Parents on a budget turning to certified used iPhones & iPads this back-to-school season

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015
Price-conscious parents looking to equip their kids with smartphones or tablets for the new school year are embracing Gazelle's new certified pre-used iPhone and iPad stores as an alternative to paying full price for a brand new device, the company says.


A certified pre-owned iPhone 6 purchased from Gazelle in early 2015


Gazelle, an AppleInsider sponsor and the nation's biggest electronics buyback service, has long been known for its trade-in service, which helps consumers quickly turn their old iPhones and iPads into cash by locking in a price quote on its website and then dropping the devices in the mail.

More recently, the company has made strides to build out another pillar of its business by taking some of its highest-quality Apple iOS device purchases, inspecting and certifying them, and then making them available for sale on its new certified pre-owned online store.

"Heading into the back to school season, we've seen a significant volume of parents turning to Gazelle to buy certified pre-owned iPads, iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones for their kids," a spokesperson for the Boston, Mass.-based company said.

Since launching the certified pre-owned store roughly 9 months ago, Gazelle says that nearly 20% of its existing trade-in customers have logged on to the new store and purchased a certified pre-owned device for a child. Of those children, the vast majority are said to fall between the ages of 11 and 19.?

A recent poll of these customers found that 15% are buying their first device, while 30% are looking to replace a broken device, and 33% are upgrading to a newer model than what they already own. But overall, 66% of these customers say they chose a certified pre-owned device from Gazelle rather than buying direct from Apple because of the cost savings and sense of security they receive from the company's certification process.

Generally speaking, Gazelle says customers can save up to 40% by buying a certified pre-owned device rather than buying new. For example, the company sells a certified pre-owned unlocked iPhone 5s 16GB for $369 compared to $549 new from Apple. Similarly, an iPad Air 2 16GB WiFi fetches $399 from Gazelle rather than $499.



Gazelle maintains that all of the devices on its store are "gently used" and ensures the condition of devices with a 30-point quality inspection. All iPhones, for instance, come with no contracts or strings attached, and are backed by a 30-day risk-free return policy.

Earlier this year, AppleInsider set out to test Gazelle's quality claims and randomly purchased and reviewed a certified pre-owned iPhone from the company's new store. Most iPhone models are offered in either "Excellent," or "Good" condition (though Gazelle recently added a third tier: Fair). Our evaluation focused on an iPhone 6 in "Good" condition and we found that the quality of the device exceeded Gazelle's representation.

Presently, Gazelle's certified pre-owned store offers models ranging from a $119 black AT&T iPhone 4s in fair condition to a $759, 128GB silver Verizon iPhone 6 Plus in excellent condition. As a service to readers, AppleInsider maintains a real-time listing of Gazelle's certified pre-owned iPhones along with pricing within its Price Guides. The same list is also embedded below.

So far this year, Gazelle says its hottest selling devices are the iPhone 5 16GB on AT&T and Verizon, as well as the iPhone 5S 16GB on those carriers. For iPads, customers are increasingly choosing Apple's 16GB WiFi iPad 2.

Certified Pre-Owned iPhones from Gazelle

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Paid advertisement.

    Can't you guys just be up front about this?
  • Reply 2 of 65
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    I'll post again and we'll see if this is immediately erased or not.

    Has AI been compensated, or will AI be compensated for clickthroughs, in any way for this post?
  • Reply 3 of 65
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I'll post again and we'll see if this is immediately erased or not.



    Has AI been compensated, or will AI be compensated for clickthroughs, in any way for this post?

     

    I played no part in this being posted, but it's very clearly stated in the opening sentence:

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Gazelle, an AppleInsider sponsor 

  • Reply 4 of 65
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    I'll post again and we'll see if this is immediately erased or not.

    Has AI been compensated, or will AI be compensated for clickthroughs, in any way for this post?

    Regardless it seems a valid article of interest. It is great that parents would rather get a second hand Apple product than a Samsung / Google / Android POS new. :)
  • Reply 5 of 65
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Generally speaking, Gazelle says customers can save up to 40% by buying a certified pre-owned device rather than buying new. For example, the company sells a certified pre-owned unlocked iPhone 5s 16GB for $369 compared to $549 new from Apple. 




     

    Gazelle only pays $175 for a used perfect condition 5S.
    Then they turn around and sell it for $409

    And I thought Apple gross margins are high.  

    All Gazelle is doing is acting as a pond shop and they charge 100% markups.  Unreal.  Ripoff.

    I usually buy goldfish in a pond shop.
  • Reply 6 of 65
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I'll post again and we'll see if this is immediately erased or not.



    Has AI been compensated, or will AI be compensated for clickthroughs, in any way for this post?



    Your post was removed because you made a false and misleading statement as the first post on a thread and otherwise contributed nothing to the discussion. AppleInsider never accepts payment for content. You've been here a long time, Spam. I don't know how many times I have to express the same thing. That's just not how we operate.

     

    On the other hand, we do maintain several sponsorships with some of the most respectable names in the industry. Under those sponsorships, we sometimes receive a commission if readers make a purchase. In the future, you'd be best advised to be sure of your claims before you start spreading them. If you aren't, those posts will be removed again. 

     

    Thanks,

     

    K

  • Reply 7 of 65
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Regardless it seems a valid article of interest. It is great that parents would rather get a second hand Apple product than a Samsung / Google / Android POS new. :)

    All I have ever asked is that disclosure be made when conflicts of interest arise. Disclosure has been made.
  • Reply 8 of 65
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    sog35 wrote: »
    This is the future on online advertising.

    When iOS allows ad-block we will see more ads that disguise themself as articles.

    I actually have ZERO problem with this. I like this MUCH MUCH MUCH better than POS popup ads, video's that play automatically, or redirects to App STore.

    If you read the article heading its pretty obvious its an ad.

    I'd agree but I'd prefer such articles are marked as 'sponsored', perhaps with an icon too. I don't mind reading those, that like this are of genuine interest to me, and can skip those that are not. Pop ups and flash ads are a total no no for me. Some sites are unusable on an iPad, no I take that back ... MOST sites are unusable on an iPad where i don't have Ad Blocker. I know I can use Ad Blocker's own wee browser but I forget most times.
  • Reply 9 of 65
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    All I have ever asked is that disclosure be made when conflicts of interest arise. Disclosure has been made.

    Agreed.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Gazelle only pays $175 for a used perfect condition 5S.

    Then they turn around and sell it for $409

     

    And I thought Apple gross margins are high.  

     

    All Gazelle is doing is acting as a pond shop and they charge 100% markups.  Unreal.  Ripoff.




    What do you think Apple's margins are before marketing, freight, packaging, etc?

  • Reply 11 of 65
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Gazelle only pays $175 for a used perfect condition 5S.
    Then they turn around and sell it for $409

    And I thought Apple gross margins are high.  

    All Gazelle is doing is acting as a pond shop and they charge 100% markups.  Unreal.  Ripoff.

    1) How is it a ripoff? If you can sell it someone else for more money then do it. If you can buy it somewhere else for less money then do it?

    2) Did you consider other costs for Gazelle's business? They pay for shipping, right? They also guarantee a sale price for x-many days even if the value has dropped, right? They have to pay for devices to be tested, repaired and cleaned up before purchase right? For example, I sold them an iPhone that didn't have a working rear camera under their GOOD condition rating, which is "Good means all of the following are true: No cracks on screen or body, Powers on and makes calls, No major scratches or scuffs." Surely that broken camera won't go out in a resale or they will have a very upset customer.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    sog35 wrote: »
    I'm okay with AppleInsider not putting sponser icon. 

    Its pretty obvious with anyone with a brain that this is an ad.  For those without a brain who click on it, I feel no sympathy.

    I'd not mind as I'd probably glance at them them to help AI as I do feel a wee bit guilty using ad blocker but I seriously cannot stand blogs littered with ads. Each to his own I guess.

    My reasoning is simply that ads disguised as articles and left up to the user's brains to know this, as you prefer, can lead to misinformation being taken as genuine. Then again on a Rumor site I guess that's OK! LOL
  • Reply 13 of 65
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    kasper wrote: »

    Your post was removed because you made a false and misleading statement as the first post on a thread and otherwise contributed nothing to the discussion. AppleInsider never accepts payment for content. You've been here a long time, Spam. I don't know how many times I have to express the same thing. That's just not how we operate.

    On the other hand, we do maintain several sponsorships with some of the most respectable names in the industry. Under those sponsorships, we sometimes receive a commission if readers make a purchase. In the future, you'd be best advised to be sure of your claims before you start spreading them. If you aren't, those posts will be removed again. 

    Thanks,

    K

    That second post was made before you replied to me in private, Kasper.

    Neil is under the impression that AI is compensated.

    I've no issues with coverage of advertisers, so long as that disclosure is divulged. This coverage is written exactly like a press release and not an actual article, however. There are no comparisons to competing services, for example, as would be common in reporting on subjects of interest to readers.
  • Reply 14 of 65
    Too bad Gazelle has some shady tendencies and poor customer service

    My so called "Excellent" quality iPhone 6 64GB Unlocked was NOT of expected quality

    Shipping speeds were misrepresented and they fought tooth and nail not to compensate me or make things right

    I even sent photo proof of the condition of my device.
    I advise anyone use Gazelle at your own risk emphasis on risk
  • Reply 15 of 65
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,291member

    I occasionally buy reconditioned merchandise. I've had good luck with Apple refurbished. They offer a full original warranty on them, and that makes me feel better, and I'll pay a bit more from the original company.

     

    But in general, when I shop used merchandise, I expect the price to start at 50% of new. Comparing these Gazelle prices to the new units, I don't see savings worth the risk. The article cites some Gazelle comparisons, but I've seen sales on new devices that are about the same as the used prices. But I suppose parents have no time to actually shop. Maybe ask their kids to use the googles (or google it on bing) and find prices.

     

    FWIW, parents want their kids to have iDevices, not unreliable crap. When the news reports of violence at a school comes across, parents want that kid to have a phone, preferably with GPS location. (Wait until Apple Watch has a stand alone emergency feature with GPS. Parents will line up to put a LoJack on their kids.)

  • Reply 16 of 65
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,974member

    So for those of us who have already moved past analyzing and realizing the fact that the vast majority of things in a capitalist society are being done for money, can I put forward a different discussion...

     

    Personally, I just pass my old phone on to my son when I get a new one.  He's old enough to realize that it's not the latest-and-greatest, but after a short period of envy, he's ok with it.  For me, this is an even better alternative to buying used (at markup) unless your old phone is in really bad condition.  Even if you need to replace the battery, it's still generally cheaper than a used model.

  • Reply 17 of 65
    auxio wrote: »
    So for those of us who have already moved past analyzing and realizing the fact that the vast majority of things in a capitalist society are being done for money, can I put forward a different discussion...

    Personally, I just pass my old phone on to my son when I get a new one.  He's old enough to realize that it's not the latest-and-greatest, but after a short period of envy, he's ok with it.  For me, this is an even better alternative to buying used (at markup) unless your old phone is in really bad condition.

    Just curious... Were you ever under the impression that ours was not a capitalist system? We don't have true free market capitalism, but...seriously?
  • Reply 18 of 65
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,974member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    Just curious... Were you ever under the impression that ours was not a capitalist system? We don't have true free market capitalism, but...seriously?



    All of the people here who are complaining that this "article" is really an advertisement in disguise.  The entire media industry in North America (and in pretty much all capitalist societies) is built on funding from advertising, and most media has embedded product placements or other hidden (or not hidden in the case of this article) ways to sell you things.  Most of us already know and understand this, so why do we need a whole (derailed) discussion about it?

  • Reply 19 of 65
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Gazelle only pays $175 for a used perfect condition 5S.

    Then they turn around and sell it for $409.

    Gazelle pays about $15 for shipping.
    Advertising/Website probabily cost about $5 per phone.
    Testing probibily cost $2 per phone (hire a dude $15 a hour and he can check 8-10 phones an hour)

    No cost for repairs since its in perfect condition.
    Another $10 for handling and shipping the good to new buyer.

    So direct admin cost is about $32
    Indirect admin cost is about $10 more

    Sell price - $409
    Phone cost - $175
    Admin cost - $42
    Net profit - $192
    Net profit margin - 47%

    That is INSANELY high!!!

    47% profit margin.

    Keep in mind Apple's company wide profit margin is only 25%


    So a company like Apple that takes MASSIVE RISKS and MASSIVE INNOVATION makes 25% profit margin.
    While a company that just buys and sells phones makes 47% profit margin?

    I mean WTF.
    Compare profit margins on just iPhones. You have no idea what Gazelle's company wide profit margin is because they sell more than just used iPhones.
  • Reply 20 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    I'm okay with AppleInsider not putting sponser icon. 

     

    Its pretty obvious with anyone with a brain that this is an ad.  For those without a brain who click on it, I feel no sympathy.


     

    When I published and edited magazines in the UK in the 1990s we called this type of article 'advertorial'. Nothing wrong with it because, as you state, it's pretty obvious... but also informative. Publishers do it occasionally - you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, kinda thing - the trick is to not do it all that often!

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