TL; DR: Looking for an easy way to earn a few quick bucks? SellYourMac.com (SYM) is a great bet. The company has spent more than a decade helping individuals and businesses sell not only used Macs, but also MacBooks, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs. With a customer-first philosophy, free quotes, fast payments, and even product recycling solutions, SYM makes it easy to recoup cash on your past purchases while bettering the environment.
Once a place to stash time-worn address books, crinkled recipe cards, and plastic calculators, the modern junk drawer has become a refuge for uncharged smartphones and tablets cast aside for newer, shinier models.
And with Apple’s rapid hardware release cycle, these unused devices are piling up more quickly than ever. SellYourMac.com (SYM) knows this — and the company has made it a mission to help Apple customers and businesses reclaim a portion of previous hardware investments.
“Our goal is to serve as an inbound sales channel to help the end user get cash back for their device — and enjoy a great experience along the way,” said Brian Burke, President and Owner of SYM. “I think it’s the personal touch and constant communication that has kept us ahead.”
The process is easy. Enter your product details, get a free quote, and ship your device to the company using a prepaid label. As soon as the device arrives at SYM’s secure facility — located in Blue Ash, Ohio, a mere stone’s throw from Cincinnati — the company will process the order so you can get your payment quickly.
Brian told us that SYM, which boasts an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, has helped more than 100,000 individuals and businesses derive value from their devices. To date, the company has paid out more than $32 million in exchange for used devices, including Macs, iPhone, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs.
With an ongoing focus on the customer experience, SYM aims to make it easier than ever for people to transform their dusty, unwanted devices into cold, hard cash.
Helping Customers Recoup Cash for More than a Decade
SYM’s founding is a classic lemons-to-lemonade story. In 2005, Brian was a senior pursuing a finance degree from Tulane University, a private research institution in New Orleans, when Hurricane Katrina hit. Along with so many others, he was forced to evacuate. But when he returned, he found that the businesses that typically visit the area to recruit students for potential job opportunities weren’t making their usual trips due to the catastrophic damage.
After graduating, Brian applied to various private investment firms in New York but ultimately didn’t get the job he was looking for. So he turned to a side hustle to keep him busy. “I’ve always had a knack for eBay,” he said. “I had been selling my friend’s stuff for a while because I was really good at arbitrage sales, so I figured I might start selling more.”
By 2006, Brian’s efforts to buy and sell cellphones had morphed into a small marketplace run out of the basement of his home. At the time — before the June 29, 2007, launch of the iPhone — Brian faced little competition.
“There weren’t many trading sites, so I had a healthy amount of local sales reps bringing me used phones on a weekly basis,” he said. “I continued with cellphone sales for about a year and a half until Apple started to really take off.”
Brian said he’s always had a passion for Apple products, and the iPhone provided a convenient way for him to segue into the market. So in 2009, he branded his marketplace as SYM, gave it a home at SellYourMac.com, and positioned the company as a selling solution for owners of used Apple computers, iPhones, and iPads.
An Individualized Approach to Customer Service
As any entrepreneur knows, website visibility doesn’t always come easily — especially in a startup’s earliest beginnings. But SYM quickly ranked among the top organic search results on Google for those seeking a place to sell MacBooks, iPhones, and other devices. Brian credits his commitment to the customer experience as crucial to his company’s early success.
“At the time, there were a couple of similar sites online, but they weren’t exactly friendly or customer-focused,” he said. “We quickly earned a reputation for helping customers sell their used devices in a hassle-free manner.”
In addition to high levels of customer support, SYM worked to provide top-dollar pricing to gain a competitive advantage. This allowed users to further offset the high costs of upgrading to newer technology while helping SYM build customer loyalty.
Brian told us the company also keeps customers around with an incredibly accommodating approach to unique requests, such as creating backups, removing drives, or shredding certain machines.
“That’s where we’ve been able to win the trust of some small to medium-sized businesses with requirements that larger companies just don’t care about,” he said. “They’re just looking at the bigger picture. Our goal is to be there for the customer.”
According to Gallup, 44% of smartphone users across America said they update their phones as soon as their mobile provider allows (typically, every two years), with iPhone users more likely to upgrade as quickly as possible compared with most Android users. As competition in the trade-in market heats up, Brian said SYM’s focus on going above and beyond will keep the company ahead.
“We want to make sure everyone has an amazing experience, and if not, we’re going to keep working at it until they’re happy, even if it means losing money,” he said.
Free Quotes, Fast Payments, and Product Recycling
In August, SYM made its free quotes process even easier with the addition of a serial number lookup, which saves customers time selecting their product, processor, hard drive, and ram. The company has representatives on hand via email or phone to guide customers through the process if they are unsure how to find serial numbers or any other information.
The payment process is equally convenient, though the entire time frame varies based on a customer’s proximity to Cincinnati and the payment method they choose (PayPal or company check).
Brian told us payments are typically issued within one to three business days after SYM receives a device, and the company always aims for the fastest turnaround possible. As long as a customer accurately describes their item, they are guaranteed to receive the payout quotes.
“We try to make the process as seamless as possible, eliminating the frustration involved in finding the specs, mailing the product, and getting paid more and faster,” he said. “We always strive to do a better job.”
In addition to an easy solution for selling Apple equipment, SYM also offers business services, including bulk buy-back, data erasure, hard drive re-imaging, and product recycling, among others. These options are ideal for businesses, schools, and organizations looking for a secure and environmentally friendly way to reduce tech spend.
Worldwide, humans produce approximately 50 million tons of discarded electronic devices, known as electronic waste — most of which comes from Europe and the U.S. To reduce that amount, SYM has partnered with Cohen USA, a certified technology recycling company that will never send hazardous e-waste to landfills, incinerators, or developing countries (which would further the global waste trade problem.)
The Goal: A Convenient, One-Click Trade-In
When it comes to future development, Brian says he has more ideas than he can reasonably implement in his quest to make SYM an ever-improving resource for businesses and individuals looking to sell Apple products.
He’s currently brainstorming a way to pay people much more quickly — or even upfront.
“It’d be a very expensive business proposition, and we’re not in the position to make that happen today, but ultimately, we’re trying to get that done as fast as possible,” he said. “My general philosophy is I want to make the process faster, easier for the customer.”
Moving forward, SYM will continue to aim high.
“The ultimate goal is to make trade-in as easy as a one-click purchase on Amazon,” Brian said.