Out with the old! Amazon trade-ins and upgrades for your tablets and ereaders

It’s that time of the year when Amazon offers some of its best prices on new Kindle e-readers and Fire Tablets. The just released all new Kindle Paperwhite makes this season’s sales look especially appealing.

Amazon’s Trade-in program makes it easy to make a few dollars and save money on an upgrade your device at the same time.All you have to do is select the model of your device, answer a few questions about condition, and you’re given an estimate of the trade-in value to accept or reject. They even give you a label and pick up the shipping costs to send it back to Amazon. When Amazon receives your item, it is checked for condition and the value of the trade-in is applied to your account as a  gift card.

The program does accept certain items that no longer work, hold a charge, or that have cracked screens. While the payout is very small for these items, an upgrade discount is generally included. Also, Amazon does pay for the shipping and it does get broken device out of the house. Amazon does the recycling and you score one for decluttering!

Trade in your e-ink Kindle

While the first Kindle ereader was introduced in 2007, Amazon has released a new model or an upgrade every year since 2009. Many of the older models are either still around. You can now trade in your old e-ink ereader for Amazon credit and possibly get a hefty discount off the purchase of a new one. Currently, Amazon is accepting trade-ins on models ranging from the first generation Kindle up to the last year’s model of the Kindle Oasis. There is a section on the page to help you figure out your model if you are not sure what it is.

Trade in your Fire tablet

Amazon seems to bring out new tablets with even more frequency than it does its e-ink readers. Because tablets have hardware limitations which can make updates difficult or even impossible as they age, all tablets have a certain built in obsolescence (and people ask the “how much is my Fire tablet worth?” question a lot). That makes the idea of trade-ins for Fire tablets even more welcome. Only certain tablet models are eligible for trade in, and many of the older models like the first generation Kindle Fire are not currently listed on the page.

Want to trade-in another brand of tablet? Amazon also accepts trade-ins of Apple iPads and Samsung tablets.

Trade-in other electronics:

Amazon’s trade-in program is not just for e-readers and tablets any more. They also accept trade-ins of Echo devices and other Bluetooth speakers including Bose, Sonos and Jawbone Bluetooth speakers

You can also trade in Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast streaming media players. Interestingly, Amazon is not accepting trade-ins of its own Fire TV devices at this time.

Amazon also has other trade-In categories, including textbooks, cell phonesvideo games, systems and controllers.

One of the things that Amazon does to make it easier to trade in items you no longer need is located on the main Trade-in page. Amazon shows you a list of items you have purchased that are currently eligible for trade in. Trade-In eligible items also have a yellow Trade-In button on the product pages.

A few things to note:

Amounts for items in trade-in offers does change and sometimes certain device models are not eligible for trade-in. Check the trade-in page for the most up to date trade in values and discount offers.

It is important to realize that you are not going to get the maximum value for your items through Amazon’s trade-in program. Depending on the item and its condition, you may be better off selling it through eBay, Craigslist or other online trade-in programs. What Amazon does offer is a quick, easy way to get rid of items that is ideal for someone planning on updating to a new Amazon product. Payment is a gift card or credit to your Amazon account and many trade-ins also include a generous upgrade discount.

I have personally used the program to trade in several devices and everything went very smoothly. (At this point, I have run out of friends and family to give devices to….)

But to be on the safe side, here’s a pro tip for online trade-in on any site: Make a note of the model and serial numbers of the device you are trading in. Take pictures to document the device’s condition. Don’t send boxes and other accessory items unless these are requested as part of the trade-in.

The bottom line: If getting the most bucks for your item is your priority, the Amazon trade-in programs is not your best choice. However, if  you are looking to upgrade or your device is DOA or doesn’t have a lot of value of the secondary market, an Amazon trade-in can be a win.

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