Eco-ATM in the Columbia Mall Pays Cash for Cell Phones

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Mall has purchased a machine that buys old and broken cell phones, mp3 players, or tablets for cash on the spot.   

The Eco-ATM is in the Columbia Mall food court and takes customers through the process step by step, which takes about five to ten minutes. When you get to the machine, mall staff says be sure to have your drivers licence and the device you'd like to sell with you.

"I used one in St. Louis once before this and yeah I love them. They're easy, you just walk up and put your tablet in it and it gives you money," said Shawn Rowland.

The Eco-ATM scans your drivers license to see if the image on the card matches the image the machine is taking of you. Online attendants review the photos taken of customers at the machine at the time of use. The machine would decline your transaction if your image doesn't match the one on your ID, if you are under the age of 18, or if the ID is invalid.

Each device is priced based on the model, its condition, and the value of the device in the market. Customers will get significantly more money if device turns on.

Senior General Manager of the Columbia Mall, Rusty Strodtman, said there's been a few complaints about the machine occasionally being out of service, but other than that customers have enjoyed the convenience since the Eco-ATM started operating consistently over the last month.

The Eco-ATM doesn't buy back chargers but it will take them to be recycled whether they work or not.