Culture

Gazelle is ending trade-ins next year. Here's what you should know.

As consumer trends change, the website is modifying business.

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One of the most famous trade-in websites that takes your smartphones and other devices and gives you cash in return, Gazelle, is ending trade-ins on February 1. According to The Verge, which reviewed a customer-facing email from the website, Gazelle will accept trade-in offers until January 31. In that time, interested sellers will have to figure out not only the time required to receive a quote but also how long it will take to mail their gadget in. After that date, the website will sell refurbished devices.

Gazelle

Companies that create their own smart gadgets already have trade-in options. Consider Apple, for example. The company lets users trade in their devices for credit for their next purchase. You can also get an Apple Gift Card in exchange for an eligible device. But it's a little sad to see Gazelle call off trade-ins for next year because sometimes folks just want strings-free cash.

You don't need to worry — Trade-in businesses like that run by Gazelle were bound to either end or change and pivot to something else to sustain their companies. That's because of how the smartphone marketplace and related telecommunications giants have influenced and changed the gadget and contractual bazaar. Now you can easily buy the latest smartphone model by entering a two-year contract (or more) with various carriers in the United States. AT&T, Verizon, and others have been doing this for years.

It works financially for millions of people because the fee is pretty affordable and easy to factor into a budget. Plus, after a certain duration, the consumer of the phone has the option to trade it in for a newer one, should they want to do so. The consumer can't turn around and sell the phone to a trade-in website unless the leasing contract is complete, anyway. And even then, why would they want to let go of a smartphone they officially now own?

Although Gazelle hasn't given an explanation for this shift on its website, the reasons mentioned above have most likely impacted its website. Going forward, the website will sell refurbished devices, which means the shop will be open. But if you're one of those people who absolutely need to sell their smartphone, smartwatch, or other devices, and grab some cash in return via Gazelle, you have 30 days to do so. Don't waste time.