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Generally speaking, I’m not a big Sears fan. My male relatives, however, routinely hit the department store for tools or appliances, so this news caught my eye (especially in light of the upcoming holidays):

Sears has partnered with Gazelle to offer a simplified trade-in program for cell phones and other electronics. Participants turn in their working gadgets and get a department store gift card in return. This isn’t a bad deal. I plugged in some details on my pristine but old iPhone 2G, and here’s what it gave me:



This trade-in value seems more than fair. It tops the cost of a new 3G, and is more than half the cost of a brand new 3GS. Sure, sellers could get more peddling it on their own, but at least this way, there’s no fussing with buyers or worries about phony bidders scamming devices. (This has actually happened to, not one, but two of my friends recently. Yes, even though they were PayPaled first. But I digress...)

Sure, there are other cash-for-gadget operations out there — and some of them are actually legit — but if you’d rather have an easy, straightforward experience with a reputable, well-known company, this is a decent alternative. Shipping is free, there’s no cost to participate, and as part of a holiday promotion, sellers get an additional 5% of the value added to their gift cards (through December 31, 2009).

So using this, I can turn my old iPhone into a holiday present — like that nail gun my father-in-law’s been eyeballing.

The only catch is that the cell phone, laptop, PDA, camera, MP3 player or other electronic device needs to be functional. But even if it’s not, you can still send them your broken gadgets for free recycling.

For more, head to the dedicated Sears-Gazelle website here.

 

UPDATE: Okay, I admit I'm a big knucklehead. As the wise Tony Rivera states in the first comment below, the Sears gift card might be eligible toward the cost of a new cell phone at Sears. I say "might be," because it's too late where I am to call them and confirm this. But if true, then forget the holiday gifts — Score that hot handset instead! And report back, so all the PD readers can benefit from your wisdom — like Mr. Rivera here :-)


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