Before You Sell: EcoATM Checklist
If there is an ecoATM kiosk in your local mall or other community location, it can be a convenient way to sell your old smartphone for quick cash. Though ecoATM transactions are relatively fast and easy, there are several things you should do before you sell your smartphone via a kiosk. Failing to do so can cost you money, time, and even your personal identity. The following checklist details steps you should take before you sell your smartphone to ecoATM.
Check the price
EcoATM kiosks are great if you need cash fast, but if you're interested in getting the most money possible for your used smartphone it's a good idea to compare prices first (updated ecoATM prices as of 10/08/18). Visit Flipsy.com and find your phone to instantly compare offers from dozens of online buyback companies. Flipsy will display the best buyback offer in comparison to other offers on a single page, as well as the private market value of your smartphone – what you can expect to receive if you sell it on Craigslist, Ebay, and other private marketplaces. You can also get up-to-date prices directly from the ecoATM website.
If you're already at the kiosk location, you can download Flipsy's free “What's My Phone Worth?” app, which instantly analyzes your smartphone and tells you what it's worth to buyback companies and on the private market, then compare those prices to the offer made by the ecoATM kiosk.
Once you know how much your smartphone is worth, you can then make an educated decision regarding whether to sell your smartphone to ecoATM, on the private market, to a Flipsy vendor, or to another buyer. You can also gauge whether ecoATM's pricing is fair, or at least on par with buyback vendors. In some cases, the price difference might be worth waiting to receive payment; in others, the difference might be negligible and offer justification for getting fast cash via ecoATM.
Assess the condition of your phone
The condition of your phone directly impacts its value, so you should assess its condition even before you check prices. Vendors have various definitions for what constitutes a given condition, but in general phones are graded on the following conditions:
● New – brand-new, never out of the box
● Like New – no damage whatsoever
● Very Good – works perfectly, but might have a couple of superficial scratches
● Good – shows normal wear, but still works perfectly
● Fair – wear borders on the excessive, but still functions properly
● Poor – heavy cosmetic damage, perhaps even a broken screen, but still works
● Broken – the phone does not work, parts and buttons might be missing or broken
Again, you should assess the condition of your phone before you sell it so you can determine whether a given offer is fair. Be honest with your assessment: it's better to get more money than you expect than less.
Remove all accessories
Before you place your phone in an ecoATM kiosk, be sure to remove all accessories that could hinder the function of the machine. Those include screen protectors, covers, and cases – items you could potentially even sell on the private market if they're still in good condition. Chargers and cables are likewise not required for ecoATM transactions.
Remove the SIM card
Your SIM card connects you to you wireless network; if you leave your SIM card in and your phone is stolen, it's possible for others to tap into your network and make purchases on your behalf. SIM cards can also be transferred between phones, allowing unauthorized users to use your wireless plan for their own calls, data, and gaming – which could rack up fees. Even though ecoATM takes robust security measures, the best security is prevention.
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Remove the Micro SD card
Your Micro SD card, if present, can contain sensitive data, photos, and other information you don't want to fall into the wrong hands. Protect yourself by removing your Micro SD card, which is reusable on other devices.
Make a backup/transfer your files
In addition to removing your SIM and Micro SD cards, you should make a backup of your smartphone and transfer it elsewhere: to your laptop or desktop computer, for example. You don't have to save everything, but it's important to save anything you'll want to use again. Some phones, such as iPhones, allow you to sync directly to a different device with dedicated software.
Factory reset/wipe your phone
This is the most important security measure listed: always factory reset your phone before selling it to ecoATM or anyone else. Your phone stores a lot of information about you that you don't want to go public, including passwords, private photos, and even emails, so learn how to do a “hard factory reset” to completely wipe your phone's data before selling. This single precaution alone can prevent a lot of headaches, including identity theft.
Manually clean your phone
This step isn't absolutely necessary, especially since you'll be dealing with a machine; however, it stands to reason that a clean phone looks more attractive and can improve the perception of condition to the human eye.
Take your ID
Make sure you have your driver's license or other state-issued ID with you to sell your phone to ecoATM. The machine will scan your driver's license to match your identity to your phone (it will also scan your thumbprint); the machine will also snap your photo for remote live human ID verification before any money is dispensed. If you do not have your ID, you will not be able to use ecoATM.
Double-check your appearance
While it's true that few of us are happy with our driver's license photos, it's also true that they serve as easy verification. Since an ecoATM staff member will verify that your live photo matches the one on your ID card, it's a good idea to avoid appearing drastically different. Though rare, there have been cases in which users have complained they've been rejected for not matching their IDs.
If you're considering selling your smartphone via ecoATM, make sure you follow these steps to ensure you're getting the best deal for fast cash, to protect yourself against identity theft, and to ensure a quick, smooth transaction at the kiosk.
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