ecoATM vs. Phone
Carrier Trade-In

ecoATM vs Phone Carrier Trade-In: Get the Most For Your Phone

We've been introduced the brand new iPhone 13, and you may be thinking about what to do with your current iPhone. When it's time to trade in your cell phone or electronic device, you have a few options. One is to take it to the nearest carrier store and work with a representative to inspect and trade in your device. This can be a time-consuming process, and you're limited to the business hours set by the store.

Another option is to contact your carrier company directly and see if it's possible to ship your device to them for a trade-in. Not every company provides this service, and those that do might take days, weeks or more than a month to process trade-ins and send payment back to you. 

  • Benefits of Using ecoATM for Your Trade-In 
  • ecoATM Is an Environmentally Friendly Trade-In Option 
  • How You Know When It's Time to Trade in Your Phone 
  • Find an ecoATM Near You 

The third option is to find a conveniently located ecoATM kiosk, follow the prompts and securely recycle your device to receive an instant cash payment and properly recycle it. Using an ecoATM for your trade-in is the best method for disposing of your old device because it's simple, safe and puts money in your pocket when you need it. 

Benefits of Using ecoATM for Your Trade-In 

Upgrading to a new device is exciting, but sometimes the phone carrier trade-in process can be overwhelming. Fortunately, ecoATM offers a green, stress-free alternative that is simple to navigate and gives you cash on the spot. Learn more about the benefits of ecoATM vs. phone carrier trade-in, then find an ecoATM near you! 

No Contact Required 

If you've ever gone to a local carrier store, you know how busy they can get, especially during special sale events or promotions. These large crowds make it challenging to move quickly through the trade-in process and often result in long wait times. By using an ecoATM kiosk to dispose of your unwanted device, you can avoid crowded carrier stores and minimize interaction or contact with others. This is an excellent option for anyone wanting a more sanitary, stress-free and time-saving experience. 

Our ecoATM kiosks are also cleaned and sanitized regularly for your health and safety. Visit an ecoATM as an alternative to any other store-based carrier — we accept them all!

Trading in your phone at an ecoATM eliminates the need to go to the store, where you might be pressured into additional purchases or upgrading to a new device before you're ready.

Hassle-Free Experience 

Trading in your phone at an ecoATM eliminates the need to go to the store, where you might be pressured into additional purchases or upgrading to a new device before you're ready. Store trade-ins also mean long lines and often a commute to a specific location within business hours.

Instead, all you to do to prepare for your ecoATM trade-in is: 

  • Back-up contacts, notes, photos and files you want to keep or transfer to a new device. 
  • Disable any "find my phone" features. 
  • Delete personal information stored on your device. 
  • Factory reset and charge your device, if possible. If you can't turn your phone on, don't worry — we'll still accept it. 
  • Bring your government or state-issued ID for identity verification. You must be 18 or older to use ecoATM. 
  • Gather any chargers, cases or accessories you want to recycle. 

ecoATM also requires no shipping, saving you time and reducing shipping-related packaging waste.  

Cash on the Spot

You've decided it's time for a new phone, and you're all prepared to trade in your device for credit or cashback — only to find out it might take weeks to receive your payment. Some phone carriers — and even some phone recycling programs — require you to send or submit your device for analysis and approval before releasing payment. Should your phone's condition not meet specific standards, they may have to issue a new quote, resulting in an even longer waiting period.

With ecoATM, you get cash on the spot. Once you connect your device to a kiosk, you can review and accept our purchase quote. We generate quotes based on the phone's current market value, its condition, its specific model and other factors — all in a matter of minutes. Once you approve of the quote, you make the trade, and our kiosk pays you instantly. Instead of receiving an account credit like you would with some phone carriers, you get money to spend how you want.

Curious to know what your phone is worth? You can also use our online estimate generator to price your device:

  1.  Search for or select your device brand. 
  2.  Choose what type of device you're trading. ecoATM accepts a wide range of smart devices.
  3.  Select the correct device type and specific model from the drop-down menu. 
  4.  Choose your phone's current carrier. 
  5.  Answer a few questions about your device's condition. 
  6.  See the current value of your phone! 

Please note, all online estimates are subject to condition review at the ecoATM kiosk, so the final number may vary. Compared to online phone retailers, you never have to worry about disagreeing with a retailer over your device's quality or value. When you take it to an ecoATM, you'll receive a fair quote based on industry research, and you can accept it immediately. Unlike other retailers, ecoATM also takes multiple types of devices in all conditions, not just functional cell phones. 


With ecoATM, you never have to be concerned about that — our process is straightforward, involves no contract and takes very little work on your part.

No Carrier Contract

When it comes to phone carrier trade-in events, many device owners worry about hidden fees and obligations masked in the fine print. With ecoATM, you never have to be concerned about that — our process is straightforward, involves no contract and takes very little work on your part.

Here's how it works:

  1. Find an ecoATM kiosk near you. 
  2.  Present your valid ID to be scanned and verified. 
  3.  Connect your device and wait for a quote to generate. 
  4. Accept the quote and receive a cash payment.

ecoATM Is an Environmentally Friendly Trade-In Option 

Choosing to recycle your phone with ecoATM is a convenient option, but it's also better for the environment. Cell phones and similar devices are full of toxic materials, including: 

  •  Lead
  •  Mercury
  •  Cadmium
  •  Beryllium 
  •  Arsenic
  •  Polyvinyl chloride 

When these devices are thrown away, they are either sorted through manually for later recycling — potentially exposing humans to these toxins — or sit in landfills where these materials damage the world around us, including the soil and water. Many devices are also burned in incinerators, releasing toxins into the air and posing numerous serious health risks. This is known as hazardous electronic waste, or e-waste, and it's a growing concern across the world.

Here's the good news — you can help. By choosing to recycle your device with ecoATM, you're doing your part to create a cleaner, healthier world. 

What Is E-Waste?

Think back on the past year. How many advertisements have you seen for a new cell phone, laptop or tablet? Manufacturers produce vast quantities of electronics every day, and all of those old devices have to go somewhere. For this reason, e-waste is a growing problem across the globe.

Common e-waste offenders include the following: 

  •  Cell phones
  •  Tablets
  •  MP3 players 
  •  Laptops
  •  Desktop computers and accessories 
  •  Monitors 
  •  Televisions 
  •  Printers 
  •  Fax machines 
  •  Scanners 
  •  Small and large appliances 
  •  Digital and video cameras 

According to Columbia University, one of the most effective ways to combat this problem is to create and use more convenient recycling options, like ecoATM. Device recycling kiosks offer a simple alternative to tossing old devices in the trash and make it easier than ever to make a difference.

How Does ecoATM Help the Environment? 

ecoATM is committed to keeping devices out of landfills and ensuring proper disposal to eliminate exposure to hazardous materials.  As of 2021, we’re happy to say that we’ve saved more than 37 million devices from entering landfills or being incinerated — the equivalent of saving 12,236 tons of manufacturing emissions. While this is a great milestone, we also recognize that more devices are made every day, which is why we will continue to keep our ecoATM kiosks accessible for people like you. 

What Happens to My Device After the Trade-In? 

Once you submit your device to an ecoATM kiosk, we collect it and transfer it to a separate facility. There, we inspect the device and determine whether it's suitable for reuse or recycle. Most of the devices we receive are put back onto the market, reused by other consumers. When we choose to recycle a device, we follow all proper procedures to keep toxic materials out of the environment and away from humans. We also responsibly reclaim as many materials as possible. 


• Wait longer between upgrades
• Never throw your phone away
• Remember chargers and accessories
• Reuse your old device
• Find an e-waste recycling center

What Else Can I Do? 

Choosing to trade your device for cash with ecoATM is a great way to help reduce e-waste! Here are some tips for managing and minimizing e-waste in your daily routine: 

  • Wait longer between upgrades: It's tempting to upgrade your phone every time there's a new release, but by waiting longer, you can help minimize unnecessary phone waste. Prolong your phone's lifespan by investing in a protective case and updating the software frequently. 
  • Never throw your phone away: Never throw your old device directly in the garbage. Instead, bring it to a recycling kiosk to be repurposed or reused. With so many ecoATM kiosks around the country, you're never too far away for an easy trade-in! 
  • Remember chargers and accessories: Chargers, earbuds, speakers and other related accessories can also end up in landfills. If your charger or accessory is not reusable with your new device, find a recycling center that accepts these items and follow the proper donation procedures. At ecoATM, we happily accept chargers, cases and other accessories, regardless of condition, and reuse or recycle them. Just look for the accessory bin at your local ecoATM, and we'll take care of the rest. 
  • Reuse your old device: Just because you're ready to move onto bigger and better devices doesn't mean that your old one isn't still useful! Reuse your old cell phone by handing it down to a younger relative, using it as an emergency phone or linking it with a home monitoring system as a secondary camera. 
  • Find an e-waste recycling center: For large items and appliances that you can't bring to an ecoATM, find a local e-waste recycling center to dispose of them. These facilities can safely reclaim materials and dispose of anything toxic. 

How You Know When It's Time to Trade in Your Phone 

ecoATM is the smart, easy and environmentally friendly way of trading in your device — but how do you know when it's time to recycle your cell phone? Some of the most common reasons for trading in your device include:

  • There's a new release: Upgrading to the latest technology ensures your security and software are current and the best on the market. It also means access to better cameras or network connectivity. For some people, like professionals who rely on cell phones for work, up-to-date systems and technology are essential. 
  • Your phone is damaged: Let's face it — we put our cell phones through a lot. It's a good idea to replace your phone if physical damage impacts its usability, like excessive scuffs and cracks or a shattered screen. There's also internal performance to consider. If your phone is sluggish, glitching, out of storage space, showing signs of a weak battery or operating with outdated software, it's a good time to consider a change. ecoATM accepts devices in all conditions, including water-damaged devices and phones you can no longer turn on. 
  • Your lifestyle has changed: Some lifestyle changes call for a new device, like accepting a new job or taking up a new digital hobby. New phones are also a good investment if you move away from friends or family and want to stay in touch through technology. 
  • You're decluttering: The average household in the United States has 11 devices, many of which are phones and tablets. Additionally, people in the U.S. typically replace their cell phones roughly every two and a half years. It's easy to see why so many of us end up with drawers full of old devices. If you're decluttering, set aside a box and fill it with all the old devices you find so you can trade them in at an ecoATM and get paid.  

Find an ecoATM Near You

contact us today!

Find an ecoATM Near You 

Skip the crowded stores, confusing fine print and long wait times for payout. Bring your device to an ecoATM location — regardless of its age or condition — and you'll get instant cash or properly recycle your device without any of the hassle or stress involved with a carrier store buyback program. When you trade in your device at an ecoATM, you're also making a big difference by reducing e-waste and allowing us to safely reuse or recycle your electronics. Learn more about the ecoATM mission and find a kiosk near you to get started!

ecoATM is not affiliated with nor has it been authorized or sponsored by the manufacturers or service providers in this article. 

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