My husband and I have had our old iPhones, a 3G and a 3GS, sitting around the house for a long time. We knew we needed to do something responsible with them, but we hadn’t gotten around to doing it yet. Then a friend on Twitter said she had just gotten a check from a place called Gazelle for her old iPhone, so I checked it out.


Gazelle is a company that buys old, but still marketable, devices and resells them either on eBay or Amazon or to wholesale partners that resell them. The company only purchases devices that they believe they can resell. They do not purchase items for the sole purpose of recycling.


I received $20 for the 8 GB 3GS and $15 for 8 GB 3G, and I opted to get an extra 5 percent by choosing an Amazon gift card instead of a straight monetary payment. The extra 5 percent isn’t much, but with the holidays I know I’ll be ordering from Amazon, so I’m not going to turn down an extra $1.75.


Could I have gotten more if I had chosen to resell the items myself on eBay or Amazon? Most likely. But, I haven’t sold anything on eBay in years, and I’ve never sold anything on Amazon. The likelihood of me taking the time to list the items, field any email questions about them, and package and ship them was slim. They had both been sitting around the house for over a year going to waste.


Gazelle makes it easy to send in your items. You use the easy-to-navigate website to find the specific Apple product or other maker cellphone you have and what condition it is in. They will give you a quote immediately or tell you they don’t accept what you’re offering. If you choose to accept the Gazelle quote, the company will send you a postage paid box that will fit your item(s). That’s my box with my items pictured above.


My box arrived in the mail a few days after I requested it, sat on my desk for over a week before I actually shipped the items, and went back in the mail a week ago. Last night, I received an email saying my items had been approved (they agreed they were in the condition I stated they were in), and my Amazon gift card was on its way.


I’m glad that our old iPhones will get reused. Because Gazelle was so easy to use, they now are going to be put to good use instead of sitting on a shelf gathering dust only to be sent to recycling long after their usefulness had faded. And, I get a little cash to spend just in time for holiday shopping.


Related recycling story on MNN: U.S. Postal Service expands electronics recycling program


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