Gazelle: 5 Things To Know Before Selling Your Phone

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If you have an old cell phone lying around or you’re ready for an upgrade but not eligible for a trade-in, consider selling your phone online.

In this article, I’ll take a close look at Gazelle, an online retailer that buys and sells pre-owned technology in good condition.

I’ve checked out several popular websites for selling and buying used phones in order to find out Gazelle compares.

Selling Your Phone on Gazelle

If you’re looking to sell an old phone or tablet, Gazelle may offer one of the highest payouts. However, if your phone arrives in worse condition than you specify online, Gazelle will offer an adjusted quote that can be significantly lower than what you’re hoping to get paid. 

If you’re thinking about selling your phone to Gazelle, here are five things to know before sending it in: 

Below, you’ll find more detailed information about how to get started on Gazelle, how to sell your device and how to get paid. 

What Is Gazelle?

Gazelle home screen: Sell or buy certified pre-owned cell phones
Screenshot: Gazelle.com

According to the company’s website, Gazelle is a “reCommerce” company that buys and sells pre-owned consumer electronics. The website launched in 2008. Today, Gazelle purchases used smartphones, tablets and more.

To get an instant quote, you can visit Gazelle’s website, enter a few details about your phone or device and describe its condition. If you like the quote, you can send your phone to Gazelle for free, according to the website. Once Gazelle receives your device, it will evaluate it and pay you via check, PayPal or Amazon gift card.

Below, you’ll find a more detailed overview of how to sell your cell phone on Gazelle.

Is Gazelle Legit?

Gazelle is a legitimate company. The company started in 2007 and launched its website the next year.

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Team Clark member Anthony Hazzard sold two devices to Gazelle after finding the best offers on the company’s website. He used Gazelle in 2014 and again in 2018. 

“From what I recall, the experience was seamless and offered a higher payout than the other companies at the time,” says Anthony.

In June 2022, I spent some time reading more recent online reviews from Gazelle customers to see how trustworthy the company is now. Overall, reviews are average with recent complaints of poor customer service and unfairly low adjusted offers; however, there’s a fair share of positive experiences reported online as well. 

On the Better Business Bureau website, the company earned a B+ rating, though customer reviews average 1.31 out of 5 stars from 87 customer reviews. ResellerRatings tells a more positive story from a larger audience with 3.51 out of 5 stars from 13,446 customer ratings. Falling right between the two, Trustpilot displays 2.3 out of 5 stars for Gazelle from 612 customer ratings. Gazelle has claimed its company profile on Trustpilot and actively responds to negative reviews. 

Ultimately, Gazelle is still a legitimate company that will pay you for your used devices. However, whether or not it will honor the initial online quote seems to be a little up in the air. The company does seem to be good at returning devices (for free) when potential sellers reject adjusted offers, and there aren’t any complaints about getting paid.

How To Sell Your Phone on Gazelle

You can get an instant quote online for your phone with Gazelle. If you decide to accept the quote, you can ship your phone for free to be inspected. Once it passes the inspection, you’ll get paid via check, PayPal or Amazon gift card.

Here are the steps to complete a transaction.

Get a Quote

The first step to selling your phone online is getting a quote. To do this, make sure you have the phone you’re selling nearby to verify all the details about its specifications. 

When you first visit Gazelle’s website, click “Sell,” to get started. From there, you can choose the type of device you’re selling, such as an iPhone, Samsung, Google Phone, etc. Then, you’ll be able to look up your phone’s model with its IMEI number to get an offer backed by Gazelle’s Price Promise, or you can get an estimate by selecting your phone’s model, carrier and capacity.

Finally, you’ll be asked a few questions about the device’s condition including whether or not it powers on, if it’s fully functional, if there are any cracks and the overall cosmetic condition of the phone. Then, you’ll see an instant offer pending inspection. 

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Gazelle’s offer for an iPhone X 64GB
Screenshot: Gazelle.com

If you have questions about any part of your phone’s condition, you can click the small “information” button beside each question for explanations and examples. 

Screenshot: Gazelle.com

You’ll be able to choose which condition you believe your device (as long as it’s fully operational). If you believe your phone is in excellent condition but Gazelle determines that it’s only in good or fair condition, flipping through these estimates is a great way to see what your re-quote may be

To avoid going through the hassle of a re-quote, verify that all of the information you’re entering is correct and be as honest as possible about your phone’s condition. Once you’ve determined which description best fits your device, click “Get Paid.”

Check Out

Once you click “Get Paid,” you’ll be able to enter your email address for further instructions and shipment details. Then, you’ll be able to choose how you’d like to get your money:

  • Amazon.com gift card: Automatically earn an additional 3%.
  • PayPal: Payment is directly deposited into your account.
  • Check: Delivered by mail within 10 days.

A few years ago, when Anthony used Gazelle, he chose two different payment methods: “The iPad I was paid via PayPal, and the phone I was paid via Amazon, as they had an incentive going for bonus cash.”

Once you’ve chosen your payment method, you’ll be asked to provide your shipping address. This information is used to create your shipping labels so that you can send your device in for free. Finally, you’ll be able to choose your shipping method (a box and prepaid label or simply a prepaid USPS shipping label) and complete the process. 

Ship Your Phone

Once you receive your shipping label, prepare your phone for the sale. You should back up and clear any personal data yourself before mailing your device. 

Once you’ve prepared your phone for sale and acquired your shipping label, carefully package it, label it and mail it as soon as possible. Your online quote from Gazelle is valid for only 30 days.

After your phone arrives at Gazelle, it’ll be inspected, and its serial number will be checked to ensure it’s fully paid off and not registered as lost or stolen. Once the inspection is complete, you’ll either get an email that your phone’s been accepted or you’ll get an adjusted quote. This might happen if your phone is determined to be in a different condition than you indicated online.

There’s a “hold” window of five days during which you can choose to accept or decline an adjusted offer. If you accept the offer, you’ll be paid via your preferred payment method. If you decline the adjusted offer, Gazelle will return your device to you free of charge according to the website.

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Is Gazelle the Best Place To Sell Your Phone?

The best way to decide where to sell your cell phone is by collecting quotes from a few different places and choosing the one that will offer the most cash back. 

I tried this by gathering quotes from seven different companies that buy used phones. I looked at offers for an unlocked iPhone X in average condition with 64GB of storage. Here’s what I found.

BuyBackWorld$126
Decluttr$160
ecoATM$65
Gizmogul$116
Backflip$125*
Gazelle$164
Swappa$262

*Backflip no longer provides online quotes for selling your cell phone. The price above is based on its pricing guide.

Generally speaking, you’ll find some of the highest available prices at Swappa followed by Gazelle, Decluttr and BuyBackWorld. Of course, it’s important to check out several different quotes in addition to secondary markets like Facebook Marketplace and eBay to see where phones like yours are earning the most. 

While you may be able to get a higher bid by listing your phone on Swappa, know that there’s no guarantee that your phone will sell. With Gazelle, you’ll get an instant quote online that’s good for 30 days as long as your phone arrives as described.

If you like the quote you get online and know that your phone is in the right condition, I think Gazelle could be a good way to sell your phone. In addition to strong prices, Gazelle offers free shipping and fast payments. And even if your phone is inaccurately or unfairly inspected (as detailed in some online customer reviews), you’ll get it back with no charge to you.

For more options on places to sell your cell phone, be sure to check out our full list of top picks here.

Tips for Selling Your Phone on Gazelle

If you’re thinking about selling your phone at Gazelle, here are a few tips to keep in mind to get the most out of the sale: 

  • Compare the quote to other buyback programs. Once you have a quote from Gazelle, compare it to other offers online. Check out secondary markets like Swappa, Declutter, BuyBackWorld and Gizmogul to get an idea of how much your phone is going for. Plus, you’ll be prepared for a counteroffer if you know how much you can get for your phone elsewhere.
  • Be honest about your phone and its condition. If you do decide to sell your phone to Gazelle, make sure all of the information that you enter is correct. If you accidentally select the wrong model or storage size, you may not get the amount of money you’re initially quoted. Be as honest as possible when describing the item’s condition. This is the best way to avoid getting a re-quote.
  • Prepare your phone for sale. No matter where you decide to sell your phone, be sure to back up your data and then wipe the device, restoring it to factory settings.
  • Ship ASAP and check for updates regularly. Gazelle recommends shipping your phone as soon as possible once you get a quote. Since the quote is good for just 30 days, it’s best to get the item in the mail quickly. Once you ship your phone, check your email regularly for updates. You’ll get a notification when your phone arrives and again after the inspection.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Gazelle could be a great option for selling your cell phone or tablet. Gazelle offers some of the highest returns for used phones alongside Swappa, Decluttr and BuyBackWorld. Plus, you’ll get an instant quote online, free shipping and free returns. 

Before you sell your phone, be sure to get quotes from different websites to compare offers. Also, no matter where you decide to sell your phone, be sure to back it up and factory restore it before sending it in. 

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If you do sell your phone to Gazelle, make sure you’re honest about your phone’s condition and check for updates on your order regularly. Ship your phone as soon as possible and be ready for an adjusted offer after the inspection. If your phone passes its inspection, you can expect payment to be issued quickly via PayPal, check or Amazon gift card.

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