Gazelle offers to buy used cell phones and electronics, but doesn’t always honor its offers
Expected pay: Varies
Commissions & fees: NA
Requirements: Smart phone for sale
Gazelle is one of many sites that offers to buy smart phones for resale. One of the early entrants in the used electronics game, it was once the industry leader. Today, the site rarely makes the best offer. Worse, consumers say the site often unfairly changes its offer once it receives your package.
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How it works
If you agree to sell, the site will send you a mailing label and you send your phone to the site. Gazelle will inspect your phone, and, if it deems your phone to be in the condition described, it will pay you.
During the check-out process (before you mail your phone), the site will ask how you want to get paid. You have three options: Check, PayPal or an Amazon gift card.
However, while the site says it honors the online offer it makes for your device for 30 days, consumers say it often rescinds high offers and replaces them with low-ball offers once it receives your device.
Consumers say selling to Gazelle goes awry when the site receives your item for evaluation. Hundreds of complaints about the site say that Gazelle devalues phones unfairly, claiming they’re in worse condition than claimed.
Notably, Gazelle’s website has a page asking “Is Gazelle a scam?” In its enthusiastic defense of its own site, it suggests that consumers check its A+ Better Business Bureau rating. The site actually gets a “B” rating from the BBB. And it has accumulated 239 complaints.
Of the 92 reviews the BBB has received, the site gets an average rating of one out of five. (One is the worst rating.)
Avoid this site. At one point, Gazelle had a great reputation and got great consumer ratings. That time has passed.
We downgraded Gazelle in October of 2020 from a good option to a merely average one as the result of a disturbing trend with consumer complaints. When we revisited our review in February of 2023, things appeared to be even worse.
If you’re willing to take a little extra time and negotiate directly with the end consumer, you’ll likely get more with Swappa. Unlike Gazelle, The Whiz Cells and ItsWorthMore, Swappa does not buy your phone for resale. It simply provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers to connect directly. That often results in both parties getting a better deal.
You can check out Swappa here.
What their users say (From Site Jabber)
I sent them an iPad Pro 12.9″ 3rd generation in like-new, fully functional condition for trade-in. They initially offered $346. Once they looked it over they changed the offer to $113 because of “many scratches.” The screen and back are completely free of any scratches or marks of any kind. Only the plug area has a few external scratches where the charging plug went in and out over time. (The scratches are so tiny I couldn’t get a photo in focus when moving the camera that close). I took it down to my local Apple store to get their review of it and they agreed they would give me maximum trade-in credit for the condition it is in. Apparently the game that places like Gazelle play is to make a big offer up front then create some issue to lower the offer in the hope the customer will simply go along with it.
I sent in 2 phones, first one was fine, the second one they reduced from 288 to 50 due to “scratches”. I emailed them letting them know that the damage must have happened in their care because the phone was not scratched when it was shipped and was always in a case. Then I get the following message reducing the amount further from 50 to 0! PLEASE someone tell me the difference in the model I submitted vs what they say it is. LOL! What a joke.
I sent them my factory reset Samsung S21 Ultra that had no scratches, has a Verizon sim card with a cover that had a the s-pen in it. Once they had it they tried to say it had scratches, that it was not a Verizon sim card, stated they could not make a call from it (I transferred service to my new phone) and changed their offer from $326+ to $33. When I said no to their revised offer they sent my phone back, without a cover and s-pen. I get it, but still disappointed that they tried to rip me off.
Used Gazelle for years but last experience was a scam: They made a high offer $100+ for a used iPad then reduced that to less than $10 claiming the iPad was scratched. It was the n exceptional condition. This company is a cheap scam.
I sent my iPad in “like new” condition. Upon receiving, I got a contra offer for a fraction of the price “due to scratches.” There was not a single scratch on the iPad when I sent it to Gazelle. I asked that they send the unit back. It did come back with a scratch on the metal case. This is very upsetting – now I cannot sell it to anyone else “like new.” I am very disappointed in my experience.
I sent in a flawless iPad with offer amount of $107. It had never been out of its case prior and I thoroughly inspected it before sending it in. They responded with a reduced offer of $20 due to scratches which I declined. When I received the iPad back there was a large scratch on the back that clearly wasn’t there when I sent it in. I believe this was done intentionally after I declined the low-ball offer.
We have sent in 4 iPads and an iPhone. The first 3 times was great. The last iPad they greatly reduced the estimate but we accepted. This time I got an offer of $116 and then they said it had ‘scratches’ and reduced it to $22. Ridiculous. I know it was barely scratched and I believe now they are running a ‘bait and switch ‘ type scam. Giving you good offer but finding excuse to reduce it to nothing, hoping you accept it. I didn’t and now wonder if it WILL be scratched upon return. Gazelle WAS a good deal but no more.
Bait and switch
I decided to go with Gazelle after CNET gave them a good rating. They initially gave me a fair price for my iPad Pro. This iPad was always 100% covered and had a tempered glass screen cover too. When gazelle received it, they said “too many scratches for our price” and dropped the price by more than 50%. I tried calling them twice (on hold for over an hour) and emailed them 3 times to ask about this policy. Nothing, nada, no response. So I asked for my iPad back. When I got it, I asked 2 independent stores and they could not find any scratches on it. Classic bait and switch. Poor customer service Gazelle. I went with Declutter. They got my ipad and the next day deposited the monies into my account. And it was for 100% of the amount that they initially gave me prior to shipping.”
“Sent them a Samsung S6 Edge 128 GB phone with a quote of $80. They emailed me back and said it was a 32GB phone and offered $20, which I declined. They sent back the 128 GB phone, so I lost nothing but I will NEVER do business with this company again.”