EcoATM VS Online Buyback Companies: Which Pays 70 Percent More For Used Smartphones?

If you have a used smartphone or other device to sell you know you need to compare offers from different companies to get the greatest payout. Flipsy instantly compares smartphone buyback company offers so you can find the best deal, but how do online buyback companies stack up to ecoATM? The following provides a detailed comparison between ecoATM and online buyback companies – including how they work, what payouts you can expect for popular smartphone and other device models, and common complaints – so you can make an educated decision regarding the best way to get the most money for your used smartphone.

EcoATM and online buyback companies: how they work

The process for selling your used smartphone is straight-forward for both ecoATM and online buyback companies.

For ecoATM, you first have to locate a kiosk (typically located in malls and other shopping areas). Take your smartphone to the ecoATM kiosk, follow the on-screen prompts, and get paid.

For online buyback companies, start by comparing offers for your smartphone on Flipsy. Pick the best offer, then complete the transaction on the vendor's website. Send your smartphone in (some companies send postage-paid packaging for your convenience) and your buyback company will distribute funds.

If an ecoATM is located close, it's the fastest way to get cash for your old smartphone. However, online buyback vendors offer greater convenience. In addition, online vendor payout types can vary between check, PayPal deposit, direct deposit, and store credit, among others. Now, let's compare which service pays the most money for old smartphones.

EcoATM and online buyback companies: Which pays more?

How much you can get paid for your old smartphone depends on the model, condition, and the purchasing party. It's impossible to cover every single phone in one article, so we've selected three of the most popular phone models to compare buyback offers from companies such as BuyBack World, Technollo and SmartSupply against ecoATM.

Phone Buyback Offer 1 Buyback Offer 2 Buyback Offer 3 ecoATM
iPhone 5 16GB Verizon
(good condition)
BuyBack World
Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB Verizon
(good condition)
BuyBack World
BlackBerry Q10 Verizon
(good condition)
Gizmo Trader
BuyBack World

Smartphones aren't the only used devices you can sell via ecoATM and online buyback vendors; they also purchase tablets and MP3 players. The following table compares offers for two popular iPad and iPad models from buyback companies and ecoATM.

Device Buyback Offer 1 Buyback Offer 2 Buyback Offer 3 ecoATM
iPad 4 16GB Verizon
(good condition)
BuyBack World
iPod Touch 4 16GB Verizon
(good condition)
Old School
Game Vault
BuyBack World

As you can see, online buyback companies tend to pay out more than ecoATM (however, ecoATM often pays out more than carriers and other trade-in services, particularly for Samsung S series phones and iPads). It's worth noting that the prices quoted for ecoATM represent the company's highest payouts, per the company's website, while the prices quoted for buyback companies are for devices in “good” condition – which means if you have a device in “very good” or “like new” condition, you can expect to be paid even more for it.

Complaints about ecoATM and online buyback companies

There are three common complaints about ecoATM. First, some say the machines are prone to running out of cash and instead issuing checks; however, ecoATM states this occurs less than one percent of the time as the company continually monitors its machines and refills them every week. If a machine does run out of cash, customers are prompted to call customer service and arrange to have a check mailed to them.

Others claim ecoATMs encourage crime because they make it easy to quickly turn old smartphones into cash. Many, including some law enforcement officials, believe criminals will steal more devices because they can cash in on stolen devices and get away undetected. EcoATM counters by pointing out the numerous safeguards the company has implemented to prevent their machines from facilitating crime, including driver's license scans, real-time photos, and real-time remote human photo comparison. Those safeguards, however, have led others to complain that ecoATMs are cumbersome to use and the process takes a long time.

Online buyback companies aren't without their own criticisms. You have to ship your smartphone to your buyer (and in some cases first wait for packaging to be shipped to you), then wait for your buyer to assess its condition and release your payout; thus, it can take several days and even several weeks to receive payment from buyback vendors.

In addition, if your buyback vendor doesn't agree with you regarding the condition of your smartphone you'll have to negotiate a new price, which will be less than you were initially offered. If you reject the new offer, some buyback companies will refuse to send your smartphone back to you.

EcoATM VS online buyback companies: the conclusion

So, which is the best method for selling your used smartphone and other devices? It depends on which attributes represent a good deal to you. The following table ranks ecoATM and online buyback vendors for several important attributes (“1” represents the best ranking).

Price Speed-of-payout Convenience Access Complaints
ecoATM 2 1 2 2
Online Buyback Companies 1 2 1 1

● Price: Some, but not all, online buyback companies tend to offer greater payouts than ecoATM
● Speed-of-payout: ecoATM's instant cash model is much faster than shipping to and from buyback companies
● Convenience: You can sell to online buyback vendors from the comfort of your own home, but you'll have to drive to find an ecoATM
● Access: Anyone with Internet access can sell to online buyback companies; not every city has an ecoATM kiosk
● Complaints: Both methods have their fair share of complaints, so this category is a scratch

If price and convenience are most important to you, you should visit to compare online buyback company offers. However, if you need fast cash today ecoATM is your best option. In both cases, it's a good idea to first investigate all payout offers, terms, and conditions so you can sell your smartphone to the company that offers the greatest benefits to you.



FREE MONEY: The average household has $265 worth of old gadgets.