New Service Lets You Resell Your Old Gadgets At A Fixed Price—For A Fee

TechForward, a new company in Los Angeles, provides fixed buyback prices on used electronics like cell phones and iPods. The catch is you pay up front—it’s an added fee when you first buy the device—for the right to resell your gadget to them a year or two down the line, and the amounts they’re offering are usually dramatically lower than what you can get if you sell it yourself on Ebay.

It’s a cool concept, but the current execution is only appealing if you don’t want to deal with Ebay or Craigslist, or if you don’t care as much about maximum resell value as you care about getting it out of your home with minimal work on your part. As part of TechForward’s fee, they pay for packaging and shipping, and although they won’t pay you for a broken device they’ll still accept it.

NEW Corp., the company “that runs the extended warranty programs for Best Buy Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,” is launching a similar program called econoNEW. It won’t charge up front for the service, and will negotiate a buyback price at the time you bring in the gadget. Additionally, instead of cash ecoNEW will offer store credit. NEW hasn’t named which retailers will be participating yet.

“A New “Guaranteed Buyback” Program Gives Consumer’s Cash Back Upon Trade-In of Used Gadgets – Good Deal or Not?” [InventorSpot]
“Companies Launch Gadget Buyback Services” [Associated Press]

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Rando says:

    You’ll probably have better luck and get more money on…for free

  2. UpsetPanda says:

    This reminds me of secondspin, where they will take your CDs off your hands, for a fee. I thought about selling all of my old CDs back to secondspin vs. FYE and concluded that FYE was the best way to go…even if they won’t offer me $5 for that Blink-182 CD I have collecting dust, I don’t have a company taking a large chunk of the money they’re supposed to give me because of shipping and handling costs.

  3. chiieddy says:

    CostCo already does it if you’re a member. No additional fee.


  4. accessmemorex says:

    This is a good concept. The bad news is, It is still a concept. Wait a few years until a real company comes out with this service and don’t waste any money on this right now. Though this does look promising for the future.

  5. glass says:

    sounds like what Gateway used to do. I feel bad for people who fall for that.

  6. jeff303 says:

    This is pretty much just like a commodity future ([]) except on a manufactured good instead of a raw material. OK…

  7. Notsewfast says:

    I get where you’re coming from there, but I have to disagree. With a futures contract, there is (in general) as much a chance for the seller and the buyer to see major gains from locked-in prices. For example, If I buy a contract for 100 bushels of corn for $100 each deliverable in 1 year, and in that time, the price skyrockets, I gain in that transaction because I got a bargain and you lose because you could have sold it for significantly more. On the other hand, if corn falls in price, you sold over-valued goods and I bought expensive ones.

    In this scenario, the value of an ipod is not a commodity that is likely to change in price dramatically, so when you negotiate a price, if you sell it for less than you think it is worth, you have lost in almost every scenario. There will not likely be a catalyst for an immense drop in price for an electronic good that causes you to feel like you “won” in the trade.

    Sorry for the boring investment talk, my Friday ended up being slower than anticipated.

  8. AmericaTheBrave says:

    JD, secondspin doesn’t charge you to take your old CD’s, they pay you, AND they reimburse you for your shipping costs. I’ve sold to them probably 5 times. It’s a great way to get some fast cash for CD’s you don’t listen to anymore.

  9. ShadowFalls says:

    This is like Gamestop, but for electronics…

  10. ShadowFalls says:


    Well, actually it is kind of worse, since they charge you to do it…

  11. Mr. Gunn says:

    Secret Agent Man: Actually, the value of electronic goods drops dramatically, over short time periods. The only variable is exactly how fast, and it doesn’t look like it’s fast enough for the low prices they’re offerring to be worth it.

  12. Hello_Newman says:

    Yep the depreciation on electronics is bad, just because the next great thing to come out in two years is going to be vastly improved when it comes to computers, MP3 players, and so on. You’re much better off shopping for a rock bottom price, buying an Ipod just when the newest ones come out, then selling it on Ebay when the time comes.
    Buying it at their price, prepaying a fee, then taking the same bath you’re going to take when it’s obsolete just doesn’t make sense. Selling it on Ebay or Amazon just isn’t that hard to do. It’s not like selling a car where you got five people coming by to kick the tires…