How do you afford all the products you guys cover?

I’ve gotten this question a lot. There are several ways bloggers get review gadgets (as TechnoBuffalo’s Noah Kravitz covers here), but for beginners, the easiest and most direct method is the trusty old “buy-and-sell,” i.e. selling off an old gadget to afford a hot new one.

This approach is great for everyday tech fanatics too, since it spares waste and closet space, while putting some coins in your pocket. Now you could go with the classics, such as eBay, Craigslist or one of the no-fuss trade-in sites. But sometimes your fav companies will up the convenience factor by taking your old gear themselves.

The latest is T-Mobile, which just launched a new cell phone trade-in program. Best part: Eligibility is pretty broad, from “dumb” phones to other providers’ handsets. From the presser that landed in my inbox today:

Got an old flip-phone that’s collecting dust? Wanna trade up to the latest 4G device but watching the wallet? T-Mobile is making it even more affordable to upgrade with a new retail Trade In program that provides customers with the ability to trade existing mobile devices, from any carrier, for cash (up to $300) that could be used towards the purchase of a new handset – including any smartphone running on T-Mobile’s 4G network.

To participate, pop by a Tmo store with your old device, so a rep can check the model and condition of it. (The phone needs to be functional and free of liquid/corrosion damage.) Based on that, they’ll set a trade-in value and you’ll get a check sent to you (after a mail-in rebate process). For more info, you can check out the program here, visit a T-Mobile retail location or hit up the press release below.

Truthfully, unless they’re being generous, you could probably get more by selling it yourself. But at least this way, there’s no hassle over hagglers, wire transfers from Nigeria or DOA-prevention packaging.

Have you ever sold or traded-in your devices, either on your own or via a company? If you have some words of wisdom to share, deposit them down below.


T-Mobile USA Launches Trade-In Program for Used Handsets

T-Mobile Trade-In program enables customers to save on new device purchase whether opting for the latest messaging device or trading up to one of the fastest smartphones running on America’s Largest 4G Network

BELLEVUE, Wash. — May 17, 2011 — T-Mobile USA, Inc. today introduced a retail Trade-In program, aimed at giving customers a cost-effective way to purchase a new phone and upgrade to America’s Largest 4G Network. T-Mobile’s Trade-In program provides customers with the ability to trade existing mobile devices for money that could be used toward the purchase of a new handset — including any new smartphone running on

T-Mobile’s 4G network.

T-Mobile is dedicated to making the latest wireless devices and mobile Internet services more affordable to more people. Through the Trade-In program, customers can offset the cost of a new phone purchase by up to $300 with the trade in of their old device. Even devices from other wireless carriers are eligible as long as they meet the minimum criteria, i.e., being fully functional, having an intact and working display, and being free of liquid damage or corrosion.

Customers can take advantage of the Trade-In program at any T-Mobile retail store. In partnership with The Wireless Source (TWS), a leader in consumer electronics collection programs, a trained T-Mobile representative will determine the trade-in value of each device and a check for the quoted amount will be given to the customer via a mail-in rebate process. Customers receive a voucher, shipping label and bubble pack mailer and simply ship the old phone to TWS at their convenience. They will then be sent a check from TWS in the amount of the quote once the device is received in good working condition.

“T-Mobile is committed to providing the latest, most innovative and affordable technology to new and existing customers,” said Ami Silverman, senior vice president of sales, T-Mobile USA. “If device purchases can be made even more affordable through the value offset of T-Mobile’s Trade-In program, we want customers to have that option. We encourage them to take advantage of it so they can stay connected no matter what their budget, current device or mobile provider.”

Customers have the ability to check the estimated value of their device before going to a T-Mobile retail store and learning more about the T-Mobile Trade-In program at http://www.mytradeins.com/.