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3 On Your Side: Smartphone Trade-In Programs

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When Apple unveiled its newest iPhones on Tuesday, the 5C and 5S, it meant out with the old and in with the new for many smartphone users.

Other than gathering dust in a closet, what can you do with an old mobile device? 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan looks at the options.

Recent data shows that about 55 percent of consumers expect to trade in a phone the next time they upgrade, and 62 percent say they’ll consider a different retailer if it means getting a better deal.

One big name is getting into the act. Beginning September 21st, Wal-Mart is introducing a new smartphone trade-in program. Wal-Mart customers can receive a $50 to $300 credit when they trade in their working, undamaged phone. The credit will be applied immediately to the purchase of more than 100 smart phones at any Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club location.

This comes on the heels of Apple announcing a trade-in program of its own. Apple will give customers a credit for their old phones to be used toward the purchase of a new model in U.S. retail stores.

In addition to Wal-Mart and Apple, there are multiple outlets to re-sell a smartphone — Gazelle, uSell, and eBay are among them. Just remember to consider the condition of your phone; you’ll get more cash if it has less cosmetic damage. Also, don’t forget to check with your carrier. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all have trade-in and recycling programs, too.

Regardless of the option you choose, be sure to wipe your smartphone clean of personal data before handing it over. Remember to back up contacts, photos, music and documents first, then restore the device to factory settings and remove any memory cards.

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