Is Sell Your Cell a Scam?

by Kevin on May 13, 2009

On March 14th, almost exactly two months ago, I completed an order with SellYourCell.com. We bought new phones in February and everything seemed to be working fine, so I opted to sell our older phones for a little bit of cash.

We had the same phone: the LG VX8600. Both were in good condition. Mine had a couple of extra scratches on it, but overall the phones worked, the batteries worked, and they were in usable condition.

Searching for a Phone Buyer

I went online and searched for a vendor to sell my phone to. Back in 2006 I tried this and it took months and several e-mails to get my money, so I went into this situation with the full understanding that this could blow up in my face.

Nonetheless I searched and there are several companies that offer this type of service. Many boast of being featured in mainstream media like the Wall Street Journal, NBC, etc. Yet some of the firms offered litterally nothing for my phone. That ruled them out. Several others offered a little bit, but not enough to be worth my time.

That’s when I came across Sell Your Cell. They’ve got a decent looking website (unlike some of the others). They have a physical address and phone number listed on the website as well. It lookde and sounded legit.

I put in my “order” for our two phones and was told we would receive $24 for them. We printed off the shipping label (they pay for it, another perk), put everything into a box, and shipped it off.

Because I had done this before, I figured I knew what the company wanted. They wanted not only the phone, but any chargers, manuals, boxes, etc. that originally came with the phone. So I kept them.

That’s right. For three years we’ve had two LG VX8600 boxes sitting in our closet with the manuals inside of them. I put the phones and chargers back inside the original boxes, and put the boxes in the larger box that we shipped everything out in. I know they can use this to sell this phone to someone else.

That was March 14th. We put the phones in the mail a few days later.

That’s the last I’ve heard from Sell Your Cell.

Sell Your Cell Rips Me Off

To be honest, I kind of forgot about it until a few days ago. I never received an e-mail or call saying they had received my phones. Their automatically generated e-mail says to allow 10 to 14 days for the phones to arrive at their location, and then after 30 days (so they can test the phones and verify they work), they’ll send a check. At most you’re looking at 45 days or so — a month and a half.

In my opinion what’s happening here is they are giving themselves ample time to test the phone and go ahead and resell it in hopes you forget about it. We’re not shipping media mail here. This was a regular shipment. We’re in Alabama. They’re in Orlando, FL. It won’t take 2 weeks to get there. I guarantee that.

I am also pretty confident that it doesn’t take 30 days to verify the phones are working.

Any way you cut it, it’s been 60 days since I’ve heard a peep from the company. I called and left a voicemail yesterday. I called and left another one this morning. The voicemail says “Thank you for calling Rush Ventures Incorporated, home of SellYourCell and ReplaceYourPhone. We’re either away from the phone or assisting another customer at this time. Please leave your name, number, and invoice number and we’ll get back with you as soon as possible.” (or something like that).

They had been open 8 minutes when I called. I somehow doubt that they’re already so busy with customers on the phone that they can’t help me. This time my voicemail was not as polite, essentially saying I had no problem contacting the authorities in their state about scamming people from the Internet. (I have little patience.)

I doubt they call me back.

Let this be a lesson learned for all of you. The Internet is a dangerous place, full of people ready to rip you off.

It’s just $24. No skin off my back. I don’t need that money to pay my mortgage. It does irritate me, but only because I feel like I’ve been “had”. On top of that I felt like I did decent research — I Googled “Sell Your Cell scam” and nothing jumped to the forefront.

Perhaps in the future when someone runs that search they’ll find this blog post, and they’ll avoid SellYourCell. I sure hope so.

(Of course if this is resolved in the future I’ll be sure to update the post for everyone. You know like if a check shows up in my mailbox, or I get a call or e-mail back. I just doubt that is going to happen.)

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