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While a new cheaper iPhone SE and Galaxy A51 have joined top-notch models such as the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, the temptation is still strong to pay big bucks for the latest device. Getting a new phone often means you need to ditch the old one, and with a global pandemic squeezing pocketbooks, there's a rising demand to get your money's worth out of a mobile trade-in. That's where the CNET 2020 directory of gadget trade-in providers comes in. We'll look at a few of the best phone trade in options like ItsWorthMore and others where you can get top dollar for your devices.

Read more: Best places to sell your used electronics in 2020

To evaluate the merchants on our list, we looked at a composite picture of each business. We ranked merchants based on our research into Better Business Bureau ratings, CNET staff reviews, online reputation among resellers and how easy or hard it is to get in touch with someone at each business, among other factors.

Every service is different, though, and trade-in values change by the day. They also assign values based on the condition of the cell phone you're trading in, and take into account things like the device's color. This means that preowned phones in good condition are likely worth more money or store credit.

So you're going to have to shop around. Below our list of merchants is our basic FAQ of carriers, buyers and online marketplaces for your best phone trade in experience.

Read more: This iPhone SE alternative from Samsung has 4 cameras and double storage

  • Smartphones: Yes
  • Tablets: Yes
  • Laptops: Yes
  • iPods: Yes
  • Action cameras: Yes
  • Wearables: Yes
  • Portable audio: Yes

We like that NextWorth takes in a wide variety of trade-in categories, including action cameras and wearables. It will even accept some portable audio devices.

The company does not send a shipping kit, but will let you download a prepaid shipping label you can print out. It also offers a security wipe and phone support.

Payment is available via either check or PayPal. NextWorth honors a generous 30-day offer quote time period. Payment ranges from 5 to 12 days, and the company does offer a limited number of walk-in locations in the US where you can make your sale.


  • Smartphones: Yes
  • Tablets: Yes
  • Laptops: Yes
  • iPods: Yes

YouRenew has a pretty sophisticated search option, which allows you to type in a make and model of something you want to trade in, and see if there's something there. While "play" didn't result in any PlayStation trade-in options, "kindle" brought up Kindle trade-in options, and "mini" brought up Mac Mini trade-in options.

YouRenew will send a prepaid shipping label to US-based sellers only, and pays by check. While the company didn't specify how long its quotes are valid for or how long it will take to get paid, YouRenew does accept bulk trade-in offers for those with many devices to clear out of inventory.

We were also happy to see that the company does offer a security wipe and a support phone number. 

What about Gazelle?

Gazelle has lived on this list for a long time, but after refining our review criteria, we've removed it. The change comes in light of an increased number of poor customer reviews and recent complaints to the BBB. We will continue to update this list over time.

FAQ: Carriers, buyers and online marketplaces

When looking for value from your old phone, there are four types of organizations you can work with: retailers, buyers, marketplaces and carriers. The characteristics of each are quite different:

Retailers: These are the brick-and-mortar stores in your neighborhood, ranging from Walmart and Target all the way to the remaining Radio Shack locations. In many cases, you can walk into the retailer, hand over your old Apple, Google or android phone and walk out with a new one, with a healthy discount applied. Many of these retailers won't just give you money for your old phone. They want the deal for your new business and give you a trade-in offer, so keep that in mind. Some also offer online trade-ins.

Carriers: These are the cellular service providers and almost all of them have some sort of mobile phone trade-in program, to encourage you to trade up to the next model and keep their service. Good news: this doesn't necessarily mean that the phone needs to be in working condition.

Buyers: These folks want your phones and will give you money or credit for them. A buyer generally won't force you to buy a new device from them (although expect some deal sweeteners if you go that way). Some of them will send you packaging to send your device back to them. This is the group we look at in this guide because they generally send you real money in return for your device, which means you're free to buy anything you want once you get your green.

Marketplaces: This option includes the classic resell methods like Craigslist and eBay, along with some specialty referral marketplaces like GlydeSwappa and Flipsy, which are built around the idea of trading in gadgets. Here, you're often dealing directly with individual buyers (or bulk buyers who are scooping up phones for other markets). Straight talk, though: There is substantially more risk when selling to individuals than companies with known reputations.

Keep those concepts in mind as you look for the best deal for your device. 

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