Gazelle online phone trade-in program is back in business

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the world, most (though not all) people might have been forced to rethink their spending habits and expenditures. Where buying new smartphones has almost become a habit for some people, economic changes may have pushed buyers to look for more ways to raise the funds they need towards that purchase. Unfortunately, it is exactly at that time when the US' biggest trade-in provider decided to close its online program but, fortunately, Gazelle has apparently reconsidered.

Although Gazelle's name was big in the US smartphone market years ago, the trade-in business has definitely seen better days. Thanks in no small part to carriers, the buying habits of people have shifted more towards phone leases that allow consumers to upgrade more often. Carriers and OEMs have also made their own trade-in offers, making third-party services almost moot.

Gazelle, however, still does offer more than what manufacturers and mobile operators have, especially when it comes to devices that they no longer want to accept for trade-in. It announced last year that it would be shuttering its online trade-in program starting this February but, apparently due to surging interest, decided to bring it back.

To be clear, Gazelle didn't completely shut down its trade-in program, just the online part of it. In-person trade-ins remain unchanged but, given the pandemic, those might have fallen out of favor. Being able to do everything online and just mail in your old phone is not only more convenient but also safer.

Gazelle confirmed to The Verge that, indeed, it is accepting iPhones, Samsung phones, Google Pixels, and even iPads for online trade-ins again. It does, however, also clarify that its rewards program won't be returning, though it still leaves that door open for the future upon evaluation of market conditions.