Have you gotten a new smart phone recently, and still have the old one laying around collecting dust? We all know they really should not be thrown away. Improper disposal of electronics and batteries is very bad for the environment.

We recently traded in two IPhones and upgraded to Samsung Galaxy S4s. Yes, if in perfect condition, some retailers/carriers will allow you to trade your old phone in for credit toward a new phone.  Unfortunately, my phone had a very cracked screen and a home button that was wearing out and Tara’s phone had a very slight, almost unnoticeable crack. This made neither of our phones eligible for trade in.

In the past I have very successfully used a mail in company (IPhones To Cash) to trade in our outdated IPhones, but this time around I needed the cash in my pocket PRONTO. IPhones to Cash sends you a postage paid envelope that you then send your phones back to them in, they in turn send you a check. I’ve had this process take an average of two weeks. This time around my envelope was not coming quickly enough, and I had heard of ECOATM through a co-worker.

I googled ECOATM and found that there was a kiosk location at our local mall. I also looked for reviews and watched a video on YouTube. The process looked very simple and the reviews were favorable.

Tuesday morning, I headed to the mall with two IPhones in hand. Tara’s in 1 year old IPhone 4s and my over two year old, very damaged, IPhone 4. I made sure that I had erased all our data from the phones before hand.

20130723_121237I arrived at the ATM, and proceeded to touch the screen to start the process. I got no response from the machine. No problem, I had my cell phone with me, and there was a number to contact clearly displayed.

I called the number and was promptly connected to the agent. He asked for the kiosk number which was also easy to locate, and started to remotely diagnose the problem. I was asked to help in the process. He had to restart the machine, and at one point we got disconnected (I think it was my user error on my new phone!), but I quickly called back, gave the next agent the kiosk number and we quickly picked up where we left off and got the machine recalibrated and ready to use!


The machine speaks to you, and takes you through the process. I really had hoped to document the process with photo and videos, but I was not coordinated enough to do it all with just two hands!

First the door opens up and you place your cell phone on the tray. It then takes a few moments to determine the model of your phone.

Once that happens, a little sticker is dispensed, the door opens, and the proper charger for your phone has been made available.

I was instructed to place the sticker on the back of my phone, and plug the phone in. The machine again closes and begins to diagnose the condition of the phone.

Once this is completed you are shown the amount that you will be paid for your phone if you choose to continue. You have the option to stop at this point if you choose.

In my case for Tara’s phone, Best Buy would have given us a trade in of $150 if the phone was in perfect condition. The ECOATM quoted me a price of $163! Hell, yes, I will take that! This is a bad photo, but it shows $163 up in the right hand corner.


If you choose to accept the offer, you are then required to insert your drivers license into the machine, as well as providing a thumb print.

Once this is done, you are asked if you have another device, and you go through the process again. My broken IPhone netted me another $53!

In total I walked away from ECOATM with $216 in my pocket. Even with the troubleshooting time, I was at the kiosk for only about 1/2 hour.

They accept all types of cell phones, and tablets, and if you have all cords/chargers you can put them in a receptacle on the side of the kiosk as well. You don’t get money for them, but they recycle them accordingly. For older phones you might get a small amount of money, but at least they are being recycled and not collecting dust. You even have the opportunity to donate a portion of your earnings to charity via the machine.

Next time you have a cell phone you want to dispose of, check out ECOATM. The process was kind of fun! I wish I had more phones to dispose of! LOL!

I would give this experience TWO THUMBS UP and on a scale of 1-10 – I would give it a 10 for ease of use and a great over all experience.


(This is not a sponsored review, just information I wanted to share!)



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  1. Ally

    I found your post when I was looking up information on the company. They just called me stating they had received my *stolen* phone in one of their machines and would be returning it to me ASAP. I’m curious to see when I get it back, what kind of condition it is in. An interesting concept.

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