Ecoatm, the innovative machine that rewards you for recycling your old phones and devices, offers a convenient way to earn some extra cash while promoting sustainability. However, did you know that there are strategies to maximize your earnings from this clever kiosk? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into advanced techniques to help you get the most money out of your ecoATM experience.

What Is ecoATM?

Founded in 2008, ecoATM began as a single prototype in Omaha, Nebraska, but has since expanded into a widespread network of kiosks across the United States. You can find ecoATM kiosks in places like Walmart, grocery stores, and shopping malls, providing an in-person alternative to consumer electronics buyback websites like GadgetGone. These kiosks offer a convenient way to exchange your old devices for cash, all while giving off an eco-friendly vibe.

How Does ecoATM Work?

ecoATM Locations

The convenience factor is a major selling point for ecoATM, with thousands of kiosks scattered nationwide. You won’t have to go far to find one; a quick search for “ecoATM near me” is likely to yield a kiosk just around the corner at your local grocery store or retail outlet.

What Devices Does ecoATM Accept?

It’s essential to note that ecoATM has specific criteria for the devices it accepts. They primarily focus on cell phones, MP3 players, and tablets. So, if you were thinking of selling your old laptops or Apple Watches, you’re out of luck. However, they do accept:

  • Broken Phones: Yes, ecoATM will buy your device, even if it’s cracked, water-damaged, or just plain broken. However, don’t expect a significant payout for damaged devices.
  • Locked Phones: If your device is locked to a specific carrier, ecoATM will accept it. Just make sure to mention that your phone isn’t in working condition when you take it to the kiosk. However, iCloud or activation-locked devices are a big no-go.
  • Blacklisted Phones: These are typically not accepted, as they may be reported as lost or stolen.
  • Unpaid Devices: If your device hasn’t been paid off yet, ecoATM is unlikely to take it, and your payout may be less than your remaining payments.

How Do You Prepare Your Device for ecoATM?

Before selling your device through ecoATM, they recommend three simple steps:

  1. Back up any content you want to access later, either to the cloud or another device.
  2. Ensure that you are free of any contractual obligations with your carrier.
  3. Factory reset your device to wipe your data.

Additionally, here are some extra tips to maximize your experience:

  • Keep Accessories: While you can keep your screen protector and case on your device and include the charger that came with it, these items won’t increase your cash offer and might hinder the appraisal process.
  • Remove SIM and microSD cards: These items can contain sensitive information, so it’s best to take them out before selling.
  • Clean and Charge: Manually cleaning your phone can improve its appearance and potentially increase your ecoATM estimate. Charging your device before assessment ensures a quicker process and potentially a higher payout.
  • Sign out of iCloud: For Apple devices, make sure to sign out of your iCloud account to avoid issues.

How To Trick EcoATM

Basic Tips for Success

  1. Choose High-Priced Devices: When selling an old phone, opt for higher-priced devices. This simple action can trigger automatic increases in the offered price.
  2. Persistence Pays Off: If the initial attempt doesn’t yield the desired results, don’t be disheartened. Keep trying and pressing the button when prompted to sell the device.
  3. Repeat the Process: By consistently repeating the action, the machine is more likely to offer a higher sum compared to the initial offer.
  4. Bundle Your Devices: Selling multiple devices can significantly boost your earnings. The kiosk offers an extra five dollars per additional device.
  5. Engage Customer Support: If you’re still unsatisfied with the offered price after all your efforts, consider reaching out to customer support. Explain your case convincingly, and they may grant you a higher payout.

Selecting the Right Device

One of the key factors that determine your payout from ecoATM is the device you choose to recycle. To increase the amount of money offered by the machine, consider these tips:

1. Opt for a Higher-Priced Device

Select a device with a higher market value when recycling. EcoATM’s algorithm calculates the payout based on the device’s model and condition. Choosing a more valuable device can significantly boost your earnings.

2. Haggling with the Machine

If the initial offer falls short of your expectations, don’t hesitate to negotiate with the machine. Simply keep hitting the button that asks if you’re sure you want to sell your device. In some cases, persistence can lead to a higher payout.

3. Bundling Multiple Devices

Another effective strategy is to recycle multiple devices at once. When prompted, select multiple devices, and the machine will offer an additional $5 per device. This can quickly add up, increasing your overall earnings.

4. Contacting ecoATM Customer Service

In the rare event that the machine’s offer remains unsatisfactory, consider reaching out to ecoATM customer service. They may be able to provide you with a higher price for your device.

Optimize Your EcoATM Transaction

To ensure you receive the highest possible payout from your ecoATM transaction, follow these steps:

1. Choose Cash Over Store Credit

When prompted, select the option to receive cash instead of store credit. Cash payouts typically offer more value than store credit.

2. Accurate Device Information

Enter your device’s information accurately and completely. Providing detailed and precise information ensures that you receive an accurate quote.

3. Remove Personal Data

Before placing your device in the ecoATM, ensure that all personal data, including passwords, photos, and sensitive information, is removed. Protect your privacy and prevent potential data breaches.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can you put a laptop in ecoATM?

A1: Yes, you can put a laptop in ecoATM. Ensure the laptop is turned off, unplugged, and without batteries. Place it in the machine with the screen facing up for a quick evaluation and transaction.

Q2: How does ecoATM verify phones?

A2: EcoATM verifies phones by scanning and asking a few questions about the device. Users insert their ID, which is verified, and the phone is recycled after data removal and functionality testing.

Q3: How does ecoATM determine pricing?

A3: Pricing depends on the device’s model, condition, current market value, and ecoATM’s buying history for that device. If you’re satisfied with the offered price, you can proceed with the transaction.


EcoATM, with its presence in over 5,000 locations, is a catalyst for phone recycling and electronic waste reduction. Embracing EcoATM’s technology-driven approach enables individuals to swiftly and conveniently sell or recycle their outdated electronic devices. The allure of potentially maximizing returns on your old gadgets through creative tactics is undeniable.

In this guide, we’ve endeavored to provide you with essential insights into EcoATM and strategies to optimize your experience. By following the tips outlined here, you can embark on your journey to potentially outwit the EcoATM while selling your old phones and gadgets. Moreover, we’ve addressed some of the most frequently asked questions to ensure you have all the information you need.

Unlock the full potential of your electronic devices with EcoATM, and may your recycling efforts be both rewarding and eco-friendly.