sellshark vs. Apple Trade-In

sellshark vs. Apple Trade-In

July 27, 2023

There’s no denying that Apple is a leader in the technology industry. People all around the globe (including us a sellshark) love their products. In January of this year, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, said that there are 1.65 billion Apple devices in active use! Unfortunately, just because Apple makes products that billions of people love, that doesn’t mean that they’re perfect.


Apple has a trade in program that allows consumers to bring in their used Apple device and exchange it for money. Sounds great, right? We would love to agree but we have found that Apple certainly has its limitations when it comes to trading in your used device.

We have listed those limitations below so you can make the most informed decision when you’re ready to trade in your Apple device.

1. You don’t receive cash in exchange for your device

Once your device has been sent to Apple Trade-In, you will be sent a trade-in refund that you can either accept or deny. Should you choose to accept, you will be sent an Apple gift card in that amount – not cash. This means that your money must stay in the Apple universe. It’s your money and we believe that you should be able to spend it where you want.

2. Their offers are sub-par

You can begin the trade-in process yourself through the Apple Store mobile app. They’ll ask you a few questions about your device’s age, condition, etc. and then provide you with a trade-in offer. But beware: this is only an estimated trade-in offer and it might decrease drastically once you send it in for physical inspection.

3. Apple outsources its trade-in program

Many people don’t realize that when they send their device into Apple Trade-In, they’re not actually sending their device to Apple. Apple contracts Phobio, a company that offers white label trade-in services so the companies that hire them can pass their services off as their own. Not only is your device not inspected by an Apple technician (which would be the assumption) but Phobio has had many recent complains about unfair inspections and offers.

Over 500 complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about Phobio, and the BBB issued a statement warning Apple users that Phobio has a “pattern of complaints alleging Refund or Exchange Issues, Sales Issues, and Service Issues.

4. Apple Trade-In’s process is slow

Time is money. You could be waiting 2-3 weeks for the entire trade-in process to be complete. And then at the end of it (if you even get there) you’re handed a gift card that you must spend on more Apple products. Want a faster experience? Apple suggests you just dump your device in a recycling bin – their words!

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