Sooner or later, there will be a good chance that you will want to upgrade your phone and get rid of your older one. Some people trade it in to save the hassle of selling it while others want to sell it to maximize their earnings.
Whatever your case may be, you may want to sell it, but you don’t want to do so online. Instead, may want to visit a store and immediately get a check. That’s understandable.
However, before you visit a location, let it be known that whenever you do visit a local store, you will almost always get the worst return on your dollar. These stores will turn around and will have to sell your phone to make a profit, so you can expect your quote to be up to 50% less than what you can get on eBay, Craigslist, etc. As long as you’re cool with that, then it’s something to consider I suppose, only if you need the money immediately.
In today’s guide, I will talk about the many local stores that will buy your used cell phones, no matter which one you may have. Heck, some will even purchase them if they are broken. In each section, I will talk about each store and what you can expect from each.
As always, I’m always honest and will never recommend something I wouldn’t use myself. If you need the money now, this can be an okay route to go, but I wouldn’t recommend it 100% as you can make much more selling your phone online.
Okay, so with that out of the way, let’s dive in and see which local stores will buy your used cell phone on the spot.
Local Stores That Buy Used Cell Phones
Best Buy has an easy-to-use trade in calculator to see what they are willing to give you if you were to bring your phone into one of their stores.
Search your make/model and then answer a few multiple choice questions. Generally, as long as your phone is in fair condition and there’s no screen damage, they will make an offer.
If you’re happy with the offer, you can add it to your basket or if you want the money instantly, you can take it to a local Best Buy store. Keep in mind that Best Buy will only give you a Best Buy gift card. If you’re looking for cash, you won’t find it here, but you could always turn around and sell the gift card if need be.
- Website: Best Buy
Target will offer you either a Target gift card or cash via PayPal for your cell phone. Best of all, you can complete the process at a participating store so that you don’t have to mail in your device.
To get a device quote, you can go to the official Target site via the link below and plug in your details to see what they can offer you. If you’re happy with the quote, you can visit a participating location to get your cash or Target gift card.
Unlike Best Buy and many other retailers noted here, which only offer a gift card, the nice thing about Target is that they can offer you cash instead, making it one of the better options on this list if you want cash now.
- Website: Target
Even though GameStop is known for games, they will buy your phone off you in person as long as it’s in good shape. This can be said with every company noted on this list, though.
According to the company, most trades are paid with in-store credit, however, some items may be paid out in cash. This isn’t the case with most phones, however. If you’re a GameStop Pro member, they do pay out more for your trade in, so this is something to consider when getting quotes.
To get your quote, you can do so right on the official website or even though the GameStop app. Again, if it’s one of the better prices you like, you can take it into a local store to cash out. Out of most of the companies I checked out, I was surprised at the GameStop quote as they were one of the more aggressive ones on the list. The only downfall was that it was in GameStop credit. I guess it can be seen as a plus if you need a video game item.
- Website: GameStop
Costco offers a trade-in system, operated by CExchange, the same company Walmart and Target appears to use. Most of the time, it seems as if the prices are the same with this company, but it doesn’t hurt to check out both sites to confirm.
On the Costco site, you can get a quote and then either mail in your phone or bring it to a physical Costco for your cash payment.
Before doing so, however, be sure to read the bullet points as to what determines if your phone is in “working” condition. Generally, as long as everything works and there’s no damage, you should be fine.
- Website: Costco
Almost all phone carriers will offer you a promotional card of sorts if you’re thinking about upgrading your phone. And, the best thing about it is that you don’t have to trade in your phone for another. You can just ask for the gift card.
If you want an AT&T gift card, head to the official AT&T trade-in website and see what your device is worth after you answer a few questions.
If you’re happy with the price, you can either mail it in for the gift card or you can take it to a local AT&T store, where they can provide you with a gift card after inspecting it. I would highly recommend this option if you plan on upgrading to an AT&T phone/line as they can often offer some great promotions to give you even more than what they offered initially.
- Website: AT&T
T-Mobile makes it very easy to see what your trade in is worth. All they ask for is your carrier, device manufacturer and device model.
The estimate given is only if the device is in good condition. You can see the full terms on the T-Mobile website to see what qualifies.
If you’re happy with the estimate, T-Mobile will give it to you as a credit.
- Website: T-Mobile
Verizon, just like AT&T and T-Mobile, will also offer you a trade-in credit only if interested.
Like the prior phone carriers, you will have to answer a few questions and wait for your estimate. I did like Verizon’s checklist as they made it a lot easier than AT&T and T-Mobile to figure out how much your phone was worth. It was a lot easier to find what you were looking for.
After you get your estimate, again, it can only be applied as a credit, but in some cases, you can earn much more if the company is currently running a promotion. You will have to sign in to see which promotions you’re eligible for. For example, when I was writing this, they were offering up to $600 if you opened a new line.
- Website: Verizon
The ecoATM is something I have reviewed in the past and is a fantastic option if you don’t want to deal with a human and you want cash instead of a credit. The only downfall, however, is that I found the machine to offer some of the lowest rates out of all competitors I mentioned.
These machines are located all over the United States, so there’s a good chance one is nearby. You can use the locator tool on the official website to see where one is located near you. Many are located inside of a Walmart or Kroger store.
If you do want to use this machine, you will have to use your state ID as the machine will ask for it to confirm your identity to prevent fraud. Be sure to check out my review to see how the kiosk works in detail.
- Website: ecoATM
It would be very hard for me to list every pawn shop in the world, but thankfully, Google can do the dirty work for you. Just search for something along the lines of “pawn shops near me” or even “stores that buy used cell phones near me.”
A pawn shop, just like all of these retailers mentioned prior, can offer you a cash deal on the spot. The only downfall is that you will have to often go to their location to get a quote. Not only that but pawn shops tend to have the lowest quotes of the all. Remember that they need to make a profit.
Nonetheless, it’s another option to consider if you need money now.
Online Stores That Buy Used Cell Phones
I will keep this section short as I know you probably came here to see who buys your phone in person. As you probably already know, there are a ton of online options. The only negative, though, is that these companies can take a week or so before you even see your payment. This can be frustrating if you need the cash now, I know.
However, if you want to get the most for your sale, I highly encourage you to check out these online buyers as well since they may be able to offer 20 to 40% more, sometimes more than this. If that’s the case, it could be worth waiting seven days to get your payment.
Here’s who you can check out online to get a quote from as well:
- Amazon Trade-in
- Next Worth
- Revamp Electronics
- Swift Tech Buy
If you want a local store that buys used cell phones, you have a lot of options. Just keep in mind that you won’t get the most of your money as these stores will need to turn around and sell it for a profit. Plus, most will take advantage of your desperation in wanting to sell fast and will undercut you quite a bit. It’s just not worth selling to a local store unless you’re getting a great deal with a promotion or you, for some reason, need the money now.
While all of the companies I noted above are legitimate, they just don’t pay as much as you would expect them to.
If you want to make the most out of your used cell phone sale, I highly recommend you sell it on either via eBay, Facebook Marketplace, NextDoor, Craigslist or LetGo. It’s not as hard as you think, I promise! If you price your phone aggressively enough, you could have cash in hand just as fast as the options mentioned above. To figure out what it’s worth, check out the recently sold auction listings on eBay to see what it ended for. Just remember to always meet in a well-lit area with lots of people around to avoid any sort of scam or problem.
As always, I’m always open to adding more options if I’m missing any. If you feel there are other retailers I didn’t include on this list, be sure to let me know in the comments below so that I can add it if need be.
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