Amazon has opened its trade-in scheme in the UK, meaning you can send them all your old (Amazon) gadgets and get a gift card (to Amazon) in return.

It’s all very Amazon-centric, admittedly, but probably better than devices just sitting in drawers unused.

If you happen to be upgrading your existing device to a newer one in the same category (e.g. a first-gen Echo Dot to a current gen), you’ll also get 25% off the new one.

You’ll need it, because the amount you get back is pretty pitiful, especially if your device has any damage.

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to the Trade-In Store and search for eligible devices.
  • Select the device you’d like to trade in and answer a few questions about its condition to receive your quote.
  • Print a shipping label and send your device for free.
  • Once Amazon has received your device and verified its condition, an Amazon Gift Card equal to the appraised value of the device will be automatically applied to your Amazon account.

Those “eligible devices” are “select Echo devices” (why not all of them???), Fire TV streaming media players, Fire tablets, and Kindle e-readers.

No mention of the notorious Fire Phone, we notice. But that’s probably for the best, given that most of the devices offer an absolute pittance of a trade-in value. All the Fire streaming sticks we tried returned 99 pence (seriously) even if they worked perfectly and included the remote. Yes, even the 4K one.

Kindles and tablets are often a fiver or tenner, and even a perfect condition Echo Spot – a relatively recent product that costs £80 new at the moment (and that’s with a discount) – will only get you £25.

Thank goodness postage is free or you’d actually be paying to trade in some of these devices.

Gadgets that still work and are still in demand are re-sold on Amazon Warehouse (presumably not for 99p), while ones that can’t be sold are recycled.

The company says it’s “one of the ways Amazon is working to reduce environmental impact and increase the number of devices that are recycled or refurbished,” which is fair, but let’s not forget that it’s also there to kill the secondary market (i.e. selling your Echo on eBay) – there’s a reason Amazon doesn’t let you list its devices in its own Marketplace.

Still, if you want your few pennies of Amazon credit, you can trade in now on the website or via the Amazon app.

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