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What happens to the phones that are traded in?



When smartphones reach the end of its life, they are either thrown away or sold. Smartphones are dangerous for the ecosystem because it contains chemicals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel. If it is thrown in the trash, these chemicals will seep into the ground, pollute water, kill plants and wildlife and not decompose for nearly 100 years. The safer option is to trade those smartphones in. Instead of keeping those chemicals in the ground, someone can reuse the phone. For instance, users can also trade in their old phones to Xfinity in exchange for a new phone. In return, Xfinity will provide them with Xfinity mobile services, along with Xfinity internet plans to choose the best internet plans to stream through. 

Where can phones be traded in?

By trading in, it means that the phone is being sold off to someone else. Following are some of the ways it can be made possible;

  • Online Buyers. To sell off the phone to an online buyer, the user will need to go to their website, get a quote for their phone, and whenever you want, they’ll send a free shipping package. Users will need to give away their mobile phones to them and send them back. Once the online buyer had a look at the phone, they’ll send the money to the user.
  • Online Marketplace. Another way to trade off the phone is to sell it using an online marketplace. Websites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, etc. can be used to sell old phones. The challenge with the online marketplace is that one user is competing with a million other people trying to get buyers’ attention. Also, the user needs to handle all the marketing, photographs, and tech specifications. The user needs to know the details of his phone, including what kind of chipset it uses and how much RAM it has, etc.
  • Retailers are also interested in trade-in. Box stores like Best Buy will take in any phone as a trade-in. In exchange for that, the user will get store credit in the form of a gift card, which can only be spent at the store. 
  • Carrier. Users can also get steep discounts on a new phone simply by trading in their old phone with the carrier. Most carriers offer up to $400 in credits if an old phone is being traded-in. That way the user can get a brand new phone for a lot cheaper. However, if the old phone has any damage at all, even a small scratch, the carrier will deduct a large amount from the trade-in value. 
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However, the best option to trade in the phone is selling it at the online marketplace or to online buyers, both for ease of process and choice to decide how much to get for the phone.

How does Phone Trade-In work?

Following is how the typical phone trade-in works:

  • Get a Quote. The quoted value will determine how much the user’s phone is worth; whether the phone turns on, all the information has been removed from the device, the touchscreen works and is not cracked, etc. If the devices don’t meet these criteria, they might only be eligible for lower trade-in values. If the buyer and seller agree upon the device’s value, the buyer will send a shipping kit, free of charge, to the seller to retrieve the device.
  • The next step includes resetting the device to factory settings. This will wipe all personal data. Data should be backed up to the cloud so that the user doesn’t lose his photos and personal information.
  • When the user receives a shipping package from the buyer, it is time for him to pack his phone, apply labels, and send it to the buyer. 
  • Finally, when the buyer receives the device, he will do a quick inspection to make sure it is legit. If everything looks good with the device, the user will then receive money from the buyer. 

Phones that are traded in – what happens to them?

All phones that are traded go through the same process.

  • Data Wipe. The very first thing that is done to a traded-in phone is that the memory is wiped clean. If the phone is still locked to the cloud then some companies will return the device while others will reach out to the user and ask them to remove the device from the cloud remotely so they can continue with the inspection process.
  • Phone Test. If the buyer who bought the phone is in the business of refurbishing or recycling phone devices, he will run a few tests on them. The tests include checking the screen condition to see if it is damaged at all, buttons if they work fine, battery to see if it needs replacing, the number of scratches and dents, processor whether the phone turns on just fine or does the operating system boot-up without any trouble, etc. If the phone meets all acceptable standards, it will be assigned a grade that will determine its price. A broken device is sent to a technician, refurbished, and then marked ready for sale.
  • Refurbished Phones. Phones are then refurbished to bring them back to new-like conditions. Spare parts from other phones, or third-party parts, might be used to replace some parts of the phone. These parts can include new screens, new buttons, or new batteries. 
  • Global Distribution Stream. Then the phones are added to the global distribution stream where it is collected and sold along with other refurbished devices from around the world.
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Much like the recycling process, phones that are sold are refurbished into a working condition so that they can be used again by someone else. 

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