If you need quick cash, it might be tempting to visit the local pawn shop and sell expensive gadgets like your iPhone, tablet computer or laptop for a steep discount. But hold the phone! (Literally.) There are some amazing new options for getting quick cash for your gadgets, even the broken ones.
Gazelle is a Web site that offers fixed prices for old cell phones, tablets, iPods and Apple computers. All you do is enter your gadget's information (model, operating system, memory) and its current condition, and Gazelle gives you an instant quote that's good for the next 30 days. If you send them your device, Gazelle will send you a check in a week. Gazelle's offer for a "flawless" iPhone 5 16 GB, for example, was $310.
But what if your gadget is in far-from-flawless condition? Your best bet for a cracked, drowned or otherwise dead device is probably EcoATM, an automated kiosk that pays cash instantly for used or damaged cell phones and tablets. EcoATM has thousands of U.S. locations, mostly in malls. The kiosks are equipped with software to recognize makes and models for more than 2,000 devices, and they can also detect damage and flaws. To deter thieves from fencing stolen merchandise, each sale requires a scanned photo ID and a thumbprint.