The phone goes in and cash comes out -- if you want it.

Shoppers at the York Galleria looking for extra cash are using self-serve ecoATMs that scan and evaluate used cellphones and then offer money for them.

If the ecoATM user agrees with the amount, the kiosk accepts the phone and releases the money.

The mainly green kiosks are set up on the mall's second floor near the food court and Sears.

"We've had them for a few months," said Lucinda Hartshorne, the mall's general manager. "They're very, very popular. We have no problems with them. It's been a good addition to our offerings here."

The kiosks also have a station for charging electronic devices, she said.

Carol Baas of Brogue tries one of two ecoATMs at the York Galleria. Baas brought in three of her old cellphones to see how much they were worth.
Carol Baas of Brogue tries one of two ecoATMs at the York Galleria. Baas brought in three of her old cellphones to see how much they were worth. (Randy Flaum photo)

EcoATMs accept new, used and broken cellphones, MP3 players and tablets, according to the product's website at

EcoATM is based in San Diego. Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Trying the kiosk: Audrey Lefever of Manchester Township said she used the machine twice but only accepted cash for one of her phones.

She said she first used ecoATM Monday, getting $63 for a Blackberry phone. She tried another type of cellphone and was offered $23, which she declined, as she was expecting to get more for it.

"(The kiosk) is easy to use," Lefever said. "It's just something you can use, check it out."

Carol Baas, 69, of Brogue said she tried the kiosk three times and doesn't plan to use it again. She said the kiosk only offered her $1 for each of the three brand-new TracFones she tried.

"That's not worth the gas it took to get here," Baas said. "(ecoATM) is not paying people enough for the phones. They want people to turn those phones in and then they're going to turn around and make a lot of money off of them."

Baas said she wasn't expecting a large amount of money from the kiosk but hoped to come away with more than a dollar. When she declined the amount, the kiosk presented her a question.

"It asked why I was leaving and one of the answers you could pick was if the money (offered) was too low," Baas said. "I (selected) 'yes.'"

EcoATM can pay out as much as $300 for electronic devices, depending on their conditions. Of the collected devices, 75 percent are reused, while the rest are recycled, according to ecoATM.

Security: When using the kiosks, sellers are asked to provide basic personal information, mainly provided through a driver's license or government identification card and electronic thumbprint. Personal information is encrypted, according to ecoATM.

The information also helps ecoATM and law-enforcement identify stolen phones or fraud, according to the company's website.

People should remove their personal information from their devices before attempting to sell them, ecoATM advises.

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at