Trade-In Program Support

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does the trade-in process take?
    • The entire process typically takes about 3 weeks.
  • Do I have to be a Costco Member to trade-in my device?
    • No. Anybody can trade-in their device for a Costco Shop Card.
  • How does this work? (What is the process?)
    • After you create and confirm your trade, Phobio sends you a shipping kit containing all the necessary materials for the safe transit of your device to Phobio. Once we receive your device and inspect it, we will send you your payment or notify you of any offer revisions.
  • How do I find the Serial Number or IMEI of my device?
  • How do I find the Serial Number of my Mac?
    • You can find the serial number of your Mac by clicking the Apple logo Apple in the top left corner of your screen and selecting the first drop down option “About this Mac.” Help finding your serial number is also available in this article:
  • What devices are eligible for full trade value?
    • The device must power on, be free of physical damage, software problems, and water damage, and have activation locks disabled (i.e. Find My Mac, Find My iPad; More info on this:
  • How do signs of battery swelling affect my trade value?
    • Devices with signs of battery swelling are not eligible for trade-in and for good reason. They can overheat and catch on fire. Damaged, defective or recalled batteries are also forbidden for air transport. The most common signs of a swollen battery include your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch screen popping out. On a MacBook, you'll usually notice the swollen battery pressing up on the trackpad and surrounding bottom casing.
  • How do I track my trade?
  • I did not receive my shipping kit/my kit is incomplete.
    • Contact the Support Team, and we can get a new shipping kit sent to you or email you a new shipping label.
  • How do I back-up and erase my Mac?
  • How do I back-up and erase my iPad?
  • How do I unpair, back-up and erase my Apple Watch?
  • Should I ship accessories with my device?
    • When packing your device for shipment, please do not include any original boxes, CDs, DVDs, thumb drives, hard drives, or any other accessory or item not requested or indicated in the initial quote. Additional items are recycled upon arrival to our facility and cannot be returned.
  • Where do I go to ship my device?
    • Devices should be dropped off at your local FedEx Office or manned FedEx Drop-Off location. We do not recommend using dropboxes. Please request a receipt when you drop your device off.
  • How/when will I get my money?
    • You will receive a Costco Shop Card, via USPS, within 10 business days after your trade has been received by Phobio and the inspection has been completed.
  • Can I change my mind about trading my device after I ship it?
    • Once a device ships, ownership transfers to Phobio per the Terms and Conditions. Phobio inspects devices upon arrival to verify reported conditions. If the conditions are not verified, you will receive notification of the revision via email. At this point, you may accept the revised offer, or have the device returned to you at no cost.
  • Why was my offer revised?
    • Devices are inspected to confirm the reported condition. In the event that our inspection determines the device is in a different condition than reported, your offer will be revised and we will notify you via email. You will have the opportunity to accept or reject the revised offer.
  • Where is my Costco Shop Card payment?
    • If you received a trade payment confirmation, you should receive payment within 10 business days. If you have not received your Costco Shop Card within 10 business days of your trade confirmation, please contact:
      Costco Customer Support at 1-888-668-9668.

Contacting Support

If you have questions or issues about your trade-in, please contact us:

Overview and Definitions

1 - Starting a Trade-In

To create a trade-in with our online tool, we walk you through a simple process to identify the model and assess the physical/functional condition of the device you wish to trade-in. Eligible devices for this trade-in program include:

  • Select 2009 and newer Macs / iMacs (must be able to power-on)
  • iPads and Apple Watches
  • All devices must be free of activation locks (i.e. Find My Mac, Find My iPad) to be eligible for trade-in. More info on this:

After assessing your device model and condition, a trade-in estimate will be generated.

After creating the Trade Quote, a Quote Confirmation Email will be sent to you to confirm your email address. You must click on the button/link in the Quote Confirmation Email to confirm the trade and continue the process.

Once you have confirmed your quote:

  • Your trade process is initiated
  • The date is set as your Trade Creation Date
  • A Shipping Kit for your device will be mailed to the address on file
  • You will receive a Trade Confirmation Email containing the details of your trade-in transaction, as well as your tracking numbers/links for your trade shipments

2 - Shipping In Your Device

You will receive the Shipping Kit within 5 business days at your submitted address. The box you receive is the same box you'll use to ship your device in for inspection. Inside the box you'll also receive the following:

  • Device Preparation and Packing Instructions to ensure your device is properly unlocked and erased of personal data, and Activation Locks such as Find My Mac and Find My iPad are disabled.
  • A prepaid Return Shipping Label

The trade-in value for your device is guaranteed for a limited amount of time. The Quote Guarantee Duration is 21 days from the Trade Date, so it is imperative to ship your device promptly.

Once your device is prepared and packed, ship your device with FedEx. We do not recommend using FedEx drop boxes as they can result in delivery delays.
Find a FedEx Office location:

3 - Device Inspection

Once we receive your device at our inspection facility, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your device. Your device will be unpacked, labeled, and queued for inspection.

Within 5 business days, we will erase your device and inspect it to confirm the model and condition of your device matches your trade quote.

If the inspected condition matches the reported condition of your device, and the device is received before the quote guarantee duration expiration, your completed trade is queued for payment.

If your trade requires a quote revision due to model or condition correction, or if the price has changed and the trade arrived after the quote guarantee duration, your device will be temporarily placed into an inspection hold:

  • Devices will remain in inspection hold for up to 14 days from inspection date.
  • You will receive an email alerting you of the revised offer and a link to your trade status page where you may accept or decline the value change before the inspection hold expires.
  • The trade status page will show you the inspected value change, and as well as inspection documentation, including a written description and photographs of the elements detailing the reason(s) for the inspected value change, when available.
  • The trade status page also includes links/buttons to accept or decline the inspected value change before the inspection hold expires. Your decision to accept or decline is final and cannot be reversed.
    • If you do not respond before the 14 day inspection hold expires, then the inspected value change will be automatically rejected and your device will be returned to you.
    • If you accept the inspected value change, your completed trade will be queued for payment.
    • If you decline the inspected value change, your cancelled trade is queued for return. You will be sent a Return Confirmation email with the return tracking number. Within 10 business days, your device will be shipped back to the address on file. No accessories will be included in the shipment back to you with the exception of power adapters.

4 - Trade Payment

When your trade-in is completed (see above) and queued for payment, you will receive a payment confirmation email confirming the trade value and payment method.

Trade values are paid to customers via Costco Shop Cards. The value is only subject to change if we receive your device after the quote expiration or if the device does not match the reported model or condition upon arrival.

Costco Shop Cards are mailed via USPS and should be received within 10 days. Costco Shop Cards do not have an expiration date.

If you never received your card, lost your card, dispute the amount on the card, or have any other Shop Card questions, contact:
Shop Card Services - 888-668-9668   M-F 7am - 6pm, Sat 8am - 5pm

Terms and Conditions

The following terms and conditions shall govern your rights and obligations as a participant in the trade-in program (the “Program”) of Phobio, LLC, a Georgia limited liability company, and its related entities and affiliates (collectively, referred to as “Phobio”). By participating in the Program, you expressly agree to the terms and conditions set forth below (the “Agreement”).

Ownership and Authority to Trade-In

You represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years of age and the sole and rightful owner of the Device bearing the specifications, serial number, and model number which you have offered for trade-in (the ""Device""). You further represent and warrant that:

  • you have the power and authority to enter into this agreement;
  • you have full authority to sell or otherwise dispose of the Device;
  • the Device(s) is (are) not counterfeit, stolen or fraudulent;
  • the Device(s) does (do) not violate any law, statute, ordinance, or regulation.

Deactivation and Personal Data

You agree to deactivate all services to your Device and remove any and all codes (including without limitation removing user locks, passwords, and/or turn off/deactivating the “Find My Device” feature) that may prevent Phobio from having the ability to use, recycle, resell or dispose of the Device. In addition, you acknowledge that it is your sole responsibility to remove all personal data (e.g., files, photos, videos, music, etc.) from the Device. You agree that Phobio is not responsible for the loss or destruction of the hardware, software, files, or media containing any personal data left on or in the Device. All devices will be erased of customer data during the inspection process. You understand and agree that you will not be able to recover any data or files stored within the Device.

Accuracy of Information

You agree that all information you provide about the Device for trade-in, as well as information you have or will provide about yourself, is true, accurate, and complete.

Prompt Shipment

You agree to ship the Device to the address provided so that it arrives within trade quote duration (noted above as 21 days) of accepting the estimate. If the Device is not received within the trade quote duration of the trade date, then Phobio has the right to revise or withdraw the estimate for the trade-in of the Device.


Phobio provides shipping materials for all accepted quotes. When packing your Device, be sure to include all materials you told us about when we calculated your quote. Failure to include any items you told us about when the quote was calculated, or sending us a Device which does not match your original description, may impact the final value of your Device and may result in a recalculated quote. Any Device that is materially damaged or that does not match the Device on the trade-in quote may be returned to you or recycled by Phobio. Any other Device not accepted by Phobio may be returned to you or recycled by Phobio.


All devices are inspected upon receipt by Phobio. Phobio has the option to accept or deny a device. There may be instances when Phobio recalculates the original quote for the Device. If the Device is as described, with all materials described, and sent to Phobio in a timely manner (within the trade quote duration), Phobio will honor the quote made for your Device and queue your trade for payment processing. Packing and shipping recommendations must be followed in order to avoid possible damage or loss. In the event Phobio recalculates the quote, you shall have the option of accepting or rejecting the new quote. Phobio will give you a set adjusted trade quarantine duration (noted above as 14 days), from the day Phobio recalculates the quote, to accept or reject the new quote. If you choose to accept the new quote, your trade will be immediately queued for processing payment. If you do not indicate acceptance or rejection of the new quote within the adjusted trade quarantine, the new quote will be automatically declined. If you choose to reject the new quote, Phobio will return the Device to you at the address from which it was originally sent.

Device Returns

Once a revised offer has been rejected or declined, Phobio will ship the device back to the customer’s address on file free of charge. For security reasons, that device will have all data erased from it before its return, and that device and its unique serial number may not be submitted again for trade or trade value quote through this program.

Transfer of Ownership

Upon receipt and acceptance of the Device by Phobio, you hereby agree to transfer all rights to and title in the Device to Phobio, in exchange for the trade-in value quoted to you.

Final Transaction

You acknowledge and agree that the trade-in transaction is final and cannot be cancelled or rescinded by you after your Device is received by Phobio, unless Phobio contacts you to provide notification that your description of the Device was inconsistent with Phobio’s evaluation of your Device and the quote.

Other Terms and Conditions

Phobio reserves the right to takes steps Phobio believes are reasonably necessary or appropriate to enforce and/or verify compliance with any part of these Terms and Conditions (including but not limited to Phobio’s right to cooperate with any legal process relating to your use of the trade-in program, and/or a third party claim that your Device is unlawful and/or infringes such third party's rights). You agree that Phobio has the right, without liability to you, to disclose any Device registration data and/or account information to law enforcement authorities, government officials, and/or a third party, as Phobio believes is reasonably necessary or appropriate to enforce and/or verify compliance with any part of these Terms and Conditions.

Release of Liability

To the extent permitted by applicable law, you hereby release Phobio from and against any liability arising out of or related to the transfer of the Device, including but not limited to any liability related to the shipment of the Device, the deletion or non-deletion of any data or files from the Device, the evaluation and assessment of the Device (and the corresponding trade-in valuation) made by Phobio, and the non-availability of the Device after it has been received by Phobio.

Privacy Policy

All information collected by Phobio will be used to process your transaction or be used to contact you. All personal information will be treated as strictly confidential and will be stored on a secure server. Phobio will not distribute your personal data to third parties.

To review full Privacy Policy, please click here.