Does Walmart Buy Phones? An Expert‘s Guide to Walmart‘s Phone Trade-In Program

In today‘s fast-paced world, it seems like a new smartphone comes out every other week. But keeping up with the latest and greatest tech can quickly get expensive. That‘s why more and more consumers are turning to phone trade-in programs to help offset the cost of upgrading.

One of the biggest players in the phone trade-in game is retail giant Walmart. With over 4,700 stores across the U.S. and a robust online presence, Walmart has made it incredibly easy for customers to turn their old devices into credit towards new gear. But how does Walmart‘s trade-in program actually work? And is it the best deal for getting rid of your old phone?

As a retail expert and picky shopper, I‘ve thoroughly researched the ins and outs of Walmart‘s phone trade-in program. In this guide, I‘ll share everything you need to know to get the most money for your old devices, along with some insider tips and potential alternatives to consider.

The Phone Trade-In Market is Booming

Before we dive into the specifics of Walmart‘s program, let‘s take a look at the bigger picture. Phone trade-ins have exploded in popularity over the past decade as smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. According to a report by Persistence Market Research, the global mobile phone trade-in market is expected to reach $52.7 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.7% from 2022 to 2031.

In the U.S. alone, approximately 130 million used smartphones are sold or traded in each year, according to data from Deloitte. And a consumer survey by Decluttr found that 54% of Americans have traded in at least one phone, with the average person getting $95 for their device.

There are a few key factors driving this growth:

  1. Frequent upgrades: The average American gets a new phone every 2-3 years, often trading in their old device to save on the new one. Carriers have made this even easier with annual upgrade plans.

  2. Rising phone prices: As flagship smartphones from Apple and Samsung approach the $1000 mark, more people are looking for ways to offset that hefty price tag. Trade-ins offer an easy solution.

  3. Environmental concerns: E-waste is a growing problem, with 50 million tons of electronics discarded globally each year. Trading in a phone keeps it out of the landfill and extends its lifespan.

  4. Improved trade-in programs: Retailers and manufacturers have made trading in devices easier than ever with online quotes, prepaid shipping labels, and instant credit offers. The convenience factor can‘t be overstated.

All of these trends point to a bright future for phone trade-ins. And as one of the largest retailers in the world, Walmart is well-positioned to capitalize on this growing market.

How Walmart‘s Phone Trade-In Program Works

Now that we‘ve set the stage, let‘s take a closer look at how Walmart‘s phone trade-in program actually functions. The process is quite simple and can be done either in-store or online.

In-Store Trade-Ins

To trade in your phone at a physical Walmart store, just bring it to the electronics department along with any accessories like the charger or case. An associate will inspect the device and give you an offer based on its condition, model, and storage capacity. If you accept the offer, they‘ll take your phone and give you a Walmart eGift Card for the quoted value. You can use this card for any future purchases at Walmart stores or on

The whole process usually takes less than 15 minutes. Walmart states that 95% of devices get an instant offer in-store, though some less common models may need to be sent off for evaluation.

Online Trade-Ins

If you don‘t live near a Walmart store or just prefer the convenience of trading in from home, Walmart also offers an online trade-in option. Just visit Walmart‘s trade-in site (, select your device‘s brand, model, and condition, and you‘ll get an instant quote.

If you accept the estimate, Walmart will email you a prepaid FedEx shipping label. Just pack up your device, slap on the label, and drop it off at a FedEx location. Once your device is received and evaluated, you‘ll get an email with an eGift Card for the final trade-in amount.

Walmart partners with CExchange, one of the largest trade-in and recycling services in the world, to handle the online trade-in process. CExchange‘s platform powers trade-in programs for other major retailers and carriers like Amazon, Apple, and Verizon. So you can feel confident that your device is in good hands.

What Happens to Your Traded-In Phone?

You might be wondering what actually happens to your phone after you trade it in to Walmart. The short answer is that it gets a second life.

Walmart sends traded-in phones to CExchange, which evaluates and sorts them based on condition and specifications. The best devices are refurbished and resold as certified pre-owned phones, either directly by Walmart or through secondary markets like eBay.

Refurbishing involves thoroughly testing the phone‘s functions, repairing any defects, replacing worn parts like the battery or screen, and cleaning and repackaging the device for resale. Reputable refurbishers like CExchange follow strict standards and often offer warranties on their reconditioned devices.

Phones that are too old or damaged to be resold are responsibly recycled. CExchange partners with R2-certified recyclers to ensure that devices are safely dismantled and that any toxic materials like lead and mercury are properly disposed of. Useful components and precious metals are extracted and reused in the production of new electronics.

So by trading in your phone to Walmart, you‘re not only putting some money back in your pocket–you‘re also helping to extend the device‘s lifespan and keep it out of the waste stream. That‘s a win-win.

How Much Can You Get for Your Phone from Walmart?

Of course, the big question on everyone‘s mind is: how much cold, hard cash can I get for my old phone? The answer, as with most things in life, is that it depends.

Walmart‘s trade-in offers vary based on your device‘s brand, model, storage capacity, and condition. Newer phones in great shape will obviously fetch more than older, beat-up ones. Here are a few examples of the maximum estimated trade-in values for some popular devices as of May 2023:

Device Maximum Trade-In Value
iPhone 14 Pro Max (512GB) Up to $900
iPhone 13 (512GB) Up to $550
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (512GB) Up to $830
Samsung Galaxy S22 (256GB) Up to $465
Google Pixel 7 Pro (512GB) Up to $550
Google Pixel 6a (128GB) Up to $200

These are best-case scenario offers for phones in excellent condition with the highest storage options. Most people will likely get quite a bit less. For example, an iPhone 11 with 64GB in good condition might fetch around $180, while a two-year-old Samsung A-series phone could be as little as $50.

It‘s important to remember that the initial quote you receive from Walmart is just an estimate. The final offer could be lower if the device is not in the exact condition you reported. That‘s why it‘s so important to be honest about any dings, cracks, or functional issues upfront.

How Walmart‘s Trade-In Values Compare to Competitors

Now that we have a sense of what Walmart might pay for your old phone, let‘s see how those offers stack up against some of its biggest competitors. I compared Walmart‘s maximum trade-in values for a few popular devices to those from major retailers, carriers, and phone resellers.

As you can see, Walmart‘s offers are very competitive, often matching or exceeding those from other major retailers and carriers. Its prices for iPhones are particularly strong, nearly on par with Apple‘s own trade-in program in some cases.

Of course, these rates are constantly fluctuating based on market conditions and promotions. For example, carriers will often run limited-time offers for enhanced trade-in credit when you switch to their service or buy a new phone. And during new device launches, manufacturers like Apple or Samsung may temporarily boost trade-in rates to entice upgraders.

But on average, Walmart‘s trade-in values hold their own against the competition. You might be able to eke out slightly more by going with a dedicated phone reseller like Gazelle or Decluttr, but Walmart‘s added convenience and wider variety of redemption options even the playing field.

Is Trading In Your Phone at Walmart the Best Deal?

We‘ve established that Walmart offers competitive prices for phone trade-ins. But is trading in your old device for a Walmart eGift Card always the smartest financial move? The answer depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Here are some of the key advantages of trading in your phone at Walmart:

  • Convenience: With thousands of stores nationwide and an easy online process, Walmart makes trading in your phone a breeze. You can often get a quote and complete the trade on the same day.

  • Variety of redemption options: While you‘ll be paid in Walmart credit, you can use it towards anything Walmart sells–not just a new phone. This gives you more flexibility compared to carrier or manufacturer trade-in programs.

  • Peace of mind: Walmart and CExchange are well-established, reputable companies. You don‘t have to worry about getting scammed or haggling with strangers as you might when selling your phone on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

  • Eco-friendliness: Trading in your phone to Walmart keeps it out of the landfill and ensures that it will either be responsibly recycled or refurbished for another user.

Of course, there are some potential drawbacks to consider as well:

  • Lower value: In general, you‘ll likely get slightly less for your phone by trading it in compared to selling it directly to another person. That‘s the price you pay for convenience.

  • Limited payout options: If you trade in at Walmart, your only option is a Walmart eGift Card. That‘s great if you‘re a frequent Walmart shopper, but not so useful if you never shop there.

  • Uncertain final value: The initial trade-in quote from Walmart is just an estimate. If your phone isn‘t in the exact condition you thought it was, you could end up with less. And once Walmart has your phone, you‘re pretty much locked in.

Ultimately, whether trading in your phone at Walmart is the best deal for you depends on your priorities. If you value ease, speed, and safety, and you regularly shop at Walmart, it‘s a great option. But if you‘re willing to put in a bit more effort to get top dollar, you might consider selling your phone directly or checking out other trade-in programs.

Creative Ways to Reuse Your Old Phone

Trading in or selling your old phone isn‘t the only way to keep it out of the junk drawer. If you‘re feeling a bit more adventurous, there are plenty of creative ways to give your device a second life.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Use it as a dedicated music player, e-reader, or gaming device for kids
  • Turn it into a DIY baby or pet monitor with an old phone
  • Set up a makeshift security camera or dashcam
  • Donate it to a charity or local school
  • Gift it to an elderly relative or friend who doesn‘t need the latest and greatest
  • Use it as a backup in case your primary phone breaks or gets lost
  • Repurpose it as a garage door opener or universal remote
  • Get artsy and turn it into a quirky piece of decor

Of course, before you go MacGyvering your old phone into something new, make sure to perform a factory reset to wipe your personal data and consider any potential safety or security risks. But with a little imagination, you can keep your gadgets in the game long after an upgrade.