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Amazon Trade In Guide

We’ve all got junk. Video games and DVDs that are old and out of date, electronic devices made obsolete by new and improved generations— things we’ll never use. What you may not know is that these items all have value to big retailers who see potential in your stuff. You can sell old electronics to Target, Best Buy, and Walmart. And with Amazon’s Trade-In Program, you can cash in your junk with the online retail giant, too. In this article, IO Scout will explain about the Amazon Trade-In Program.

What is the Amazon Trade In Program?

Amazon’s Trade-In Program aims to make it easier for old stuff not to go to waste in your closet or garage. If you’ve got old tech and gadgets you never use, you could be wondering if there’s a way to get rid of them while also getting something in return (besides more counter space). Well, the Amazon Trade-In Program is here to take them off your hands. In return, you can earn credit to your Amazon account.

How Does Amazon Trade In Work?

The program works similarly to other online trade-in processes. If you have eligible items, you can send them to Amazon in return for credit. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Go to the Amazon Trade-In Page


On this page, you can browse or search for any items you want to trade in. From there, you can add them to your trade-in submission. You can submit multiple items at once if you need to.

2. Select the condition of each of your items

Amazon wants to know the condition of the stuff you’re sending in. If an item is too damaged, Amazon won’t have any use for it. The condition guidelines for electronic devices is slightly different than the guidelines for video games and related items.

Your old electronics must be in at least the following condition to be traded in:

  • You fully own the device and are not financing it through a third party, such as your cell phone carrier
  • The device must match the description you selected for it, such as size, color, title, etc.
  • When applicable, the device must be unlocked and cannot be registered with any online accounts, such as Amazon, Apple iCloud, Fitbit, Samsung, etc. Instructions for how to unlock and deregister your electronics can be found on the Amazon Trade-In Help page.

Beyond the above requirements, any electronic device you trade in should be in good condition and completely operational. The battery must be able to hold a charge and the device cannot power off unexpectedly. The device cannot be broken, dented, or damaged beyond normal wear and tear, such as corrosion or water damage.

If Amazon determines your device is not in good enough condition, you may not receive as much credit as you thought, or you could receive no credit if your device is rejected. 


For video games, consoles, and accessories, you’ll have to ensure the product title, platform, and edition match what you’ve selected on the site exactly. Anything you send in has to meet the following criteria:

  • They cannot be cracked or significantly damaged
  • They have to function perfectly
  • All parts of the item (discs, cartridges, controllers, cables, etc.) must be included

3. Receive Amazon’s offer

Once you’ve selected the condition of your trade-ins, Amazon will evaluate their worth and send you an offer for each item. At this point, you can either choose to receive payment instantly in the form of a credit to your account (available to eligible traders only), or you can delay payment until after Amazon has received your shipment.

It may be in your best interest to delay payment if you’re concerned that Amazon may reject or downgrade your trade-in when they receive it, or if you think you might cancel the trade-in. If any of these happen, Amazon will charge you the amount of your instant credit. But if you delay the payment, you won’t be charged for a canceled, downgraded, or rejected trade-in.

4. Accept the offer

After accepting Amazon’s offer, Amazon will send you a free UPS shipping label, which you can then print and use to ship your items. You will need to package and send your items within 7 to 14 days, depending on the items you’re trading in. 

Which items are eligible under the Amazon Trade-In Program?

Amazon Trade-In is primarily for tech and electronic devices. Eligible items for trade-in include:

  • Kindle E-Readers
  • Tablets
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Echo, Bluetooth Speakers, and Headphones
  • Home Security Devices
  • Cell Phones
  • Video Games
  • Gaming Consoles and Accessories

How to Submit a Trade In?

First, go through your stuff and find eligible items you want to trade in. If you’re not sure about an item, you can use the search tool on the Amazon Trade-In page to find out if your item is listed in the Trade-In Store. If the item is not listed, it means Amazon is not currently giving offers for that item. However, their program is always being updated, so you can check back regularly to see if an item has been added.

Once you know which items you want to trade in, add them to your trade-in submission on Amazon and select the condition for each item. Follow the rest of the trade-in process as outlined above and accept Amazon’s offer for your items.

Print the pre-paid shipping label sent to you by Amazon and package your items. Make sure fragile devices are protected so they won’t become damaged while they ship. Seal the package well with packing tape and secure the shipping label to the package. Then, all that’s left to do is ship the package and wait for Amazon to confirm they’ve received it.  

Amazon Trade In Tips

There are some things to keep in mind when using the Amazon Trade-In Program. Here are some tips so you won’t have any surprises.

Package Your Trade-In Well

To keep your items safe during shipping, it’s important to properly package them. Wrap your items in newspaper, bubble wrap, or another filler that will be soft enough to protect the item. 

You can also double up on your packaging and place your items in a box inside a larger box. When doing this, be sure to secure your inner box by filling the space around it with packing peanuts or some other filler to keep it from sliding around inside the bigger box. 

Get a Special Box if You Need One

If you’re trading in a laptop, phone, or tablet, you can get a special box to ship it in from FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Using the right box can help protect your device even more and make sure it arrives at Amazon in the best condition possible.

Back-Up Your Devices

Before you trade anything in, make sure all your data is backed up from a phone, laptop, tablet, etc. Amazon won't send back any SIM cards or other data storage they receive; they destroy them upon acceptance to protect customer privacy. If you accidentally send your electronic device without having a backup, you'll lose all the data on that device.

Amazon Might Not Pay the Amount They Promised

Amazon has admitted that they often automatically downgrade a trade-in before it’s even been inspected. This means you won’t be paid for your item’s full value, even if it’s in great condition. If your device is downgraded, Amazon will offer you a lower price for it. If you accept the lower price, Amazon can pay you as little as they want for your item. 

You will have the option to select whether you want to accept the lower price or have the item returned to you for free before you ship your trade-in. If you have the item returned, you could sell it for its try value to another seller. 

There are lots of companies that buy old electronics, especially cell phones, who will pay more for your devices without unfairly downgrading the condition. If you’re looking to get the most out of your trade-in items, this might be the better option for you.