How I made -$7 selling my iPad on Amazon

There is nothing worse than mourning the loss of your beloved Mac Book Pro. When my 5-year-old laptop finally died, I eventually decided it was time to purchase a new one. Because this can be quite an expensive endeavor, I chose to sell my iPad and contribute the money I made off of it to my new Mac Book. I stumbled upon Amazon’s trade-in service, which seemed to be the ideal route to go. I could trade my 32 GB iPad 2 with WiFi in for $440 if it was deemed in perfect condition (and it was in perfect condition: no scratches, no sign of use, all buttons operated perfectly), but if it was deemed not quite up to par, I could select to be offered a lesser amount in return. I decided to go for this option, rather than to have my iPad returned to me if it was rejected for the $440, because I needed whatever I could get to put towards my new computer. I’d most likely be offered a little less than $400 if it was determined to be in “good condition” rather than “perfect condition”, so I felt that was still worth it. On top of that, Amazon offers a great price for Mac Books –$100 less than the Apple store — so it seemed like a no-brainer.

All I had to do was submit my iPad to Amazon and fill in a few blanks to describe the condition it was in. Amazon then sent me a shipping label, allowing for free shipping minus the cost of the box I had to buy to send it in. I went to UPS, bought a $7 box, and sent my iPad on its way.

I waited in anticipation for about five days before hearing anything from them. When it arrived at headquarters a few days after sending it, Amazon said the order was “processing” for three more days after that. Finally, my impatience got the best of me and I decided to contact them myself. I spoke to someone via their chat system, and he assured me I’d be informed of my iPad payment by the end of the week. Keeping in mind this was on a Monday that seemed like a long time to wait. But I digress. Finally, later that day, I got an e-mail from Amazon letting me know my order had been processed, and that it had been deemed “unacceptable”. It said its value was “$0.00” and its status was “returned”. On top of my outrage at not being paid a SINGLE dollar for my iPad which was in perfect condition, Amazon went against the option I had checked off to be offered a lesser amount for the gadget, instead of it being returned to me. I was furious. I went back onto Amazon’s chat service, and at first the man I spoke to had nothing of substance to tell me. All he could say was my item had not been accepted, and that was that. His lack of knowledge only added fuel to the fire, so I asked to speak with his supervisor. After a few minutes, another representative joined my chat. I explained my situation to him, and waited a while for his response. Finally, he said, “I am really sorry for this. Your chat has been transferred incorrectly to MP3 digital team. Please hold on while I connect you with our retail team.”

Absolutely dumbfounded, I awaited the FOURTH Amazon representative I would speak to that day. I had never seen such incompetence from such a reputable company in my entire life. I gave the new person I was chatting with my information once again, and she actually had some information to offer me. Apparently, Amazon sends the trade-ins to random merchants, and if that merchant rejects the item, that’s the end of that. Amazon has no record of which merchant processed my item, and thus have no specific reason to give me as to why my iPad was rejected. The woman I was speaking to suggested once I receive the item that was being returned to me, I should send it in again and hope for the best. There was no way I was going to go through this experience again. When I asked her when I’d receive my iPad, she said one to two weeks. Trying my best not to let my frustration get the best of me, I finally let it go and thanked her for her help.

Needless to say, Amazon’s trade-in service is an absolute waste of time and money. Not only did I not make the $440 I expected, but I actually lost seven dollars during the process. iPad sellers: if you want to lose money on your iPad and deal with the most atrocious customer service in the history of e-commerce, absolutely go for it and use Amazon’s trade-in service! My sarcasm aside, I will be 100% skeptical going forward when using Amazon for anything it offers at all.