Plus: Verizon Wireless Trade-In Scams to Watch Out For

How to Trade in Your Phone at Verizon Wireless

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Trading in your phone at Verizon Wireless is a good opportunity to reduce the cost of getting a new device. However, there are some caveats and Verizon Wireless is not immune to potential trade in scams. If you want to know where the best trade-in deals are, and what scams to watch out for, we can help.

What Are Trade-In Deals?

Trade-in deals are situations where Verizon Wireless gives you a special deal for trading in an old cell phone, usually in exchange for buying a new cell phone from Verizon Wireless. In most cases, Verizon Wireless gives you the best trade-in deals when you are switching to their services, activating a new line, or taking out a new contract. 

Verizon Wireless offers other situations as well for trading in just about any old device including old cell phones, smartphones, and tablets.

Best Trade-in Deals for Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless does not offer direct cash in exchange for trading in a cell phone. Once you have received and accepted the trade-in value of the phone, Verizon will give you what it’s called instant credit or a gift card. Instant credit is only available to existing customers and it applies to your account when you trade-in at a qualifying opportunity.

Verizon Wireless is similar to other major carriers in that the best trade-in deals for Verizon Wireless are offered to you when you apply as a new customer or upgrade your phone, or add a new line.

In these situations they might offer specific time based deals and apply the credit from your trade-in deal to the purchase of your new phone.

If you are not an existing customer oh, you still have the opportunity to get good trade-in deals from Verizon Wireless in exchange for a Verizon Wireless gift card. This means you can use the gift card toward future purchases with the company only.

For Existing Customers

Verizon Wireless has what is called the device trade-in program and it lets you donate or trade in old devices while also earning credit or a Verizon Wireless gift card. If you are already a Verizon Wireless customer you can follow these steps:

  1. Login to your Verizon account.
  2. Choose the device from the drop-down menu on your account that you want to trade in and answer questions about its condition.
  3. Verizon will provide you with an appraisal value which you cannot negotiate.
  4. Select the manner in which you want to be paid for your trade in, and review all of the details.
  5. To complete your trade-in you have to send the old device to Verizon Wireless through the mail. They will give you a prepaid shipping envelope.

For New Customers

New customers who have not yet signed up with Verizon Wireless can also trade in a device in exchange for a Verizon Wireless gift card. The steps are relatively similar:

  1. Go to the Verizon Wireless device trade-in page and choose the make, model, color, carrier, and size of the phone for the device trade-in.
  2. Answer questions about its condition.
  3. Verizon will provide you with an appraisal value and you can choose to accept or not.
  4. Enter the device ID and validate it. They will provide instructions on how to wipe the data from the phone and send you a prepaid shipping envelope in which to return your device.

You can verify the status of your device trade-in at any time using the Verizon trade-in page and entering the submission ID for the device. This submission ID should be emailed to you at confirmation of your trade in.

Third Party trade-in deals

If you have an old device and you don’t want credit to your Verizon Wireless account, and you need something like actual cash, this is where third-party deals come in. You are not allowed to negotiate with Verizon when they give you the appraisal, but shopping around gives you an alternative form of negotiation.

There are reputable ways to get trade-in deals from third parties. The steps are very similar. When you visit the website in question you will:

  1. Fill out their estimator tool with details of your carrier, the device manufacturer, as well as the device model. Some care about color too.
  2. Receive a quote from the company after updating the current condition of your device.
  3. In most cases send the phone through the mail in exchange for a check or e-wallet payment once the phone is received and approved.

Trade-In Scams to Watch Out For 

The Wrong trade-in value

The biggest trade in scams for Verizon Wireless have to do with the amount. You are given an appraisal when you agree to trade in your device but it is just that: an appraisal. Verizon Wireless reserves the right to change that once they receive the phone and verify its current condition. If they believe it is not in the condition you reported oh, they can reduce that amount or even refuse to give you a trade-in deal.

Another serious issue has to do with sending the device through the mail. Because you send the device through the mail instead of visiting a direct Verizon Wireless store, it has the opportunity to be lost or stolen and if Verizon Wireless does not receive the package within 15 days of sending you the prepaid envelope, they will cancel the trade-in deal. This can be particularly problematic if your phone is actually lost in the mail as you have no recourse for compensation.

Third party scammers

Similarly there are third-party trading scams to watch out for. According to Forbes  every year 29 million cell phones disappear because of scams most of which take place on sites like eBay or Craigslist. 

Reporting the phone lost or stolen

Disreputable third parties might claim that the phone was never received or stolen in the mail and if they don’t receive the phone, you don’t get compensation. Whether you are using a third-party or Verizon Wireless, it is important to get postal insurance and tracking when you send a phone in for a trade in.

Reputable companies will give you a prepaid envelope with that tracking and insurance.

Selling a stolen or blacklisted phone

Another issue has to do with trading in your phone not for cash or credit but for a new phone. Plenty of third-party companies just like Verizon Wireless give you the opportunity to put your trade-in value toward a new device. But there are places like eBay or Craigslist where the phone you receive after your trade-in deal is stolen or blacklisted.

You can protect against this by checking the CTIA’s Stolen Phone Checker online to verify that a phone is not.

What to do if You’ve been Ripped off by a Trade-In Scam

If you were scammed, you can report the company to the FTC. The FTC provides consumer information about specifically how to report things and they take those reports to help stop third parties from doing the same thing to other people.

However, reporting a company to the FTC does not get you compensation. What can potentially get you compensation is arbitration. Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution that lets you present your case in front of a neutral arbitrator. If you want compensation for trade-in scams we can help.

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