eBay Instant will buy your old gadgets, how it compares to the competition
eBay Instant is being pitched as a green way to dispose of your old gadgets and electronics, much like you have been able to do with Gazelle and many other sites for some time. eBay Instant purchases laptops, phones, tablets, PDAs, digital cameras, MP3 players, camcorders and GPS Systems. Unlike selling your item on eBay, the whole process is, well, instant. And the sale includes a free shipping label.
Still, eBay Instant won't be putting standard eBay sellers and buyers out of business. Like many of these gadget buyers, it pays less than if you auctioned off your item on eBay. When we looked at the iPhone 3GS 32GB device in "Good" condition, we found that eBay Instant would give us $183 while recently ended auctions often came in at double that price with some topping $400.
When you compare eBay Instant to other gadget buyers like Gazelle and those found on EcoSquid, the prices for our iPhone 3GS 32GB varied greatly. Gazelle matched eBay Instant for the price of a "Good" condition device, but eBay Instant was willing to pay $244 for an "Excellent" condition iPhone 3GS 32GB, almost as much as some auctions and $40 more than Gazelle. EcoSquid compares numerous gadget buyers and found similar prices to those at eBay Instant, but the top offer found by EcoSquid came with a 2-4 week wait for payment compared to less than 10 days on eBay Instant and Gazelle.
The difference in the price received for selling on your own or using a service like eBay Instant isn't surprising. With most new gadgets, you'll get considerably more selling it yourself on eBay, but the process takes time and effort many users don't want to put into getting rid of an old gadget. In the case of eBay Instant, the shipping is free, eBay removes personal data from your old gadgets and the cash is deposited in your PayPal account in a matter of days.
A lower selling price is the cost of selling to a service like eBay Instant or Gazelle, but for users who want to avoid the time and hassle of selling on eBay or who have older items that have few or no interested buyers, these services are worth a look. Unfortunately, even though services like EcoSquid compare offers from numerous buyers, if you want the best price you'll still need to take a few minutes to visit more than one site.