Gazelle or Sell it Yourself

We normally discuss mounts but on occasion we discuss the stuff that you put into the mount.  Today, we’re talking about the stuff you put into a mount.  Like a phone.

I recently upgraded my Apple iPhone and wanted to recoup what I could on the used market for old phone.  I had heard of Gazelle.  It’s a company that runs a site that gives you a supposedly high offer for your use phone.  Gazelle asks some questions to determine the configuration and carrier of your phone as well as the model and memory.  They then ask you to determine the condition.  The choices are “Broken”, “Good” and “Flawless”.  Prices are provided for each of the three conditions.  You then mail it to Gazelle.  They verify the configuration and decide if they agree with your assessment of condition.  They then contact you with the offer.

In my case, I had an iPhone that was enclosed in an Otterbox Defender case since the first day it was received.  Not a scratch, dent or any flaw.  It was flawless so that’s what I chose.  I mailed it in and waited for my check.  Problem.  Gazelle decided that my phone was only “Good”.  They did not explain why that was their determination, but the offer was now a good amount less than what I had agreed to.  Now I have to decide what to do.  Let them pay me the low-ball offer or refuse the offer and await the return.

I took a look at what I could do if I sold it myself on Amazon or eBay or even Craig’s List.  I was surprised to see phones being sold online in worse condition than mine for $100+ more than what Gazelle was now offering me.  So now I was really annoyed.  I told Gazelle to send it back to me.  I would sell it myself.  So I waited and Gazelle did return the phone to me fairly quickly.  Received it in less than a week.  It was well packaged and it was received in the same condition as the way it was received.  Still no word on why they disagreed with my condition assessment.

Now I had to sell it myself.  I wasn’t keen about meeting someone in front of Panera Bread for a late night meeting to sell my phone.  I just saw myself hanging out with my phone, handing it over to some guy I never met before and him running at 70 miles per hour in the opposite direction with my iPhone in his pocket.  So Craig’s List was out.

I would up listing it on one of the online marketplaces.  I also threw in a nice car mount.  Sold it for over $100 more than what Gazelle offered me.  I listed it correctly in like new condition and included the Otterbox that I no longer needed since my new iPhone was larger than the old one wouldn’t fit in the Otterbox anyway.  Sold it in seven days after listing it.  Minus the commission of about 10% I was still way ahead.  A helpful tip to anyone selling their old phone online is to differentiate your device from the hundreds or thousands of others on the same site.  You can do that my including some of the stuff that you were using for your old phone that you may no longer need.  Accessories like a charger, case or mount are always welcome to a perspective buyer.

While Gazelle may offer a quick check for your phone, it will come at a reduced price.  Think about it.  Gazelle is selling your phone for a profit after they buy it from you.  I’m guessing they sell it on the same sites as the one I used to sell it and I know they also sell it on their own site.  I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised my the low offer given the fact that Gazelle has overhead just like any other business and they need to make a profit too.

Next time, I’ll skip Gazelle and sell it myself.