Does ecoATM Take Broken Phones? Locked Phones? Answered

Short Answer: You can sell or recycle a broken or locked phone with ecoATM, but not a phone that is iCloud locked, blacklisted, or that you have not paid off. If the device is locked, you’ll need to state that the phone is not in working condition when you sell it. You can get a device-specific price estimate on the ecoATM website. Below, we provide more details about what types of phones ecoATM accepts and how to sell your phone to ecoATM.

What Types of Phones Does ecoATM Accept?

While ecoATM’s website states that the company accepts all devices,[1] when you want to sell your phone to an ecoATM kiosk, the company has a few guidelines about what to do with certain types of phones.

Broken Phones

EcoATM takes dead phones, phones with cracked screens, and water-damaged devices. You can sell any brand of phone, tablet, MP3 player, as well as various accessories.[2]

Locked Phones

If your phone is locked and can only be used on one carrier’s network (this is also known as a SIM lock), you can still use ecoATM to recycle the device. Keep in mind, when you take the phone in to be evaluated, you’ll need to state that it’s not in “working condition.” EcoATM will then evaluate the device on a strictly cosmetic basis.[3]

What Types of Phones Does ecoATM Not Accept?

In general, if there is any indication that the phone you are trying to sell is stolen or otherwise suspicious, ecoATM will not accept the phone.

Activation/iCloud Locked Phones

The iCloud lock is a feature on iPhones with iOS version seven or later, and it is meant to deter phone thefts. If the Find My iPhone feature is enabled and an iPhone undergoes a factory reset, the phone cannot be reactivated without entering the original Apple ID and password used to set up the phone. An activation lock is a major indicator of a stolen phone.[4] Because of this, ecoATM will not accept phones that are iCloud locked.[3]

Blacklisted Phones

EcoATM also does not take phones that have been blacklisted or blocked by the carrier.[3] If a phone has been blacklisted, it typically means that the phone was reported lost or stolen. This could be a liability for any device recycling company.

Leased Phones/Phones That Have Not Been Paid Off

If you’ve leased your phone from your carrier, you don’t own it, and therefore you cannot sell it to ecoATM or any other buyer. You’re expected to return the phone at the end of your lease (unless you choose to buy it), so you should keep it in good condition for the duration of your lease.

Additionally, ecoATM does not accept phones that have not been paid off.[3] If you attempt to sell a phone that you still owe money on at an ecoATM kiosk, it will be flagged as a blacklisted phone, and the company will not be able to recycle it.[3] However, if you still owe money on your phone and you wish to sell it, you can try to sell it to a private buyer and use the money to pay the remaining balance on the phone.

How to Sell a Phone to ecoATM

To sell or recycle your electronic device, you’ll first need to make sure it’s charged and backed up (if possible), and check that the SIM or memory card is removed. Sign out of any and all accounts on your device and remove any tracking apps (such as Find My Phone). If you can, you should reset the phone to its factory settings.[5]

Then, visit your nearest ecoATM kiosk and place the device in the test station. The ecoATM machine will examine your phone and give you an offer that’s dependent on the condition of your device and its secondary market value. If you like the price, you can agree to sell it and receive cash on the spot. If you don’t like the price, ecoATM will give you back your phone.[6] To sell your device to ecoATM, you’ll need a valid ID, and you must be at least 18 years old. After you sell your device to ecoATM, the company will either resell it or recycle it responsibly. All sales to ecoATM are final.[2]

How Much Does ecoATM Pay?

To get an idea of the offer you might receive from ecoATM, visit ecoATM’s website for an estimate. Keep in mind, the estimate is only a guideline; the offer you receive at the kiosk may be slightly different.

You can check out our related article to find out more about the list of places that buy phones.