This review covers the pros and cons of uSell.com for selling your used iPhones and other devices. The site helps connect sellers with buyers who are generally well checked but can be of varying quality. The quoting process and payout turnaround is easy and fairly quick but they lose points on shipping issues and customer service.
So, you want to sell your old device and are shopping around for where to do it. Well, this review is for you. Today we’ll be looking at uSell.com and going over its features, benefits, and any possible downsides so you can decide if this site is the right site for you to sell your old devices and a small variety of other goods.
In short, uSell is a site that helps you sell your used smartphones (and more, though smartphones and particularly iPhones are the most prominently featured goods on their site). They don’t buy the item themselves but rather get you offers from professional buyers (in their words). Professional buyers means organization with “proven expertise in customer service and refurbishing devices in large quantities.” From their site:
The uSell marketplace instantly matches you with the service that has the best offer to sell your iPhone, sell your cell phone, or sell other devices. Every time you sell, you can expect free shipping, quick payment, and responsive customer support.
In terms of relevant credentials, they mention on their site that they’re an Elite Member of ResellerRatings, have recycled 665k+ devices (the focus of their copy is on doing good for the earth by keeping old devices out of landfills), and have helped customers earn over $46.7 million. They also have a number of featured pull-quotes here from such venerable institutions as Forbes, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and PCMag.com.
What Devices Do They Buy?
uSell doesn’t limit themselves to iPhones, smartphones, even smart devices. In fact, here’s their full roster of items they can and will help you sell:
- iPhones (3GS-7 Plus)
- Video Games
- Gift Cards
Yes, even gift cards have a home at uSell.com, where you can get up to 92% back on the dollar. So, if you know for sure you’re never going to use that $50 to Bass Pro Shops, while it’s not a perfect deal, you could get $37 in cold hard cash to replace that piece of fish-themed plastic burning a hole through your wallet.
That said, the textbook page seemed to be down when this reviewer went to see if anyone was looking for a mid-2000s textbook on modern Western European politics.
The Quoting Process
The quoting process is simple and fast.
In just a few clicks, you can have a quote on just about anything. Simply find your device, select where it fits in the damaged to flawless scale, and right away you have an offer to consider.
One of their big selling points at uSell is that shipping is always 100% free for all devices. A free postage-paid shipping kit will be sent to you in the mail, personal data removal is included, and you get free return shipping if the product assessment on arrival doesn’t match your original quote and you no longer want to sell. Shipping will never cost you a dime. So that’s nice.
Payouts are issued by PayPal or check and should be issued between 1 and 7 business days from receipt of your package depending on which buyer you’re matched with. That said, the number one complaint one can find online – thought there aren’t too many, in the grand scheme of things, relative to similar sites – are from customers who did not receive prompt payment or who seem to have had shipping issues.
Usell Customer Service
uSell’s customer service options are fairly limited. They have a FAQ page as their help center and a link to contact them via an online form, so it might be tough to get a hold of them if something were to go wrong. They say you should receive an email within 1 business day of contacting them, but reviews suggest 1 business day sometimes stretches into a few.
Most frustratingly, they make it look like they have live chat on the site, but it just searches their FAQ for you.
Additional Benefits and Features
In addition to free shipping and relatively quick and painless quoting and payment, they also list a 30-day price guarantee as a benefit, though what that entails exactly doesn’t seem to be defined anywhere on the site. They simply say, “It’s all guaranteed for 30 days.” A little obtuse but better than no guarantee.
How Do The Payouts Compare?
The payouts tend to be on the average for what similar sites are offering. Certainly for various iPhone models, their offers were generally right in the middle – neither the highest nor lowest bid. For other devices, they were in some cases significantly below the average.
Whereas similar sites offered $39-60 for a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition), uSell offered only $7.50.
Make sure to get quotes from a few sites. Usell buys a wide range of items that you may not be able to sell on other sites, but if you’re selling a popular item, you will have options. Check Decluttr for general devices and sites like Trademore and Buyback Boss for smartphones.
Some Other Relevant Info
Overall, the primary concern internet reviews who’ve used the service seem to have had is with poor quality shipping. It seems on a few occasions, devices have arrived at the buyer in much worse shape than they were sent off, which may be an issue with the buyer, the seller, or perhaps the sort of free shipping/packaging they’re distributing. If you decide to go with uSell, a word to the wise might be to take a photo of your device before sending it off and give it an extra round of bubble wrap to be safe.
Usell Review – Final Thoughts
By and large, people seem to like uSell and they do a good job resolving complaints lodged online (like on the Better Business Bureau website). Their customer service seems to be a bit lacking and their materials can be a bit vague, but their offers are solid if not remarkable and they offer a quick payout and free shipping. They might not be the best choice for your non-Apple devices, but if you’re looking to sell your iPhone quickly and conveniently, they could be a good option for you.