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How To Get Free Stuff Online :: The Amazon Trade In Program

Updated on January 16, 2012

Use the Amazon Trade In Program and Get Free Stuff!

When it comes time to clean out your DVD and Video Game collection, you can turn them into Free Stuff the fast and easy way with the Amazon trade in program!

The Amazon trade in Program is a simple and effective alternative to selling your stuff on eBay, or even directly through the Amazon Marketplace.

You will know up front how much your items will sell for, and you can turn your unwanted DVDs, Blu-rays, Video Games and even Text Books into Free Stuff in under a week!

What is the Amazon Trade In Program?

Amazon Trade In Button
Amazon Trade In Button
Get Free Stuff Online!
Get Free Stuff Online!

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through some DVD titles at the Amazon website and noticed a link below the "Add to Cart" button: "Get a $1.25 Gift Card, Trade in here". Curious, I clicked the link and was brought to the Amazon Trade In Store.

While shopping at Amazon, you've probably noticed that many of the items that they sell are available in both "New" or "Used" condition. Many of the Used items sold on Amazon are offered by third-party sellers, which can range from from nationwide brick-and-mortar businesses like Target to individuals selling their personal items.

Many of these third-party offers are actually fulfilled by Amazon, itself. And guess where Amazon gets all those used DVDs, Video Games and Text Books? From their trade in program! In exchange for your unwanted items, Amazon will give you a gift card that can be used towards a purchase at their site. They will even pay to have your items shipped to them via UPS or the Post Office!

I started poking around the trade in store, and I soon realized that there was buried treasure in my DVD collection! The site was simple to use, and I was soon marveling at how much my unwatched videos were worth...

Some Surprising Results

Once upon a time I was very loose with my money, and if I watched a movie and enjoyed it, I would buy the DVD, just in case I ever decided to watch that movie again. I also fell into the trap of buying the same title multiple times - when a movie I really enjoyed came out on DVD, I would buy it right away. Then, a year later, when the "Special Unrated Deluxe Director's Cut" was released, I'd buy it again! As a result, I accumulated a pretty sizable DVD library over the years, and a great many of those DVDs went unwatched.

Just for fun, I started typing in the titles of some of the DVDs in my collection that I hadn't viewed in a while. The results were better than I'd expected.

Apparently, "Titanic" is no longer in print, so my DVD copy of that movie was worth $12.

My "Freaks and Geeks" box set could fetch me $18, and "This Is Spinal Tap" could be traded in for $8!

Why Not Sell Them On eBay?

Clearly these DVDs are worth more than what Amazon is willing to pay me for a trade in, right? So why not take that "Titanic" DVD and sell it on eBay for twice as much money? That's the question I asked myself, and a quick search on eBay gave me the answer - there's a better than good chance that no one would ever buy it on eBay, or that I would actually get less than the Amazon trade in value. And that doesn't even address the issue of having to package each DVD and bring it to the post office. If I wanted to clear out the hundreds of unwatched DVDs in my library, that could add up to a LOT of trips to the post office!

Using the Amazon trade in program, I could pack all of those DVDs into a single box, and they would pay the shipping! That means one package, and one trip the local UPS store or post office.

Plus, I knew in advance how much I would get for each video, and that was a major decision in deciding which ones to trade and which ones to keep. For instance, "American Beauty" is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I was shocked to see that its trade in value was just 25 cents! But my copy of "Almost Famous" was worth $4, and I know I'll never watch that movie again...

Separation Anxiety

Over the last several years, as my income has steadily decreased, I have been consciously simplifying my life. That has mostly meant simply buying less stuff, but as time has gone by I've learned to make do with less, and that often meant selling things I no longer needed. A few years ago I sold my entire CD collection - close to 1,000 CDs - because I had long before transitioned to the iPod and no longer played those physical CDs in my stereo system. That was not a tough transition, because it was easy to back up my iPod on my computer, so it was no longer necessary to possess the physical compact discs in order to listen to my music.

There is not really an affordable, equivalent backup method for DVDs, so in some cases I had a hard time letting go, especially when I thought a disc was worth more than I was getting from a trade in. I couldn't give up that "Planet of the Apes" box set for $1.25, even though I haven't watched any of those films in ages.

At the same time, there were some titles that I just could not bring myself to sell even for a good price - David Lynch's "Eraserhead" had a significant effect on me in my youth when I first saw it on VHS twenty years ago, and over the years I wore out that tape. It went unreleased on video for years afterwards, and when the DVD was finally issued a few years back, I immediately bought one and watched it with fond memories of my early twenties. I haven't watched it again in the past year or two, and the trade in value was $15, but there was no way I could bring myself to sell it. I know it's just a piece of plastic, and that I could rent it any time, but knowing that I have it and can watch it at any time is somehow comforting.

So instead of dumping my whole collection, I've instead narrowed it down to just those movies that I really love and don't want to be without...

How The Amazon Trade In Program Works

Amazon has made their trade in program ridiculously easy to use! You can access the site by going to the Amazon Trade In Store.

Simply enter the title of the item you wish to trade in - they accept DVDs, Blu-ray, Video Games and Text Books, each with its own "storefront". You can enter the title of the item, but I found that entering the numeric UPC code was much more accurate. There are often multiple versions of some titles, and each different "flavor" can have a wildly different trade in value!

Once you've decided to trade in an item, just click the "Trade In" button to add it to your account. (After you've added an item, you can return to your list of trade ins by clicking the "Your Trade in Account" link from your Amazon account page, listed under "Your Other Accounts" on the right-hand sidebar)

When you're finished, just click the "Submit your trade ins" button. You'll be brought to a screen that explains the rules - your items must be in good (i.e. "re-sellable") condition, and any that are not may not be returned, and so on.

From there you can next print out the paid (by Amazon!) shipping label - you may be asked to choose your preferred shipping option, either UPS or the U.S. Postal Service. I submitted two batches of trade ins, and the first time I was not given a choice of shipping companies, and had to use UPS (which I would have, anyway!)

Now you just securely pack up your items, affix the pre-paid shipping label, and drop the package at the shipper - there's even a tool that you can use to find the nearest UPS shipping facility (many Staples retail shops have one).

My Experience With the Amazon Trade In Program

The first time I used the Amazon trade in program, I was a bit leery, so I restricted myself to about 20 DVDs and Video Games, each with a trade in value under $1. These were all titles that I knew I would never watch again, and that I would not be heart-broken about losing all together. Remember that the items being traded in must be in "good condition" (i.e. re-sellable), and that those which are not may not be returned to you!

I submitted my items online on a Sunday afternoon, then printed out the label and packed them up that night. On Monday I dropped the box off at the UPS Store. Amazon provides a handy link to track the package right from your account page, and I kept an eye on the package's progress. It arrived at the Amazon facility in New Hampshire on Thursday, and on Friday I received and email notifying me that a gift card balance had been debited to my account!

Now that I was familiar with the process, it was time to get serious! I started going through the library, picking out all of the DVDs that I could bear to part with. That turned out to be about 60 more videos, and this time I shipped my trade ins on a Friday afternoon. I had a new balance in my gift card account on Wednesday the following week, and I had made enough to buy myself a gorgeous new 24-inch LCD Widescreen Monitor. I had spent the week prior choosing just which one I wanted, and thanks to Next Day Shipping, I had it on my desk and hooked up on Thursday afternoon (I'm looking at it right now as I type this, and I love it!)

All-in-all, my experience with the Amazon trade in program was fast, easy and profitable!

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Submit a Comment

  • profile image

     6 years ago

    Wow, great hub and a cool idea- I can't wait to go through my old collections!

  • Edweirdo profile image

    Edweirdo 6 years ago from United States

    @wavegirl22 - As long as we don't have another blizzard, I plan to be there :D

  • wavegirl22 profile image

    Shari 6 years ago from New York, NY

    this is sweeeeet! I saw it a few days ago but in the hustle and bustle of too many windows opened I put it on my list of things to look into. Leave it to you to summarize it all for me! Hope you are having a great holiday and I hope I see you at Hub Camp!!!!!!

  • Edweirdo profile image

    Edweirdo 6 years ago from United States

    @Suzanne Day - I'm not sure how this program works outside of the U.S.

    Are there "Trade In" links on the pages of the Amazon site in Oz?

  • Suzanne Day profile image

    Suzanne Day 6 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    Thanks for your hub, haven't heard of the program before and it might come in useful for the hundreds of DVDs I have languishing in my cupboards. I wonder if they can manage mine from Australia?

  • shazwellyn profile image

    shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

    I prefer good hard cash Ed, so I will continue with Marketplace, but good to raise the awareness. Well done.

  • profile image

    Wooded 6 years ago

    This is great information. I am always trying to reduce the amount of things that I hold onto. DVDs are one thing that I definitely wouldn't give to a homeless person so I would love to get some extra cash for them and I have quite a collection as well. Thanks so much!

  • Rebecca E. profile image

    Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

    thank you thank you thank you for this hub, great work. (PS one of these days I'll do a review of hubdefender for my followers, it's a GREAt program-- can't put it on your hub about hubdefender.. so here it is) so the trade program itself does seem simple enough even for a person like me, and bonus will make hopefully some income from dust collecting DVDs

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Nice information, my friend. I am glad to know this from you. Thanks for share with us. Take care!

  • LillyGrillzit profile image

    Lori J Latimer 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

    Thank you Very much. This is such a nice way to 1)reuse, 2)recycle and 3). make some income (via stuff) So happy to know this. I really like Amazon more each day. Great Hub voted up.

  • QudsiaP1 profile image

    QudsiaP1 6 years ago

    Such an interesting hub. I just might try it out.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. :)

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    This is very interesting, I had no idea there was a trade in section of Amazon. Wonderful write-up and review. It has convinced me to give it a try.

  • agusfanani profile image

    agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

    A very attractive program ! Thank you Edweirdo, I think I have some stuffs I can trade in.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

    Great and useful information. Thank you.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

    What a great hub. In our current economic state, this is a priceless read!


  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin


    I saw that and was wondering and waiting for this Hub. Excellent! I will be sure to try that method next.

    Thank you!

  • Teddletonmr profile image

    Mike Teddleton 6 years ago from Midwest USA

    Get Free Stuff Online With The Amazon Trade In Program WOW I had no idea. I tried selling my cd collection at a yard sale. After getting several offers of twenty-five cents for my stuff I said to hell with that.

    I might just dig them out of the closet and give this a try. Thanks for the heads up.

    Hub up and useful. Mike

  • Johnny Parker profile image

    Johnny Parker 6 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

    Good post. Was looking for this on the UK store and it seems they only have a trade-in for video games... bummer.

    If they had one for films on VHS I could retire!

  • CYBERSUPE profile image


    Thank You Edweirdo, for this very Interesting and Informative Hub. I am not seeing any Sells from Amazon maybe this Amazon Trade Store could be a gold mone.

  • FGual profile image

    FGual 7 years ago from USA

    Thank you for sharing your discovery, it's all news to me. Glad you were able to trade in your old DVDs.

  • tlpoague profile image

    Tammy 7 years ago from USA

    Other thank looking at Amazon on Hubpages, I forget that they have a wide range of items. I never knew that they had a trade in. I will have to pay more attention. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

  • prairieprincess profile image

    Sharilee Swaity 7 years ago from Canada

    Wow, that is very interesting, and I will have to check out that out. Thanks for a great, useful hub!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    I didn't know Amazon had a trade in program as I though everything used was from outside people where I buy a lot of books. Thanks for this information.