eBay launches Instant Selling, a new trade-in service for smartphones

eBay today launched a new service to help users unload their old smartphones on its online marketplace. With eBay Instant Selling, as the service is called, consumers can list their device info, add images, then receive an instant voucher that can be used towards the purchase of a new device from eBay. They’ll also receive an eBay shipping label to send their old phone to eBay.

The company claims it will offer a higher return than competitors’ sites, like Gazelle or EcoATM as well as carriers’ trade-in programs like those from AT&T and Verizon, plus Apple’s own Give Back program. It says that standard programs tend to offer 40 to 50 percent off the average market selling price, but eBay will provide up to 40% higher than trade-in values, on average.

Currently, eligible smartphones include Unlocked, Verizon and AT&T, Samsung Galaxy S7 to S9 + and Apple iPhone 6S 16GB through iPhone X 256GB. In November, eBay will add T-Mobile, Sprint and Google Pixel and select LG products to that list, it says.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because eBay has tried its hand at similar services in the past – repeatedly. In 2013, it shut down an older “Instant Sale” service that focused on reselling consumer electronics, then returned in 2016 with a trade-in site called “Quick Sale .” However, Quick Sale relied on another shuttered eBay service, eBay Valet, which involved having eBay top sellers handle the device sales.

To use the new Instant Selling service, consumers can visit ebay.com/s/phone , then enter their device info and upload photos. After accepting the terms, they’ll receive their instant quote and can opt to print the shipping label to turn in their device to eBay.

The company was unable to provide more information about the revenue sharing portion of the program, as it’s in the quiet period in advance of earnings.

It did, however, provide a comparison chart of top devices and how they would sell on competitors’ sites.

“Millions of Americans have unused phones in their homes and simply don’t realize how much their devices are worth, probably because trade-in values are typically so low,” said Alyssa Steele, Vice President of Hard Goods, eBay, in a statement about the launch. “With Instant Selling, people can find out exactly how much their phone is worth, and sell their phone within a matter of minutes to immediately help fund the holidays, or maybe something off their personal wish list,” she said.