is why it is important to prepare your technology for sale, which we will talk about a little later.

Pros and Cons of the Amazon Trade-in Program

The key benefit of the Amazon Trade-In program is its simplicity. You can start your exchange and receive your shipping label in just a few clicks.

Payment is also apparently fast. According to Amazon, once your item is received and evaluated, you will receive an email notification within two days indicating whether your item was accepted or rejected. Some items are also eligible for instant checkout. This means that you will receive your Amazon Gift Card immediately after you submit an exchange.

Warning: If you accept Instant Pay and your item is declined for any reason, Amazon may reverse the payment or charge your account. We recommend waiting until you know your device has been accepted before using your gift card.

Of course, the exchange and payment process can be significantly affected by factors such as shipping times. If time is of the essence to you, it might be best to consider finding a physical swap location to bring your device.

While the trade-in and payment process is relatively straightforward, Amazon doesn’t accept all devices. Also, Amazon Trade-In is not necessarily a moneymaker when it comes to payments.

For example, currently, a Nintendo Switch will set you back around $299.99. However, the trade-in value for a defect-free Nintendo Switch with original accessories is $75. For newer technology, like the Switch, it’s probably best to find another trade-in program or sell the devices yourself.

The bottom line is this: If you’re looking to quickly and easily unload devices that have been collecting dust for some time, Amazon Trade-In could be a solid option for you.

How to exchange a device

As mentioned above, trading in a device through Amazon’s Trade-In program is pretty simple. First, you’ll want to visit the Amazon Trade-In website.

Once there, you will see several categories to choose from. You will need to select the category your device belongs to and start your search.

For this example, let’s trade in a Roku streaming device. Select “Streaming Media Players” from the category options.

In the window that appears, we will search for “Roku streaming stick 4K” and press “Enter”.

Enter Roku Streaming Stick 4K in the Amazon trade-in window

Next, we’ll find the device we want to trade in and place a checkmark in the box to the left of the device. Then we will click “Continue”.

Amazon will then ask some questions about the device. We will answer “Yes” or “No” by clicking on the boxes. Then we will click “Continue”.

Amazon Trade-In Program Device Questionnaire

On the next screen, Amazon gives us the details of our offer. In this case, Amazon is offering us a 20% discount on a new Fire TV device and a gift card bonus.

To accept, we will click “Submit your exchange” to finish the process.

Ship device within Amazon Trade-In

After you submit the transaction, you’ll need to check your email to see if you have the shipping label. Upon receipt, place your item and accessories (if applicable) in a box or envelope and add the shipping label. You can then ship your item by taking it to a UPS facility or drop-off location.

You can now keep track of your trades through your trade account. Be sure to also review Amazon’s Terms and Conditions of Trade before proceeding.

Alternatives to the Amazon Trade-in Program

In some cases, you may be able to get more for your devices by checking out other trade-in programs, such as:

  • Apple Exchange: Apple’s trade-in program is specifically for Apple devices and offers credit toward future purchases as well as Apple gift cards for qualifying devices.
  • Best Buy Exchange: Best Buy’s trade-in program covers a wide range of devices, from iPhones to DSLR cameras.
  • GameStop Exchange: GameStop’s trade-in program isn’t just for games and consoles. Instead, GameStop also accepts various smartphones, tablets, and handheld devices.

Or sell your gadgets yourself

If you’re looking to get the best price for your devices, you can try selling them yourself through eBay or Facebook Marketplace. There are also several apps you can try to sell used stuff, like Decluttr, which is great for tech stuff.

If you decide to sell your items yourself, be on the lookout for scams. And don’t forget to follow the steps below to protect your information.

Do these things before downloading your devices

Before you trade in or sell your devices, there are a few things you need to do first. Otherwise, your critical data could fall into someone else’s hands.

RELATED: How to prepare a computer, tablet or phone before selling it

With any device, be sure to back up your personal data so you don’t lose anything. After the backup, you need to wipe your device and reset it to its factory default state.

This process varies between devices and platforms. Be sure to look up instructions for erasing and resetting the devices you plan to trade in.

RELATED: How to factory reset an iPhone or iPad