SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) -- Get Gephardt went undercover to learn whether or not where you trade in your old smartphone makes a difference to your wallet.
With a used 64 gigabyte iPhone 6S in good condition, Get Gephardt went into six different stores to ask for an offer. What we found is that the value, indeed, varied wildly.
Inside some grocery stores is a machine called an ecoATM. If offers cash on the spot for old smartphones and tablets. After answering a few basic questions, a user is instructed to plug the phone in and, after about a 45-second analysis, the ecoATM offered $30.
ATT&T, offered nearly triple that — $85 —but it's not cash.
“You have to apply at least 50 percent of it to an in-store purchase, whether it's sales tax on a new phone, accessories, charge cables, things like that,” the ATT&T worker stated. “Then I could put the remaining balance on the account as an account credit.”
T-Mobile offered $59, but the money came with a similar catch: it's account credit.
Verizon offered $100 — the best value — but, again, it was not cash. It was Verizon credit.
Sprint offered $30 in Sprint credit.
As a final test, we decided to go to a local phone store, Bad Apple. That store offered $90 cash.
Get Gephardt reached out to each of the companies, asking for a comment on our findings.
ecoATM wrote, “ecoATM Gazelle offers consumers two trade-in options. For consumers looking for instant trade-in, ecoATM kiosks provide consumers with a quick, secure and easy way to earn cash on the spot for their unused devices. Additionally, ecoATM kiosks are the only of its kind across the country to offer consumers cash on the spot for their devices. For consumers who are willing to wait a few days, they can use the Gazelle marketplace, which also offers a cash back option among three payment options on all trade-ins. With Gazelle, we have more time to process the device and we are able to offer a higher trade-in value. For an unlocked iPhone 6S in good condition, you could expect to earn approximately $115.”
Verizon, which had the highest value of any Utah brick-and-mortar location, stated that consumers can see the current trade-in values for their devices, plus have any questions answered online here.
None of the other companies responded.