Get Amazon Gift Cards for Your Excess Stuff

Got textbooks, regular books, DVDs, Blu-Rays, old phones, and other electronics kicking around? While you need to know about Amazon's new Trade In program.  Here's how it works.

1.  Search the Amazon site to see if your stuff is stuff they want

2.  Rate the condition of your stuff online

3.  Fill one box (up to $750 of value)

4. Print a prepaid shipping label and ship to Amazon

5. Wait for the gift card to be credited to your Amazon account.  You can than buy groceries, new stuff, or whatever you want from Amazon's vast inventory.

There are some restrictions on the trade in program and some things to remember.

You need to accurately grade your items against customized criteria listed by the item description. Books are graded differently than smart phones for example.

Amazon needs to agree with your condition assessment. If they don't they will either refuse the item (if broken for example) or offer you a lower price.  If you don't like the offer they will ship the item back.

The limit per box is $750.  You can get to the limit fast with law textbooks, not so easy with old DVDs.  

Amazon only accepts what Amazon wants to accept, obviously based on demand.  The program is also still in bata testing, so expect some changes or even cancellation.

An iPhone App That Makes You Cash

Amazon offers an iPhone App that can be used to scan items and compare them to Amazon's want list.  Instantly know what Amazon will pay you for the item.  Remember Amazon pays shipping and pays you in Amazon gift cards promptly.

The business opportunity is fairly obvious.  Take your free Amazon Student iPhone app to the swap meet, book sales, dorm mates rooms, etc and scan items.  You could even set up a book buying table at your school around exam time.

Buy stuff you can make a profit on by selling to Amazon.  This will require laying out cash up front but, unless you really don't grade properly, you will promptly make your profit in easy to use electronic gift cards.  You can than use the gift cards to buy anything from  groceries to your own textbooks.  Just spend the gift cards on things you would have used the cash for if you had not made a quick turn with the cash by buying and reselling to Amazon. 

Similar Programs

Other less famous online bookstores do offer similar programs.  If you are not convinced that Amazon's offer is high enough you can always shop around for better offers.

Alternative Ways to Sell Your Books

You can of course list your books and other stuff on Amazon and wait for a buyer.  This may be more profitable but slower.  You have to wait for the buyer and than ship each item separately. This plan does not clean up your shelves quick like the Amazon Trade In Program

However, Amazon really only trades for selected titles.  Therefore many titles are best sold the old way through the Amazon reseller program.