Amazon’s new trade-in and recycling programs gives your gizmos a ‘second chance’

In the past 40 years or so, during our world’s massive adoption of gizmos, the culture has become a disposable one. Smartphone battery seems a little tepid these days? Just trade it in and send your old one to the great electronics graveyard, somewhere out there in the world where most of us don’t have to think about it.

Many of our grandparents grew up during the Great Depression and had a whole different mind-set. If a shoe could be repaired by a cobbler or a pocket watch lovingly restored by a watchmaker, it was. It was a different time, that’s for sure.

Refreshingly, Amazon is making all those old ideas new again with a new portal that is specifically designed to encourage its many customers to recycle, repair, and return devices, as well as to buy quality pre-owned and refurbished devices.

Fittingly, the program was launched on America Recycles Day and has been dubbed Amazon Second Chance. It’s a way not only to clear out all the electronic clutter we all accumulate over the year but to grab some great gear at reduced prices. Here are the five methods Amazon is offering customers through the program.

  1. Trade it in. You can trade in thousands of eligible items and get an Amazon gift card in return. It’s not a perfect program — the trade-in value is pretty bargain-based, so a working iPhone 8 will only net you around $250, while a first-gen Echo Show goes for a paltry $30 — but to be able to get rid of your old junk and still get something back is pretty great.
  2. Recycle devices. Recycling, sorry to say, can be a giant pain in the behind. Many municipal electronics recycling centers will only accept electronics once in a blue moon, and they’re pretty picky about what they’ll take, while your average junkyard will charge you a pretty penny to take your gizmos off your hands. That’s a drag because electronics contain toxins like lead, mercury, and cadmium that don’t help our growing environmental woes. Amazon is offering a one-stop shop to safely recycle your stuff.
  3. Shop open-box and refurbished items. Sure, you can do the same thing at Target or Best Buy but Amazon has so many more products and prices to bargain over. Your two targets here are Amazon Warehouse, which deals in quality, open-box products, and Amazon Renewed, which sells pre-owned and refurbished products with warranties.
  4. Get live expert help. As we all know, electronics that aren’t brand-new can occasionally be kludgy, so Amazon Product Support is free for 90 days post-purchase on pre-owned devices ,so you don’t have sit in a manufacturer’s endless support queue over the holidays.
  5. Recycle your packaging. Amazon is infamous for using a plethora of bubble wrap, giant boxes, and plastic casing to make sure your stuff gets to you intact. Second Chance provides detailed information on where and how to recycle your Amazon packaging.
Smart Home

Amazon starts crowdsourcing Alexa’s answers. What could go wrong?

Amazon announced a new resource for its Alexa voice assistant. Alexa Answers is an invitation-only program to which select Amazon customers will be invited to supply brief answers to questions that Alexa was asked but couldn't answer.
Movies & TV

The best Amazon Original series, from 'Bosch' to 'Transparent'

Amazon Studios may not have as big a collection of in-house productions as Netflix, but there are still lots of shows worthy of your eyeballs. Here are our picks for the best Amazon original series.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Go expansions, the robocall onslaught, more

On this episode of Digital Trends' live morning show, Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Jeremy Kaplan explored the news of the day, including Amazon Go's potential expansion, the robocall onslaught, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

Radiohead, The Cure, and more to join Rock Hall of Fame. Listen to their hits

Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and more have been selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Here are our favorite songs from the four artists' hit-filled careers.

Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier module is designed to give robots better brains

Nvidia's pricey Jetson AGX Xavier might help drive the next generation of smart robots. Nvidia hopes that developers will use its new Xavier module to power AI-driven machines like delivery drones and robots used in manufacturing.
Home Theater

Phiaton’s active lifestyle headphones do noise canceling on a budget

Looking for a set of active noise-canceling earbuds that can keep up with your active lifestyle, without breaking the bank? Phiaton's new Curve BT 120 NC could be just the ticket.
Digital Trends Live

DT Live: Star Wars: Smuggler’s Run, Google+ data breach, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler talked about the latest attraction from the Star Wars Disneyland expansion and other newsworthy headlines, and welcomed guests Luke Hopkins and Fuslie to the show.

Leaked AMD Ryzen 3000 mobile benchmarks look fit for thin, low-power laptops

AMD is poised to give Intel a run for its money in the ultra-low-power processor space for laptops. Leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen 3000 APU series show the AMD processor besting Intel's Core i7 Y series in multicore performance.
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.

Will Windows 95 be reimagined? Microsoft’s tweet hints at a throwback

The classic Windows operating system may just be getting a reboot of its own. Microsoft tweeted a cryptic message involving the Windows 95 logo and saying that it had a special announcement for its customers today.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Everything you need to know

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, this is a small update. If you've been eyeing a Surface Pro, you may want to wait…
Digital Trends Live

Marshawn Lynch joins Digital Trends Live to talk charity, football

On a special episode of Digital Trends Live, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch joined host Greg Nibler to talk about his charitable foundation, Phones for the Homeless, and the Fan Controlled Football League.
Emerging Tech

Say hello to Serve, Postmates’ cute autonomous delivery robot

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.