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uSell Review: Safe? Reliable? Legit? Maybe.

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uSell is one of the many companies online that will buy your used cell phone, as well as other electronics, and offer you an instant quote.   As I’m writing this, they have worked with more than 457,000 customers, paying out more than $50 million.

While the premise sounds good in theory, are you really getting a good deal?

Oftentimes, no, however, most who do sell are usually looking for a quick deal, the main reason these types of websites do so well.

Seeing there are a lot of these sites online, you have to make sure that you’re using the best one if you do choose to sell instantly.  While you will always do best selling on your own, often via eBay or Facebook Marketplace, I can understand the luxury of getting a quote right now.

In today’s review, I want to talk about uSell.  I will show you what they quote, how it works and if it’s worth your time.  As in all of my reviews, I’m always 100% honest, only recommending what I feel is worth your time.

So with that being said, if you have a cellphone you want to sell right now, let’s see if it’s worth your time.

Selling Your Phone or Electronics

uSell makes it very easy to sell your electronics directly to them, whether you’re using a computer or phone.

To start selling, you will want to click on what you have to offer and then input the details.  The website places a large emphasis on selling your phone, but they also offer quotes for the following items as well:

  • iPads
  • Macbooks
  • Apple Computers
  • Apple Watches
  • iPods
  • Tablets
  • Game Consoles
  • Cameras
  • Computers

In my review, I will act as if I’m selling a Samsung Galaxy S10 phone, a relatively newer phone to show you how the process works as well as what the company will offer me.

No matter which prompt you choose, uSell will then ask a few questions about what you have to sell, such as the brand, carrier and model.  In doing so, you will be presented with a quote screen that looks something like this:

Here, you will let uSell know what kind of condition your electronic is in.  This can include:

  • Damaged — This means it won’t power on, it’s damaged, it’s not 100% functional and/or it has water damage.
  • Good — It powers on, it’s fully functional, has no cracks and the IMEI/ESN is clear for activation.
  • Flawless — Everything in the good category but it appears almost brand new.

It’s important that you’re honest with the condition as the company will inspect your phone before they send out the payment.  If you think you can lie and get away with it, this won’t happen.  If you’re unsure, choose “good,” only if it works and it looks to be in good condition.  If it doesn’t work or has a crack, then flawless is the option to choose.

As a last note, lost, stolen and/or ID locked phones are not accepted.



Getting Paid

If you’re happy with the quote, then it’s as simple as clicking on that “Get Paid” button and providing the company with your email, how you want to get paid as well as your address so that the company can send you a prepaid, pre-addressed shipping kit.  That’s right.  You don’t have to pay to ship off your electronics as the company will cover the expense for you.  It will take anywhere from five to seven days to receive your kit.

As to how you can get paid, the company can pay you via PayPal, Venmo or an old-fashioned check if you so choose.

Once your item is sent in, then payment is typically processed three to five business days after receiving your device.  Once received, the company will send you an email they received it and then another one once your payment is issued.  As long as you didn’t lie about the condition and the electronic sent in, you shouldn’t have a problem being paid.

How Do They Compare?

Of course, uSell isn’t the only place that will give you an instant quote, as there are many other options.

To see how uSell compared, I went ahead and got a quote from many competitors using the same phone model.  You can see in my screenshot that I was offered $165, but how much did others offer?

Here are the offers I received…

  • Decluttr – $195
  • GadgetGone – $189
  • BuybackBoss – $179
  • BuyBacktronics – $160
  • SmartphonesPLUS – $159
  • TheWhizCells – $155
  • OCBuyBack – $155
  • GadgetLab – $149
  • BuyBackWorld – $145
  • TronicsPay – $128

Your quotes will vary based on what you’re trying to quote, but you can see uSell fell in the middle, not making it the best option.  In this particular scenario, Decluttr was willing to offer $30 more for the same phone.  This goes to show you how important it is to compare these companies when considering a company such as this.

The Reviews Online

Most of the reviews I read online were very poor on almost site I visited.  Below, I highlighted a few of the websites that seemed to have the most reviews.

Sitejabber users gave the company a very poor 1.51/5 stars. Most noted that once the item was received, the quote drastically dropped, sometimes to the tune of a few dollars.  Customer service seemed to be a problem, too.

On the BBB, they had more than 150 complaints and a poor D-rating.  Many complained about the quotes lowering as well as shipping kits never arriving.  These were mostly complaints, which you can read via that BBB link.

Reviewopedia had a ton of negative reviews as well, with many saying to stay away and some even mentioning they didn’t get paid.  Again, many noted the “bait and switch” method, where the company offered much less than initially noted.

Final Thoughts

4/10uSell is no doubt a legitimate company, however, they don’t seem to offer the best rates and their reputation is very poor.  Aside from my example, I went ahead and played around with a few various models and saw the same results in my quotes.  They weren’t much better in comparison with the competitors.

With that being said, use a site such as SellCell.com to compare a ton of companies willing to buy your electronics.  This can make it much easier to see who’s going to offer you the best rate as they put all of the quotes all on one page.

If you’re going to sell your phone or electronics for cash, uSell probably won’t be your best option.  Maybe in some cases, but oftentimes, they fall short in offering the most aggressive deal.  99% of the time, they will fail you, so I probably would skip them, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to at least get a free quote.  Of course, you can make the most selling on your own, but if you want to sell instantly, then I highly consider you compare your options to ensure you’re getting the best rates.

That’s going to wrap it up.

As always, please comment below if you have anything to say about uSell or you want to add to what I have written.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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