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Swappa Review

Considering buying or selling a used phone? Read our review of Swappa

By Rob Webber - Last updated on

If you are looking to buy and sell consumer electronics and accessories, one of the sites you can go through is Swappa. This marketplace deals with the buying and selling of new-ish gadgets and devices.

This is more of a community than a traditional eCommerce site, as you can buy and sell directly with other people rather than having to go through a middleman. This direct communication between buyers and sellers can provide a range of benefits including being able to get the best price on your products.

Swappa was established in 2010, and since that time has featured in various well-known journals including the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. It has gained a solid reputation when it comes to buying and selling products, and the site is very simple to use.

You may have had bad experiences on eCommerce sites in the past, but this one works differently to the others. Many items are bought and sold through the site on a daily basis. The items on the site have don't have to be in mint condition but they do need to be in good working order.

Buying from Swappa


  • You deal directly with the seller.
  • You can choose from a wide range of devices on Swappa.
  • All items are in good working order.
  • Swappa staff offer excellent support.
  • No seller can deny a return/refund when a device is not as advertised.
  • PayPal can be used to make payment conveniently.


  • Buyer pays for shipping.
  • Can only pay via PayPal.

Related: Compare prices to get the best deal on a refurbished phone

You may be wondering, is Swappa reliable if I want to purchase a working consumer electronic device? If you are considering buying used products from Swappa, you will be able to benefit from access to a good choice of high-quality products. Because this site does not accept items that are broken or damaged, you can be certain that the item you purchase will be in good working order and ready to use.

The site aims to make buying as simple as possible, so you won't have to spend hours trawling around the site trying to find what you want. Everything is nicely categorized so you can search for your items with ease.

If you want to purchase a cell phone or other consumer electronics via the site, all you need to do is:

  • Go onto the buy section of the site.
  • Login or register your details.
  • Select the category you want to purchase from.
  • Choose a carrier where applicable.
  • Browse the listing that comes up.
  • Select the one you are interested in.
  • Liaise directly with the seller if you are happy with the item and price.

Once you have chosen the product you want, you can make a payment simply and conveniently via PayPal. All you need to do then is wait for your item to be delivered. If there are any issues, the Swappa staff is always there to help.

As with any online purchase, the only downside to this is that you do not get to inspect and check the device or product in person before you make your purchase. However, Swappa does not allow junk and broken products to be sold via the site.

Selling to Swappa


  • All transactions are carried out securely via PayPal.
  • There are no fees for sellers.
  • Payment is swift and efficient.
  • Define your own return policy.
  • Being able to liaise directly with buyers.
  • The ability to get more money for the item you are selling.
  • A simple selling process with greater control.


  • PayPal is the only method of payment.
  • There is an expiration date on your listing.
  • Seller is responsible for device and its condition until it gets to the buyer.

Related: Compare offers to get the most cash for your old phone

So, how does Swappa work if you are a seller? If you decide you want to sell your unwanted consumer electrical and similar products on Swappa, you do need to make sure they are in good working order. There is a list of criteria that your device must meet if you want to sell via Swappa so make sure you read this carefully when you go onto the selling section of the site.

The process of listing your product is also very simple and straightforward via this site. You can upload photos and details as you would on most other similar sites. You then simply wait for buyers to make contact and purchase your product. In order to sell an item via Swappa, all you need to do is:

  • Go onto the selling section of the site.
  • Select the type, make and model of the product you are selling.
  • Before you list it, you need to agree to the terms of service and confirm the product meets the required criteria.
  • Enter all required details about the device you are selling.
  • Add pricing and PayPal information.
  • Complete your listing along with description and photos.

Once you have done this, you simply need to wait for the offers to come in from potential buyers. Obviously, because of the way in which this site works, which is similar to eBay, you should make sure you use a well-written description and quality photos to boost your chances of a sale.

One of the key downsides with this site is that you do not get paid until someone actually purchases your item whereas, with other eCommerce sites such as Gazelle, it is the company that is purchasing the product from you so there is no waiting around.

Recap - The Bottom Line

If you want more freedom and flexibility when it comes to buying and selling your used electrical devices, Swappa could be the ideal site for you. One of the key benefits of using this site as a seller is that you can make much more money than you would via some other sites.

As a buyer, the ability to liaise directly with sellers to make your purchase provides greater confidence and total simplicity.

Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.