> > Swappa Review 2024: Sell Old Tech for Cash

Swappa Review 2024: Sell Old Tech for Cash

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Do you have an old phone that’s in good condition but isn’t doing anything other than collecting dust? Are you pretty sure that someone else might be able to get some use out of it but aren’t sure how to go about selling it?

Swappa is a service that promises to connect buyers and sellers of used technological devices.

But, can you trust it? Is Swappa legit? And is it worth the hassle of trying to sell your old device? We’ve got answers to all those questions in the article below.

Swappa Review - Is This A Good Place To Sell Your Tech Devices?

Overall Rating 4.8

The Modest Wallet Overall Rating (Our Rating Methodology)

Bottom Line: Swappa is an online platform and mobile app you can use to sell used phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronics for cash. The marketplace allows you to buy used tech as well. They have an option to buy and sell items offline for people who prefer to keep it local.



Seller fees


Earnings potential


Payout process


Customer service


Ease of use




Best for:

  • People looking to sell old electronics for cash
  • People looking to sell used smartphones
  • Side hustlers looking to make extra cash


  • Excellent customer support
  • Great customer reviews
  • Local buy/sell available


  • Only PayPal accepted
  • There is an expiration date on the listings

What Is Swappa?

Swappa is a peer-to-peer eCommerce platform and mobile app that you can use to sell used phones, laptops, tablets, watches, sneakers, video games, and other electronics for cash. It’s a pretty straightforward concept; you post an item for sale and interested buyers will contact you to buy it directly.

Swappa is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and was founded by Ben Edwards on December 5, 2010. What’s cool and unique about Swappa is that it ensures that all listed devices are fully functional and meet the required criteria through its customer service team. Swappa offers a free ESN check service and a directory of over 2,000 repair shops capable of fixing smartphones and other tech products.

Swappa uses PayPal to process payments and charges buyers a tiered sale fee based on the product price. Another unique feature is that Swappa allows buyers and sellers to directly interact, cutting out the middleman.

Swappa has good customer reviews and ratings from sites like Trustpilot (4.8 out of 5.0)ResellerRatings (4.3 out of 5.0), and Sitejabber (4.6 out of 5.0). They also have a B rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 4.4 our 5.0 customer rating.

How Swappa Works
Source: Swappa

>> Read Also: 21 Ways To Get Paid To Play Games (Real Money)

How Does Swappa Work?

Swappa is a marketplace for used electronics. Unlike some of its competitors, the company does not buy your device directly from you and attempts to resell it on its own. Instead, they act as a middleman to facilitate your connection with interested buyers. You then sell the item directly to a third party over the site.

To help you understand how Swappa works, let’s assume you want to sell your iPhone using the platform. Here is what you need to know.

  • Create an Account: The first step is to visit the Swappa website (or download the mobile app) and create a free account. You’ll need to provide some basic information, such as your name, email address, and location.
  • Choose the Listing: Once you’re logged in, click on the “Sell” button on the top right corner of the website. Select the appropriate category for your iPhone, such as “Phones” and then “Apple iPhones.”
  • Provide Device Details: Fill in the necessary details about your iPhone, including the model, storage capacity, color, and condition. Be honest and accurate in your description to ensure transparency and avoid any hiccups with your sale.
  • Upload Photos: Take clear and detailed photos of your iPhone from different angles. Swappa requires at least one photo to be uploaded, but it’s recommended to provide multiple images to give potential buyers a better idea of the device’s condition.
  • Set the Price: Determine the price for your iPhone based on its current market value, condition, and any additional accessories or warranties you’re including. Swappa provides guidance on pricing, but you have the freedom to set your own price.
  • Submit Listing: Double-check all the information you’ve provided and submit your listing. Swappa’s team will review it to ensure compliance with their guidelines and to maintain a safe marketplace.
  • Communication with Buyers: Once your iPhone listing is approved, potential buyers can contact you with questions or offers through the Swappa platform. Respond promptly to inquiries and negotiate the price if necessary.
  • Finalize the Sale: Once you agree on a price with a buyer, they will make the payment via PayPal. Swappa uses PayPal for Marketplaces to ensure secure transactions. Make sure to provide accurate shipping details to the buyer. Remember that Swappa splits the fee between buyers (3%) and sellers (3%).
  • Ship the iPhone: Once the payment is received, securely package your iPhone and ship it to the buyer using a trusted shipping carrier. Swappa recommends using a trackable shipping method and purchasing insurance for the package.
  • Confirm Delivery: Once the buyer receives the iPhone and verifies that it matches the listing, they will mark the sale as complete. Swappa will release the payment to you, and the transaction is successfully concluded.

Swappa Features

Swappa has a ton of great features you can take advantage of to sell your old tech. From local delivery options to instant PayPal payments, Swappa does everything it can to make the seller’s experience as easy and painless as possible.

Buy and Sell Old Tech

Swappa accepts a huge variety of listings. Smartwatches, tablets, smartphones (including iPhones), laptops, video games, cameras, and smart home devices are all eligible to be sold on Swappa.

If it has a microprocessor and has been used, you can sell it on this site.

Swappa Screening Process

Swappa reviews each listing before they post it on the website. They’re looking for obvious signs of fraud and to ensure that the device offered for listing meets all their requirements. Swappa requires that devices sold on its platform:

  • Function properly
  • Can be activated
  • Have not been reported lost or stolen
  • Don’t have any cracks or water damage
  • Have a functional battery included

Additionally, they ban devices with:

  • An ESN (electronic serial number) that cannot be activated
  • An outstanding balance to a carrier that must be paid before using the device

Most of these criteria are met by providing the site with the ESN of your device and stating that it is not damaged in any way.

What is Swappa and How It Works
Source: Swappa

>> Read Also: 12 Creative Ways to Help You Pay Rent This Month (All Legit!)

Packaging and Shipping

As a seller, you’re responsible for everything related to shipping your item. You need to print or prepare a shipping label, pay for shipping (standard shipping is included with your price), and prepare your package properly for transit to ensure it doesn’t break on the way.

Buyers can pay extra for express shipping if they want to get the item extra fast. Just how fast will depend on where the device is coming from and where it’s going.

Swappa Local

Swappa Local enables you to facilitate a meeting with a buyer in a mutually convenient location somewhere in your area to exchange the item and avoid having to ship it. At the time of this writing, Swappa Local only supports cash payments during the meetup process. However, you can arrange payment with the buyer via PayPal at the time they make the purchase, as they would with any other Swappa purchase. This is something you will have to arrange with the buyer.

The Swappa sale fee will be paid at the time a listing is purchased, and this can be done using PayPal or Stripe.

You’ll need to exercise common sense and extra caution when you’re utilizing the Swappa Local process. Meet your buyer in a public place in the middle of the day when and where you’re sure you’ll be safe. Trust your gut. If your buyer is recommending you meet somewhere that gives you pause, don’t feel bad about canceling the meeting or suggesting an alternative meeting place.

Return Policy

The applicable Swappa return policy depends on the reason for the buyer’s intention to return the item. If they claim that the item they received was materially different from what was described by the buyer, you are required by the Swappa terms of service to refund the buyer’s money in full. Of course, they are required to return the item to you as well.

If the buyer intends to return the item for an unlisted or unapproved reason–buyer’s remorse, for example–whether or not you refund their money, and in what amount, is up to you.

Swappa Customer Service & Support

Virtually all customer reviews of Swappa customer service are positive. In the rare cases where buyers have had trouble with a Swappa phone, they typically report that customer service acted promptly and diligently to solve their problem.

Of course, as a seller, you won’t have to worry about receiving anything defective. And since people pay up front, you won’t have to worry about getting stiffed.

You can contact them easily on their website via their accessible contact form. They’ll get back to you very quickly. You can also reach out to them via email at [email protected] and use their online forum to solve any problem you may have with the website, seller or buyer.

They also have a very good FAQ page where you can find answers to most problems. From payments to shipping issues and everything in between.

Swappa Fees

Swappa charges a small fee to both buyers and sellers. For sellers, Swappa charges a 3% fee per transaction. The buyer also pay a 3% flat fee to buy their product on Swappa. You can check out their market fees right here.

You should also note that some taxes may apply as well depending on the state you live in. You should always take this into consideration while selling via Swappa.

Swappa also lists the PayPal fees you can expect to pay when you receive your payment. At the moment, PayPal is the only payment option available on the site.

The following table shows how Swappa fees compared to two of its main competitors.

ServiceSeller FeeBuyer FeePayPal FeeTotal Fees

Swappa Payment

As a seller, you’ll be paid via PayPal. As we mentioned above, it’s the only way you can be paid on Swappa. Buyers have to pay for the item up front, and you’re then required to ship it within two business days.

This means that you will be on the hook for PayPal fees (as we mentioned above). Those fees can be significant, especially on larger payments. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no alternative to using PayPal on Swappa. In our opinion, though, the convenience of using an established and trustworthy service like PayPal outweighs the drawbacks.

Before shipping the device, the buyer must cover the international PayPal fee owed to the seller if an international payment source is utilized.

How to Sell on Swappa
Source: Swappa

>> Read Also: 30 Easy Ways to Make $1,000 Fast (Legally)

Pro Tips to Make the Most Money with Swappa

We’ve got a couple of tips to help you to get the most out of Swappa when you’re selling your used technology. This advice can be the difference between making just a few cents on the sale of your old device versus making a killing.

Take Good Photos

You know the old cliche, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, it’s true. Good pictures of your devices, ones that are in focus, with good lighting, and clearly show the condition of the item, will go a long way toward selling your device for a good price.

Poor pictures or, what’s worse, no pictures at all, will decrease your ability to ask for the best possible price for your item. That’s because people assume that you’re trying to hide something about the condition or quality of your device, even if you’re not.

Keep Your Tech in Good Shape

The better condition your device is in when you’re trying to sell it, the more money you’ll get for it. Even minor damage can seriously impact the selling price of a used device.

You should also be careful not to minimize any damage your device has in your description of the item. Be completely forthright and honest about any damage always. Otherwise, you may find yourself returning the buyer’s money at a later date, after having paid shipping fees.

So, if you plan on selling a device after you’re done with it, it can be a good idea to plan for that at the outset. Use a screen protector, a case, and other protective gear to keep your device in great shape!

Sell Fast

Even the best technology depreciates fast. To get the most value from your used items, don’t hang on to them for too long. The older a phone or a laptop gets, the less likely you are to be able to ask for a good price for it.

This is especially true if you’re no longer using the item. In other words, there’s no reason to let a device you plan to sell sit around and collect dust when you could be selling it on Swappa or a competing service. Once you’re done with a device, sell it immediately.

Who Is Swappa Best For?

Swappa is best for people who have used devices in good condition lying around the house and want to make a quick buck selling them for some cash. Because you’ll be dealing directly with third-party customers, you’ll want to be familiar with the Swappa platform and its return and shipping policies.

If you’re in an out-of-the-way location that has high shipping fees and a small population, you may not wish to use Swappa. Because the seller is responsible for getting the item to the buyer, high shipping fees can eat into your profit margins and eliminate any value you see from the sale. Also, a small population can mean that you’ll have a difficult time using Swappa Local to find willing nearby buyers.

Swappa Review
Source: Swappa

>> Read Also: 30 Legit Ways to Make $500 Fast (Within a Week)

Swappa Alternatives

There are a ton of alternatives to services like Swappa these days. Let’s take a look at a few

Swappa vs. Buyback Boss

Buyback Boss is similar to Swappa except the company buys your phone directly and resells it themselves. They even buy broken and non-functional phones and devices.

Because there’s a middleman between you and the eventual buyer, you likely won’t make as much money as you might on Swappa. On the upside, Buyback Boss pays for shipping and eliminates the hassle of dealing with a customer directly.

Read our full Buyback Boss review to learn more.

Swappa vs. Gazelle

Gazelle is much like Buyback Boss in that it buys phones directly from people like you. You should know that they don’t offer international shipping, however, so if you live outside the United States, you’re out of luck. You are also able to buy old tech via Gazelle.

While Gazelle may require you to wait for up to two weeks before receiving payment, Swappa offers the advantage of getting paid as soon as your device sells.

Check out our full Gazelle review to learn more.

Swappa vs. Decluttr

Like Gazelle and Buyback Boss, Decluttr buys your devices directly. So, if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to rid yourself of some devices, you may wish to give this service a try. They even take DVD players, video game consoles, and similar devices (although the prices they offer for those items are not very high).

Read our full Decluttr review to learn more.

SwappaBuyback BossGazelle
Our Rating




Seller Fees3% of the listing priceNo feesNo fees
ShippingShipping by sellerFree shippingFree shipping
HighlightBulk pricing and instant offers are available14-day price lock guaranteeBulk pricing and instant offers available
Best ForAbility to sell broken phonesSelling smartphonesBulk pricing and instant offers are available

Swappa Pros Explained

  • Connecting directly with a buyer means you can cut out the middleman (mostly) and get the best possible price for your device
  • Using Swappa Local eliminates any shipping fees you might otherwise pay during your sale
  • Swappa’s reputation is solid and they’re a well-established company, not a scam

Swappa Cons Explained

  • Dealing directly with third-party customers can be kind of a hassle, especially when it comes to shipping
  • Dealing with returns can be frustrating, especially if you wind up with a fussy customer
  • You’re on the hook for shipping costs
Swappa Review
Source: Swappa

>> Read Also: I Need Money Now: 35 Ways to Make Cash Right Now

Swappa FAQ

In our experience writing about and using Swappa, we kept getting the same questions over and over again from our readers. So, we decided to create this FAQ section to address some of those questions in case you were wondering about the same things as our readers.

How Does Swappa Make Money?

Swappa makes most of its money from listing fees. As we noted earlier in this article, they have a flat fee that is split between the seller and buyer. The flat fee charge to the seller (3%) and the buyer (3%), is quite low, compared to eBay and other similar marketplaces.

Is Swappa Legitimate?

Yes, Swappa is 100% legit. This is an established company that has been around since 2010, with thousands of satisfied customers and plenty of great reviews. Naturally, not everyone is always 100% percent satisfied so a few negative reviews are kicking around the web. But, generally speaking, people are happy with the services Swappa provides and are comfortable using their website. Swappa is not a scam.

Is Swappa Safe?

Swappa is generally safe to use. You should use caution whenever you’re dealing with a third-party buyer, however. There’s no guarantee that the person you’re dealing with isn’t running a scam through no fault of Swappa’s.

Your likelihood of being bilked out of your device is low, however, since buyers have to pay up front for your tablet, computer, phone, or other devices. That’s not to say that a dishonest customer might not ask for a return for a fake reason, but there’s not much that Swappa can do about that. In the second-hand market, buyers and sellers both take their chances. Just do your best to protect yourself.

What Percentage Does Swappa Take?

Swappa charges buyers and sellers and equal flat fee of 3% of the listing price for facilitating the sale of a device.

In A Nutshell

  • Sell your old electronics for cash
  • No middleman fees
  • Excellent customer support
  • Local buy/sell available

on Swappa’s website

Final Thoughts

A lot of people have a ton of money sitting around in the form of old technology and used devices. Many of them don’t even realize that they can make some quick cash by putting these devices on the second-hand market.

If you have relatively recent technology just lying around, collecting dust, you’d be well-served to give a service like Swappa a try. That’s especially true if that technology is made by a quality brand, like Apple, and is in relatively good condition. You’d be surprised what you can get for it!

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