Attorney General Laxalt Offers Tips for Trading in Used Items

March 5, 2015

 ***National Consumer Protection Week Consumer Alert***

    Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt offers tips for selling or trading items online or in stores. While this may be a convenient alternative to selling your used or outdated goods directly through online auction sites or listings, the convenience oftentimes comes at a lower payment to the seller.

      “Oftentimes, trade-in websites and stores take advantage of consumers’ desperation to quickly sell used items,” said Laxalt. “Conducting research before trading in textbooks, video games, computers, computer parts, cellular phones and other items is critical to ensuring you get the right price for your trade-in.”

        The Attorney General’s Office provides these tips when sending in or taking in your objects to be traded:

          • Carefully document any item you wish to trade. Take note and photograph any markings, wear or damage that may devalue your item. When sending an object through the mail, be honest about the state of your item.

            • Wipe all information from your electronic device permanently. Check the owner’s manual, service provider’s website and online tutorials on how to perform this action. Remember to remove your phone books, call list, voicemails, messages, browsing history and photographs before trading in. This will help prevent the unauthorized use of personal identifying information.

                • Research any company by reading online reviews before sending in your used property or taking the item to a store. Because many consumers disclose their frustrations with a company in online reviews, an internet search is helpful in gauging the legitimacy of a trade-in company. Inquiring about the trade-in process from friends or family, who have experience trading in an item, may also be helpful.

                  • Compare your final list of trade-in stores and websites to each other, so you can get the best offer for your item. Be wary of websites that appear to offer significantly more money for your trade-in than others. It may be too good to be true.

                    • Read the fine print. While reading the terms of use may be a tedious task, it will give you an idea of how to dispute a counter offer should you receive one.

                      • Find out what method of payment you will receive before trading in an item. Some stores may give you a gift card that is only valid at their trade-in store. Others may send money via PayPal or check.

                        • Contact the company directly. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the company’s policies on returns, counter offers, payment processing and procedures.

                          For additional assistance, call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit the FTC online here. If you believe you are a victim of an unfair trade-in scam, file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office here.