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Amazon trade-in scheme offers vouchers for old gadgets

Amazon is now giving customers the chance to trade in their used electronic devices in exchange for a gift card.

The Trade-In scheme means people can recycle old smartphones and video game consoles on the platform, and is part of the online giant's plan to be more environmentally friendly.

As well as Amazon devices such as Fire sticks, Echo speakers and Kindle tablets, other items that can be exchanged include home security devices, a range of smartphones and gaming consoles.  

The new service will also rival other websites already offering trade-in schemes such as Music Magpie and CeX.

Amazon's Trade-In programme will give customers gift cards in exchange for electronic items

However, these stores will offer cash in exchange for goods, as opposed to vouchers.

This is Money takes a look at the Trade-In programme, revealing how it works, how much you can make and how it compares to other trade in websites. 

How do customers trade in items?

According to Amazon, there are just three steps customers need to follow to trade in their items:  

1. Select the device you'd like to trade in and answer six questions about its condition

2. Print a shipping label and send your device for free within 21 days

3. After sending your device and receiving the appraisal, an Amazon.co.uk gift card will be credited on your account

When answering the questions about the device's condition, customers can decide how they want to proceed in case Amazon has to adjust the trade-in value - for example, if Amazon decides the condition is not in line with the information the they submitted.

Customers can then choose whether they want to accept a different amount, or not to accept the adjusted value and get back their device at no additional cost.

The Trade-In programme is available on both mobile and desktop.

Devices that have been accepted for trade-in are tested and graded to determine their condition, and the device will either be re-sold or recycled.

Returned items to Amazon could be recycled or refurbished in a bid to be greener, the site said

Why is Amazon introducing this now?

Amazon says the programme is one way it is working to reduce environmental impact.

It wants to increase the number of devices that are recycled or refurbished, while making purchasing new devices more affordable for customers.

It is part of Amazon Second Chance where customers can find ways to trade in, recycle, or return Amazon products as well as buying used and refurbished items.

How does it compare to other trade-in websites?  

This is Money compared how much customers could get for their electrical items on Amazon Trade-In compared to competitors CeX and Music Magpie.  

For an Apple iPhone 8 (64GB) in near-perfect condition, the Amazon Trade-In programme offered up to £110. 

It asked if the phone turned on and was fully functional, if the screen or body of the phone was at all cracked or damaged, and if it had ever been removed from the owners' online account. 

Music Magpie also offered £110 for the same phone.

However, on CeX, the same model of phone, in the same condition, could be sold for £150 in cash or £207 if customers opted for a CeX voucher.  

This gives customers substantially more money if they opted to trade away from Amazon.  

Meanwhile, an Echo Dot (third generation) could net its owner just £5 on Amazon - but the speaker could fetch up to £11 in cash or £16 for a CeX voucher online.  

Music Magpie did not have any Echo speakers for sale. 

For a Ring Video Doorbell 2 (silver), Amazon offered a £30 gift card whilst, again, CeX was willing to pay more - £46 in cash or £56 for a voucher. 

Music Magpie did not sell these devices. 

One of the most popular games consoles available, the Nintendo Switch, can be traded in on Amazon for £65, if in perfect condition. 

On CeX, customers could sell for £94 in cash or £133 for a voucher at the store. 

Music Magpie customers could also sell their devices for £135.  

Overall, it seems the Amazon Trade-In service does not offer the best deal for a range of products: including its own devices. 

Therefore, customers looking to sell or trade in their old items should compare how much they could make on various sites, as well as how quick and convenient the process is, before committing and sending their products off.