Free money from Radio Shack

RadioShack has an amazing promotion going on now through February 28th.  Trade in 5 portable electronics for a gift card worth at least $25.  You can trade in almost anything: old headphones, video games, digital cameras, etc. 

RadioShackTradeIn

My experience

I traded in four old headphones and a bulky old USB wall charger.  The cashier didn’t actually test any of the stuff to see if it worked.  She asked for my driver’s license and then proceeded to type into the computer for the next 20 minutes or so before finally giving me the $25 gift card.  I then immediately used the $25 gift card to buy a $25 Amazon Kindle gift card.  As you probably know, Kindle gift cards can be used to buy anything at Amazon.com, not just Kindle books and accessories. 

Exceeding limits?

There is a strict limit of 5 trade-ins per customer, for a total of $25 back (unless your trade-ins are worth more than $5 each).  I assume that they enforce this by recording your driver’s license number.  One contributor to this SlickDeals thread said that he was able to use his passport one time and his driver’s license another in order to get a total of $50 worth of gift cards.  In my case, I offered up my passport as ID, but was told that they really needed a driver’s license.  I might try later to see if a different RadioShack will accept my passport.  In the meantime, I’ll drag my wife out to RadioShack when I get a chance so that we can get another $25 gift card by using her license.

Don’t forget to ask for your driver’s license back before leaving the store!  I came very close to leaving mine behind.

Finding electronics

My assumption is that most people have drawers full of old unused stuff that would qualify for this promotion.  If not, I’d recommend making your way to a thrift store or dollar store to pickup trade-ins dirt cheap.

How to use the $25 gift card

If you want to buy RadioShack merchandise, you can earn some extra cash or bonus points & miles by shopping through an online portal.  Go to this CashBackMonitor page to find the best option for your needs.  If you don’t want anything from RadioShack, you have a couple of options:

Sell gift card:  GiftCardGranny shows that you can get up to 76% of the RadioShack gift card’s value by selling to an online gift card reseller.  76% of $25 is $19.

Upgrade gift card: At my local RadioShack, the following gift cards were available: iTunes, Facebook, Google Play, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook (that’s the one on the bottom, right in the photo below):

RadioShackGiftCards

Don’t forget about OfficeMax!

For the rest of this week, OfficeMax is still offering $20 off of $300 worth of MasterCard gift cards.  As I explained in this Quick Deals post, the best option is to buy three $200 cards at once so as to get $40 off.  After accounting for fees, the total cost for $600 in gift cards should come to $580.85.  If you don’t see the cards on display, ask an employee to check for more.  Sometimes extras are squirreled away inside the gift card cabinet, in the manager’s office, or somewhere “in the back”. 

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip – I had been hearing the Radio Shack commercials on the radio but they kept advertising it as “$25 off a FitBit” which I wasn’t that interested in. But a $25 gift card well THAT’S a whole different story 🙂

    Also took advantage of the OfficeMax deal – for me, there were only 2 out but the rest were inside the gift card cabinet as you described

  2. What eligible category did your bulky old USB wall charger fall into? I have a couple old Uninterrupible Power Supply boxes that I wonder if would be eligible.

    • I have no idea what category it is. I simply brought in a bag of miscellaneous stuff. When I brought out the wall-charger I asked the manager (who was standing right there) if it would qualify. He just shrugged and said “I think that almost everything qualifies”.

  3. @ Misty,

    Yes they can be loaded to BlueBird. You need to call the number on the back, and set the pin.

    At WM, when you swipe the gift card to load it to BlueBird, WM tries to process these MasterCards as credit automatically, so you will need to press the “Change Payment” button immediately after you swipe your gift card. Be quick because that button stays on the screen for about 1 second, before the transaction basically stops.

    @FM, I am up to 5K in gift cards, in your experience do you think Chase looks at someone suspiciously who only spends X month to month, and then one month spends Xx10?

  4. The FAQs for the RadioShack offer state the following:
    CAN I REDEEM MY TRADE-IN CREDIT TOWARD GIFT CARD PURCHASES? Gift cards and entertainment cards are not eligible for purchase with the instant trade-in credit.
    WHAT PURCHASES CAN I USE MY TRADE-IN CREDIT TOWARD? The instant trade-in credit is valid on any product purchase in a participating RadioShack store. It cannot be used toward the purchase of gift/entertainment cards, airtime or services, or on special orders.

    • Yeah, and if you go to RadioShack.com and find the deal, crusty old USB charges are also one of the things that aren’t supposed to be eligible for trade-in. They’ve got a whole list of the types of things that are eligible. Wall chargers ain’t one of them.

      So FM got a cashier who didn’t enforce the rules. FM really should have had some kind of note in the article… I would say he needed a link to the deal on Radio .Shack’s web site too. But I guess he doesn’t want Radio ?Shack seeing referral links coming from his blog.

  5. Meh. Interesting, but below my threshold. Maybe if “the Shack” was in a more convenient location. There’s an embarrassment of riches in the MS world right now and only so much time to take advantage of them.

  6. Got an email from bestbuy this morning for a similar deals at participating stores. The one maybe better is the any working electronics for $10. Fine print says it needs to turn on but not sure if they will check it. I will look around for old electronic. Not sure about the $75 deal (iPhone 4 and certain tablets). I imagine you can sell the items from that list for a better price on eBay.

  7. So you spent probably an hour out of your day to earn a $25 Amazon gift card?

    Maybe you should do focus groups. Or data entry. Or tutoring high schoolers in math. All ways to make $25 an hour.

    Maybe you should spend an extra hour playing ball with your family. That might be worth $25 an hour to you.

    Have you thought about getting a beautician’s license?

  8. I know a very good blogger who would probably say this falls into the category of “the joy of free”.
    I’m passing on this one for now, since I don’t have any old electronics lying around, and there are a few easier things that I haven’t maxed out yet which are worth about $25/trip as well. I’ve got until February 28th to do this one, though, so maybe I’ll get to it.

  9. What is this, a service you all have paid for? You whine like little kids when FM doesn’t post something groundbreaking and you get stuck reading another blog that you’ll undoubtedly complain about on another day. Geez. Start your own blog if you want to control the content.

  10. Just catching up on blog post. I thought this was very helpful and actually made for a good way to dispose of some discarded tech. My surprise were the negative comments you received on this post. This trick is something that most of your readers can use and benefit from–including getting a $25 gift card that can be donated to schools. Seems like a worthwhile use of an hour.

  11. Great post just took 5 random items in this morning and worked. I saw the terms forbidding the gift card part and was a bit concerned. However I went in and the cashier didn’t even give it a thought. Gave me the gift card and signed the paperwork and was on my way no questions asked.

  12. I did the best buy trade in this morning no problem. Gave them 3 old tracfones. Took 2 from me at the same time (they ran it up as two separate transactions) for two $10 gift cards. My wife did the 3rd phone for another $10 GC. Thanks for the tip Valerie!

  13. Thanks for the heads up on this deal FM. Needed just a little motivation to clear out some electronics that have not been used for 10+ years. 10-minutes in and out with the Amazon GC here in Orange County.

  14. Got a crusty cashier in Hawaii who checked every headphone after she ripped open every package+ took a good hour to figure how to redeem then claimed website was down!And claimed to have no Kindle Amazon giftcards only $50.Then changed her mind,no GC’s either.Ended up leaving with items +no rebates!

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