I like to think I'm a pretty savvy Amazon shopper. I regularly surf for Lightning Deals and take full advantage of Subscribe & Save and no-rush shipping discounts. So I'm a little shocked I didn't know about this well-kept secret sooner. Have you heard about Amazon Trade-In?
About Amazon Trade-In
Amazon's Trade-In program lets you turn in used items in exchange for Amazon gift cards and discounts. So basically, the next time you're decluttering and come away with a mountain of stuff to purge—old textbooks, late model electronics, video games you don't play anymore—Amazon will take those things and turn them into real currency for you to shop on the site.
The Trade-In program isn't carte blanche to send Amazon all your old stuff. The site maintains an ever-changing list of offers and limited time deals that they're willing to honor, and the trade-in value is only an estimate until the powers that be weigh in on the condition of your used gear and make you an offer (or reject them and send them back to you—shipping both ways is free).
But there can definitely be some money to be made and saved if you're up for the adventure. Right now, you can send in your old Kindle e-reader for up to $40 off a new one. Or you can trade in an old bluetooth speaker and get the trade-in Amazon gift card value plus 25 percent off a new Echo device.
Interested in Getting Started?
Head to this page to navigate trade-in offers by category—at the time of publishing, I see textbooks, cell phones, e-readers, tablets, bluetooth speakers and video games on deck—or click "find more items" on the trade-in page to start searching for products you currently own to trade in. On mobile, you can navigate to products in the Amazon app and look for the trade-in button that appears on the pages of all current trade-in eligible items.
If you discover that your old gear could be turned into cash, complete the trade-in questionnaire and Amazon will send you a pre-paid shipping label to ship the item to them free. You should find out within roughly two weeks (10 business days to ship and 2 business days to appraise) if your stuff's been accepted and if you have an Amazon gift card credit coming to your account. If not, Amazon ships your gear back, also for free. No harm, no foul.
Trade-In isn't the only way Amazon can help you declutter. The retailer also runs a Give Back Box program that works great for your something-in, something-out resolution: When you get an Amazon shipment, you can ship the box back full of stuff to donate to Goodwill—Amazon handles the shipping and all the logistics. You can learn more about Give Back Box here.