Trade in your old iPhone for a 5S or 5C and become a Gazellionaire

Michael Santo's picture

In an email sent to customers on Sept. 10, right in the midst of the Apple press event introducing the iPhone 5C and 5S, third-party trade-in site Gazelle told its past customers that their iPhone could be work $1 million.

How is that possible? Here is what the email said:

Sell your iPhone today and enter for a chance to become a Gazellionaire

Everybody wins. Yes, everybody. When you sell your iPhone on Gazelle, you win because you get cash. The planet wins because an iPhone sent to Gazelle is an iPhone that isn't sitting unused somewhere else. And your status as a normal, wallet-carrying civilian wins because you could win $1 million.

Gazelle offers are good for 30 days, so sell your iPhone today and send it to us when you get the new one. You might even become a Gazellionaire!

The Sweepstakes begins on September 9, 2013, at 12:00 AM and ends on December 31, 2013, at 11:59:59 PM ET. During that period, a entry can be made either one of two ways:

a) Entering via Facebook. A user (who has already Liked the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Gazelle.com) can enter once daily, but with no more than 10 entries total.
b) Entering by completing a transaction, meaning by executing a trade-in on the site.

To be clear, the combination of a) and b) above can only be one per day. In addition, there is a total limit of 10 overall, combined within a) and b) during the contest period.

Gazelle will "hold" the price it gives you for 30 days. That means that customers can enter one day, get their new iPhone 5S or 5C the next day, and then ship the device to Gazelle afterward, meaning they will no have period in which they are phone-less.

Notably, Apple recently introduced its own device trade-in program. The expect amount of money that Apple will give to a customer -- on a gift card, to be clear -- is generally accepted to be less than that from a third-party company like Gazelle.

However, Apple -- and Best Buy -- have an advantage over Gazelle, which is convenience. What is more convenient than walking into a retail outlet with your old device, trading it in, and exiting the store with a lighter wallet, but not as light as it might have been sans trade-in?

Interestingly, on Sept. 10 Walmart announced its own trade-in program. However, the company said it would not begin until Sept. 21, a day after the iPhone 5S and 5C launch. It remains to be seen if Walmart will adjust that date.