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eBay discontinues Instant Sale electronics trade-in program

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eBay has quietly brought an end to Instant Sale, a feature that allowed the site's visitors to trade in select electronics for cash — wholly avoiding eBay's traditional auction model in the process. Instant Sale was first introduced in 2010. Like other trade-in programs, eBay presented customers an offer and, assuming they agreed to the figure, provided a prepaid shipping box for each device. Payments were distributed by PayPal, another eBay-owned property.

"Based on the results of recent eBay selling pilots, as well as our development of more simplified and personalized selling experiences, we have discontinued the eBay Instant Sale trade-in program in North America, and continue to focus on developing new, simplified and streamlined mobile and online selling experiences,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch. Rather than handling everything itself, eBay employed the services of AllTechWholesale to assist on the project. AllTechWholesale also confirmed the program's end.

Typically offers from Instant Value were significantly lower than profits that could be made from full-scale auctions or private Craigslist sales. Even so, eBay said that over 4 million Instant Sale transactions had been completed as of 2011. The company faced no shortage of competition in the space from online startups like Gazelle, Glyde, and others