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eBay opens Instant Sale for lazy gadget sellers

Gets jiggy with used traders

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eBay is rolling out a secondhand buying service called Instant Sale for people who can't be bothered to list their unwanted gadgets for auction or through the classifieds.

The online tat bazaar has teamed up with some unnamed dealers in the US for the service and is accepting laptops, phones, tablets, PDAs, digital cameras, MP3 players, camcorders and GPS Systems: nothing too big, in other words.

eBay is touting the green credentials of Instant Sale: it is also offering a free recycling service for gadgets deemed worthless for resale. But surely, making it easier for people to trade-in gadgets, mostly to buy new gadgets, is not very green. It would be more environmentally friendly if people kept their gadgets a little longer and ensure that unsellable, unusable items are sent to local recycling firms.

The Instant Sale process seems painless enough. Load in gadget name and include its condition - poor / fair / good / excellent.

Bonk the "Calculate" button and the estimator's bot comes back with an instant offer.

We entered the iPad Wi-Fi 32GB and were offered $390 for our excellent model. Bonk "Accept" and the buyer supplies you with a shipping label to mail the item.

On receipt, the buyer's Inspector Gadget has two days to check out the item and, if it is in worse condition than declared, to issue a revised offer. The buyer has five days to reject the offer, in which case it ships the product back to you free of charge. If you accept - or say nothing - the money is deposited in your PayPal account at the end of the five days.

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