Apple Now Offers Gift Cards for Used Gadgets

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Anyone with an old Mac, iPhone or iPad lying around their home can now trade it in to Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) directly in exchange for a gift card as part of the company’s recently updated recycling program.

A first-generation 32 GB iPad with Wi-Fi in perfect condition is estimated to be worth an Apple gift card of $180, while the same model slightly scuffed up with get you a gift card for $115, according to a trade-in calculator on Apple’s website. Likewise, a 16 GB iPhone 4 in perfect condition will get you a gift card worth $230, while one with “light to moderate scratches” will get you $160.

In general, these offers fall a little short of what one could get on third-party websites. Gazelle, for example, offers $250 for a 32 GB iPad with WiFi in perfect condition, some $70 more than Apple’s gift card offer for the same device. But the fact that Apple brokers the trade-in directly will likely persuade some to forego the extra money in favor of dealing with a company they know well.

Customers interested in recycling their old products must first answer a handful of questions describing its condition and functionality. Apple then partners with PowerOn, a California-based reseller, which provides the user with an appraisal for the item and, if the customer wants to trade it in, free shipping materials. As with most online resellers, PowerOn may revise their initial appraisal after reviewing the product depending on whether its condition matches your description.

Until now, the only option Apple offered was to recycle old computers on the consumer’s behalf for a small fee, or free of charge if the customer purchased something else at the same time. With the new trade-in option, Apple will continue to recycle old Macs and PCs, but will also reward customers for products that the company deems still have value.

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