Editor's take: Gazelle is planning to sunset its long-running trade-in program early next year, opting to instead focus on its ecoATM kiosks, which offer immediate cash for used smartphones and tablets. Gazelle didn’t explicitly state why it was doing away with the traditional trade-in program but if I had to venture a guess or two, it likely comes down to competition and cost.
The traditional trade-in option will end on February 1, 2021, we’re told. Any trade-ins that are currently being processed will still move ahead as planned, the company said. Furthermore, Gazelle will continue to offer used handsets and tablets through its online store as usual.
Those with existing rewards will be contacted directly to ensure any remaining points are used before January 31.
The second-hand smartphone industry has exploded in recent years. Many wireless providers and manufacturers now accept used devices in exchange for credit toward new purchases. You can even get certified refurbished gear from companies like Apple for a fraction of the price you’d pay for new hardware.
It’s also likely much cheaper for Gazelle to operate trade-in kiosks versus employing additional staff to run a mail-based service. Furthermore, I suspect Gazelle might be able to get away with offering less cash through kiosks since the payout is immediate.