LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Chances are you have an old phone, tablet or computer lying around the house. Now, you can trade them in for cash — even if they’re broken.
If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. I recently visited the California-based website Gizmogo to check out their operations and even sent in a broken tablet of my own to test out their service.
Gizmogo is part of a larger electronics recycling company on a mission to keep old electronics out of landfills. In the process, they’ll take old gadgets off your hands for cash and then either refurbish them or recover the precious metals inside to be reused.
“Our differentiation is that we are also very aware of the environmental impact … so trying to remove these electronics from our landfills is our main objective,” said Roxanna Faithful, Gizmogo’s Director of Marketing.
The company accepts phones, tablets, laptops, computers, gaming consoles, cameras, lenses, drones, smartwatches and even iPods if you still have one. The website will walk you through a short evaluation process and then give you an estimate for your item. If you accept the estimate, it’s time to send in your gadget. Depending on its size, the website will either generate an instant label you can stick on your box or send you a small box to ship your smartphone in.
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I tried the entire service – without informing Gizmogo – with my son’s old iPad Mini. It has a cracked screen and has been sitting unused in my garage for several months. Gizmogo said they would pay me $80.55. I sent the tablet in and about a week later, the cash was in my PayPal account.
Competitors include Gazelle, Swappa and Gylde. Of course, with these instant trade in sites, you will certainly get less for your gadget than you would doing all the hard work yourself and listing it on eBay, but that takes a lot more time and effort. You have to decide what’s best for your situation.
Gizmogo says they typically pay within 24 hours of receipt and evaluation. Keep in mind the initial number is only an estimate and could change based on the condition of your gadget.
“We [have a] zero landfill policy,” said CEO James Wang, who was also particularly proud of how the company deals with data privacy.
While I would always recommend deleting your data before sending in any gadget, this isn’t always possible, especially with broken gadgets.
Gizmogo says they will “wipe it clean or we will destroy the memory,” explained Faithful.
In their cavernous warehouse, I saw old gadgets stacked everywhere and filled bins destined for other countries, further recycling or resale.
It’s a serious reminder that the latest tech isn’t always in fashion, but proper disposal can make a difference in your wallet, and the world.
“We just want to make sure that none of these devices end up in the landfill,” concluded Faithful.
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