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How to exchange an unwanted Android or Windows gift for the iPhone or iPad of your dreams

Did Santa somehow leave you a lump of Android or Windows in your stocking instead of the bright, shiny, iPhone or iPad you really wanted? Did your Apple hopes get dashed by the cold, hard realities of a Galaxy, Nexus, Droid, Lumia, Kindle, or Surface? If think you mistakenly got put on the naughty list instead of the nice, don't cry and certainly don't pout. Here's why -- you can exchange it and still get the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or iPad mini of your dreams!

How to return your Windows or Android device

This is the most obvious solution, and the route you should take if you're within the return period, is taking your Android or Windows gift back to the store. Regardless of whether the phone or tablet was purchased from a carrier or electronics store, they all have return policies.

If you have the receipt (or can get it from the person who gifted the device to you), and haven't opened the box, it should be as easy as walking in with your Android or Windows device, making the exchange, paying any difference in price, and walking back out with your iPad or iPhone. Worst case, you might have to pay a small restocking fee depending on the retailer and the reasons you give them. (Hint: shop at friendly retailers and give them good reasons for exchange.)

How to sell your Android or Windows device

If all else fails, you can't exchange your Windows or Android device, and you still desperately want an iPhone or iPad instead, you can still sell it.

We've taken a look at tons of these services and many of them take Android and Windows devices in exchange for credit or cash.

Amazon Trade-In Store

Amazon will take almost any device you can think of for a trade-in. It's an extremely simple process and you'll know exactly how much you're getting for the device before you even send it in.

The only hitch here is that you'll be given payment in the form of an Amazon gift card. If you're looking for cash to put towards a new iPhone right now and don't want to wait for Amazon to have it in stock or if the model you want isn't available, it's not the best option.

If you don't mind waiting or Amazon already carries the iPhone or iPad you want to get, Amazon is a great option.


Gazelle offers a service that lets you easily turn most electronic devices into cash. Simply send in your Windows or Android device and Gazelle will send you money after confirming the item condition. The first thing you'll need to do is tell Gazelle what you're selling and what condition the item is in. You can choose from poor, fair, good or excellent condition, and it's important to be honest when rating the condition so there's no hiccups or snags along the way.

It also helps if you have the box and original documentation and cables with your item. Considering you've just recently received the device, this probably isn't an issue for most.


Selling your unwanted device on eBay is a pretty simple process. If you've ever used eBay for selling things in the past then you know the selling process isn't all that tricky, however there are still some things to keep in mind when using eBay to sell things. For instance, eBay charges fees for each auction based on the item you're selling and how much it sells for, among other things, so here are five quick tips to help you get the most out of your auction:

  1. Only ship to the buyer's confirmed Paypal address if using Paypal.
  2. Price competitively, especially if you're using Buy It Now as an option.
  3. Make sure the pictures you use follow your description and are good quality - post pictures of any physical blemishes and be up-front in your description.
  4. Use a fast shipping service and make sure you include that in your item description. People are impatient by nature so sellers that offer fast shipping tend to sell items quicker.
  5. Use keywords in your title and in your item description to attract more potential buyers.
  6. You may also want to consider insuring your item in case anything goes wrong during shipping. Watch out for low-feedback buyers and also keep in mind that Paypal charges processing fees as well.
  • eBay (opens in new tab)


Craigslist allows you to list items for sale in your area so you can perform the transaction locally and face-to-face. This is a quick way to get some cash to put towards your new iPhone or iPad on the spot and also an easy way to let the buyer check out the merchandise in person before committing to the purchase. As long as you were honest about the condition and specifications, you should have no issue in completing a painless transaction with a buyer.

  1. Don't ever put your personal or home address in an ad. Ever!
  2. Price your devices competitively. A good way to do this is to find existing ads on Craigslist in your area for the same model device and price accordingly. If your ad shows up next to someone else's and yours is grossly overpriced, it won't sell.
  3. Some buyers prefer being able to text or call you immediately about an item and it may increase the likelihood of a quick sale. Having a phone number that they can reach you at is ideal. Only do this if you're comfortable with putting your phone number on the internet. This is a good time to use a Google Voice number or other forwarding number if you have one.
  4. Meet in a public place, preferably in the daytime. A coffee place like Starbucks is a good idea. It's also never a bad idea to bring a friend or relative with you. While most buyers are perfectly friendly, there are shady people out there. If the person doesn't want to meet in a public place, pass on them and wait for someone who doesn't have an issue with that.
  5. Watch out for email scams, something Craigslist is notorious for. Anyone offering to pay you a great deal more than the list price or who asks you to ship the item to a foreign country is a scammer. Delete their e-mails and correspondence immediately and wait for a legitimate buyer to come along.

Sell to a family member or friend

Okay, so maybe you aren't an Android or Windows fan, but there are lots of people out there that are. Selling to a family member or a friend is an easy way to get cash and you already know you won't get scammed. If you really think about it, you can probably find someone in your circle of friends and family that's in desperate need of a phone or tablet upgrade.

Perhaps your uncle is still using a flip phone and has been talking about upgrading to a smartphone for years. Here's your chance to finally talk him into it. Just keep in mind that selling to family or friends that may not be in dire need of the device may lower the selling price so we'd only suggest this route if you're after a quick sale and don't mind covering any potential differences.

More help selling Android and Windows devices

Still need help offing some Windows and Android devices? Our sister sites, Windows Phone Central and Android Central both have marketplace forums that can be a great resource for finding buyers. You already know the viewers are fans of that platform so it may be a great place to find a buyer.

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • "Still need help offing some Windows and Android devices? Our sister sites, Windows Phone Central and Android Central both have marketplace forums that can be a great resource for finding buyers. You already know the viewers are fans of that platform so it may be a great place to find a buyer." Easier said than done! I was on PreCentral/webOS Nation since 2009 until I switched to Apple devices/products a year ago. Recently, I was able to post an ad on webOS Nation with no problem. However, when I tried to post on one of the other sites, I was told by the moderator that I was ineligible. WTF?! Please change this policy for those of us who have been on your forums for a long time etc.
  • They do that to try and prevent against scams. They don't want people just coming on posting something to sell to rip people off.
  • I can understand that, but they can see I'm a long time Mobile Nations member; therefore, I think we should have cross-platform-forum privileges. But, hey, this comments section has been hijacked by Droidboys, it seems....again (sigh)'d think they'd have better things to do than hang around an Apple fan site, yes?!
  • that is a very cheesy offer.. but i jus wanna indicate a tiny miny thing to u.. if santa gifted an android or WP.. it could mean he preferred it over dumb iphone 5???
  • LOL
  • Maybe Santa did prefer it. If thats the case then Santa should have bought himself a useless Android or WP. Then he should have given the recipient a gift certificate to buy whatever they wanted. Most likely an iPhone5..
  • Thanks, Ally. Reading this article warms my heart on this snowy day. :-)
  • I am sorry, but you really need to stop sounding like such an arrogant [insert explicative here] fanboy. It is unprofessional and really decreases the value of this site, which unfortunately I must stay tied to because amid all the garbage Apple praise is actual news that is delivered well. The site can be great at times, but the way you present some items is just poor taste.
  • Rene didn't pen the post.
  • I am sorry, but you really need to stop sounding like such an arrogant [insert explicative here] hater Baysic. It is unprofessional and really decreases the value of your trolls, which unfortunately I must stay tied to because amid all the mindless Apple hate is actual news that is delivered well.
  • Well put...
  • LMAO!. That was great.
  • Rene didn't write this post, I did (Ally) It was meant to be part funny part advice (we had people asking) We cater to all kinds of audiences and none of us have anything against other mobile platforms, actually most of us own an abundance of different devices, not just iOS Calm down and relax, it's not that serious :)
  • 1. Oops saw the picture. xD
    2/3. I realize that the majority of readers hear are Apple fanboys, and I am not getting on their back for that, but the writers should be held to higher standards. Those who respond ignorantly do exactly what my post points out. I did not post for "trolling" purposes. I truly feel that this site provides good news and prompt information for apple-based products. Unfortunately, even meant as humor, the site take stabs at all competitors being below apple far too frequently, so, at least when read by myself, an iPhone and ipad owner who still uses a PC, everything comes across as self-praising dribble even when it is meant humor-fully. I am not as familiar with your writing Allyson, but Ren tends to always inject some fanboy into literally almost every article he writes, and thus it no longer comes across as side-humor anymore. Perhaps this is because I am open to competition and not a die-hard fanboy, and I know as a non-fanboy I am the minority here, but this site has great articles that come across weaker due to the frequency of the huumor. 4. I really didn't expect my comment to erupt such fanboy hatred. I really inject my comments because I frequent the site and like to hold my news (yea I consider this news) to higher standards.
  • You're joking right? First off Rene not reni did not write the post. Second the site is called imore what devices do you think they are going to favor and do write ups about? Smh Do you go to the wsj site and b*tch to them about writing about the top stories of the day?
  • The folks over at AC and wpCentral knew we were doing this post. Believe it or not, we did have people emailing asking about this kind of thing. We aren't arrogant, hey I actually like Windows Phone 8 - I love Nokia hardware and the Lumia 920 almost had me sold as a work device last month. I also will always have a special place in my heart for blackberries since it was my first smartphone ever and the Bold 9000 is still one of my favorite phones ever. (And I don't want Kevin to throw rocks at me from over @ :P Some of our stuff is meant to be lighthearted and funny, this is one of those border pieces. We aren't bashing another platform. We all like each other around here, no need to get upset over something so trivial.
  • The entire post is a farce. This site is frequented by owners of Apple products (though not exclusively), and a such, this post just seems like a long-winded attempt at arrogance. And to quantify it by saying "folks over at AC and wpCentral knew" or "will always have a special place in my heart for blackberries" like saying an off-color joke is OK, because "some of your friends are____, and they laughed at it. If your intent was not to bash, why state why items are unwanted (Android, Windows) for Apple products; can the reverse not apply. Personally I frequent this site to learn who to better use my iPad and Touch, as well as reading reviews on associated apps. More and more, Its seems to be drifting towards "crowing" and subjective reviewing.
  • You're taking this post way too seriously. facepalm
  • I thought it was funny myself. But who are these people emailing or asking you guys directly? It never occurred to me to take my iOS or tech questions and simply email iMore directly. I always hit the forums.
  • There are lots of readers that still emails or some of our writer emails. Oddly, they don't realize we have forums and that those members are far more knowledgeable ninjas than we are :P
  • Why bother Ally, there is just no getting through to certain people.
  • hey chill ally.. was a good one thou, as a note 2 user i can see the funny side of it.
  • That had to be a troll comment. I refuse to believe CrackberryMike is serious and if he is serious please change your name to CrackheadMike! It's only a joke lighten up bro.
  • Wow it's the day after Christmas and some of you are far too angry. Calm down it's a fun post about how to trade/sell your device for an iOS device. Relax and enjoy the holidays!
  • Why are there some of you upset? You're mad that an iOS based site is talking about how you can get an iOS based device if you got something else? Stop being so butt hurt. They didn't talk down on the other devices, they simply said if you don't want/like an Android/Windows device this is how you can get an iOS device. Bunch of babies here.
  • A family member thought it would be funny to give me a gift card in an iPhone 5 box, my first thought was "I wonder how much this is worth on eBay." I prefer my Lumia 920 over anything running iOS.
  • Oh my, some folk 'round here are a might bit testy. Whatever happened to an appreciation for playful sarcasm? There are more important things going on these days to get indignant about. So, relax and fire up Netflix on your iPad. ;-)
  • Just wait we can see what will happening.....
  • Here's a news flash!!
    iMore isn't the ONLY iOS site on the internet. I know, hard to imagine huh. I'm sure some will appreciate the article Ally. For the ones that want to bash it; I have to wonder why they even clicked on the article at all.
  • This was helpful. Surprisingly, i used the suggestions in this article to exchange the iphone 5 i got for christmas for note 2.
  • Sure you did buddy.....sure you did
  • I thought it was funny, and yes, first thing I did was to see who the author was. But nothing in the article is bad. However I would like to see AC/WP write "how to exchange that unwanted iDevice" We had a raffle at work for an iPad, which I was going to sell, unopened to get a Nexus 10. Didn't think to do an instore return, but I would've done craigslist.
  • Forget the article, PLEASE stop using goofy ass pics of that Rene dude looking like he's having trouble taking a dump. At least the Leanna chick is cute
  • You would have to be prepared to pay that little bit extra for the Apple equivalent.
    At Amazon UK a brand new, white Samsung Galaxy S3 plus a branded 64GB micro SD card costs £440. The equivalent iPhone 5 64GB costs £715 at Amazon. Ouch. :(