Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Amazon’s Trade-In Program (Day 4)

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

Want to earn some Amazon gift cards to help pay for Christmas gifts? You definitely must check out Amazon’s Trade-In Program. Here’s what reader Chelsea said:

Last week, I discovered Amazon’s trade-in store, and ended up having almost $400 worth of credit between six textbooks! After researching what the books were worth, I found that Amazon was offering me a very fair price. I was able to ship the books for free and quickly received the credit in my account.

Besides textbooks, Amazon also accepts electronics, movies and television series, video games, consoles, and accessories for trade. I would highly encourage MoneySavingMom® readers to check out this program. Paired with free shipping and price matching, the store credit could really come in handy. -Chelsea

Here’s how Amazon’s Trade-In Program works:

1. Gather Up Extra DVDs, Books, Video Games, and/or Electronics

Go through your home and find any DVDs, Books, Video Games, or electronics you no longer need or use.

2. Search For the Product on the Amazon Trade-In Store

Do a search on the Amazon Trade-In Store to see how much Amazon will pay you for a Trade In. If the price seems fair, click through to verify the condition, title, and price.

3. Print Your Shipping Label

Follow the steps to print the postage-paid shipping label. You can choose to go with free UPS shipping (you’ll need to drop your package off at the nearest UPS location) or shipping via the U.S. Postal Service (you can give your package to your mail carrier or drop it off at the nearest post office).

4. Ship Your Item

Ship out the item in a timely manner. Once it has been received by Amazon, they will check it to verify that it is eligible and in the condition you promised. Items considered to be not acceptable will be returned. Return shipping is free, but you will not receive any Gift Card amount for the returned items.

5. Once Your Item is Approved, Get Your Amazon Credit!

After your item has been received and approved by, they will issue your Amazon credit. You can use this credit to purchase anything on I’d suggest hanging onto it and letting your credit build until you are ready to spend it on Christmas gifts!

It’s that simple! Here’s what Lydia from Five 4 Five Meals emailed into me:

Earlier this year I cleaned out our entire DVD collection by “selling” them to Amazon. In exchange for your DVDs they give you a gift card based on their resale value.

I made around $100 and decluttered our house. The bonus is you don’t pay shipping, Amazon does. -Lydia

Have you used Amazon’s Trade-In Program before? If so, I’d love to hear what your experiences — good or bad — have been with it.

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • I love their trade-in program! I tried it out for the first time last spring and sold 8 DVDs for about $70 in Amazon credit (which is as good as cash for us!).

    I wrote about it here:

    I’ll definitely be trying it again when our stack of DVD library starts growing too large again.

  • Jen says:

    My husband and I cleaned out our movie and book collection last year and sent them into Amazon. We had over $100 in giftcards! Just last month, I found an old box of textbooks and Christian self help books from high school and college in my old bedroom at my parents house and sent those in to Amazon as well. I got nearly $60 just for getting rid of stuff I didn’t even know I had!

  • Becky says:

    This is definitely worth it for some items but not for others. Many “Like New” DVDs are only worth 10 cents for trade-in, significantly less than what you could sell them for at a yard sale (if you’re willing to have a yard sale). On the other hand, there are some movies, books, equipment, etc. that will net far more than that … and significantly more than you are likely to get at a yard sale. I’d definitely recommend checking out the trade-in program, though — there’s plenty of Amazon money to be made!

  • Jessica says:

    I have has great success with this program. The one time they rejected a book, I wasn’t given a reason why and it wasn’t returned. Amazon credited me with the money anyway.

  • amber says:

    I’m going to have to check this out. Thanks for the tip.

    • Jenny says:

      I’ve used them for DVDs and video games and I’ve been really happy with it. Usually there is at least one big item ($15+) that makes it all worth it. Since I never know which one it will be, I check a bunch of items all at once.

      For me, I have no problem letting them buy an item for less than a $1. I may be able to get more at a garage sale, but running a sale isn’t feasible for me right now so I make more money from Amazon than I would letting them sit in my garage. And to be honest, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to buy these old movies for more than Amazon offers.

  • linda says:

    I have used this program for lots of things. My fiance and I will be using my Iphone 3gs (my awesome dad surprised me with an Iphone 5) and some old Ipods and Video games for christmas shopping for his two kids. We have never had an issue with the program. I was able to get over $150 for my 3GS I sent in a request 5 days before the 5 came out (you have up to a week to ship your items) and they honored the price. We now have close to $500 in amazon cash between the swagbucks both of us has, bing and the trade in program. This year Christmas and Birthdays will be way less worrisome thanks to this program!

  • Michele says:

    I’ve used it a few times. But I always compare the amount to what I can sell it for on Amzaon. Usually it is a lot less. You can look at the item’s Amazon rank, and if it’s a good seller, I prefer to sell it on there. If it’s not a good seller or if the trade-in amount isn’t much less than selling it, I’ll do the trade-in. It seems like they mostly do trade-ins for popular items, so 9 times out of 10 I sell rather than trade.

    • Alicia says:

      Did you compare that trade in to your proceeds after shipping and amazons huge commission of the selling price? I’m curious to know!

  • Meliss says:

    This can be a really great program, but I’ve found my odds and ends seem to end up selling for much more on Amazon itself (and I guard my 100% Seller rating like the gold it is!) so it is worth checking both options if you want to get maximum dollars. If I just want things gone and a simple, one package solution, though, Trade In is the way to go.

  • Shelli says:

    It’s worked great for me – I’ve sold books, DVDs and wii games!

  • I have traded in a few things with Amazon’s program, but unfortunately many items are only worth pennies on the dollar. It can still be worth your while since shipping is free, but I’ve been disappointed by the value of a few of my books, CDs, and cell phones I have tried to trade.

    • Wendy says:

      I wouldn’t go to the trouble for small amounts either. I usually donate my books/dvd’s to our library. You can name the value and get it off on your taxes. This really works better for our situation.

  • Kay says:

    For books, I’d check out Generally, I’ve gotten much better prices there (although you do have to wait to make a sale).

    • Kay says:

      This week for example, I sold a book on for $8.50 ($10 less $1.50 commission), and on Amazon I would have received $1.20. I am guessing this is a better deal for older books that are priced at $0.75 on

  • Tracy says:

    I’ve used the trade-in program a few times now for books and dvds. In fact I have another set to box up and drop off today or tomorrow. I like the convenience of printing the shipping label and just dropping the box off at the Post Office. Many times I just reuse an Amazon box to ship back.

    If Amazon will even give me a small amount of money I will usually send the item in because even those small amounts start adding up (and I shop at Amazon so any amount of credit is helpful). Items that are not able to be traded-in go into the donation box.

    I would highly recommend the trade-in program if you will be able to use the Amazon credit.

  • Laura says:

    We were very pleased with our Amazon Trade-In for DVDs and CDs. However, they do not accept BMG or Columbia House editions.
    We have also used They only offer free shipping if your trade in value is $50 or more. And you have to pay for return shipping. You can receive payment via PayPal. They bought stuff that Amazon refused.
    Our local FYE (For Your Entertainment) store also buys CDs. They accept club editions, pay cash, and overall seemed to pay more for the merchandise. I dropped off my boxes of CDs that were refused by Amazon and AdundaTrade in the morning, received a phone call a few hours later, picked up the CDs they didn’t want and a cash payment. I would say that FYE was overall the best trade-in experience we had.

  • Emily says:

    I LOVE the Amazon Trade-In program! I have made a nice amount of extra Amazon credit through it. I shop on Amazon all the time, so I love the credit. And it’s much more convenient for me than trying to sell on my own.

    I wrote about one of my experiences here:

    I earned over $90 for 2 textbooks that time – that’s the best I’ve ever done. But I do regularly clean out our books to see what I can send off. I need to check through our DVDs though.

  • Jessi says:

    Boy, my family had better watch their stuff! I’m constantly taking things away from the kids when I find it lying around….now, I can make some money back! I just looked up a few old Cds I had lying around and made over $10! Looking forward to going through my books this coming week!

  • Eleisha Jones says:

    Don’t forget to check freecycle and Craigslist free section to locate items on the trade in list:)

    • Heather C says:

      I used this for the first time recently. I was about to sell a textbook on ebay and checked amazon. Amazon offered me $10 more than I figured I would be able to sell it for on ebay (looking at the going prices). Since the shipping is free (we get enough UPS deliveries that it’s easy to hand it off) both ways there is nothing to lose. If it is something you originally ordered from amazon it seems like they will offer more money. Now, if the going price on amazon’s marketplace was much higher or was somewhere else I would consider selling another place. I was very happy with my one experience so far and I will look for more items to sell!

  • Janet says:

    Thanks! I just tried this out and got a little over $7 for 4 CDs I haven’t listened to in years. I’ll be searching for other things to trade in now.

  • Amber says:

    I checked a bunch of items on Amazon, and found the offers to be really low. So I checked each item on, and listed my item for 50 cents or $1 lower than the lowest price. A couple of my items sold within a day, which is unusual for, but I was pretty happy about it.

    This is a great time of year to list Christmas collectibles on Ebay! Or other hard-to-find items you think someone might want to buy as a gift.

    • celia says:

      We did this yesterday and we loved it! We are going to ship everything out tomorrow. It was very easy. While it is true that some things go for way cheap ( like 10 cents for a dvd), we did not care since we have an extremely limited amount of free time, and our neighborhood does very poorly with garage sales and we do not want to waste a valuable weekend organizing a garage sale anyhow. We made 170 dollars in an hour, and since our home is very small the space we freed up was more than worth it. We will be using this again, for sure. Thank you SO MUCH for this series, we had a horrible month and due to a paperwork glitch my husband did not get paid for a trip he took for work that we paid for oop. Normally we have a really healthy emergency fund and no problems but we had a lot of medical bills this year. We are delighted with our new baby, but wheeehoo did it put a dent in our accounts. I am so thankful for this series and have told several of my friends about it.

  • Laura says:

    We just looked through all our textbooks we had left and only two were on their list. We tried one DVD and our total is $5. Better than nothing and I don’t have to do the work. Now off to one of the other recommended sites from the comments to see if we can make something off the rest of the stack.

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *