When was the last time you upgraded your smartphone, tablet, or laptop? OK, now try to remember what you did with your old tech once the shiny new products arrived. Chances are, you stuffed them in the kitchen junk drawer or in the basement—where they’re now collecting dust. Yep, that’s what most of us do…because we don’t know what to do. We can’t just throw them away, and we’re not sure how to recycle them. Luckily, there’s a third option, and it comes with cash. Selling your old tech items is a way to give them new life while clearing out your clutter and making some extra money.
According to Decluttr.com, the average American household has about $264 worth of old tech items just sitting around. It can feel intimidating to jump in and start selling those items, though. We sat down with Decluttr CMO Liam Howley to learn the fastest, easiest ways to start cashing in on your old tech.
What items can I sell back?
Once you start rifling through your house, you’ll probably be surprised to see just how many items you could be trading in for some spending money. Look for old smartphones, laptops, tablets, Kindles, fitness trackers, Apple watches, and even video-game consoles.
If you’re not sure what’s worth selling, think about new tech that is launching in the coming months. “With the new Samsung Galaxy arriving in February, we’re expecting to buy a huge amount of Samsung phones in the next few months,” says Howley. “We’re also seeing a lot of people sell iPhones ahead of a rumored new product launch in May and Apple’s usual keynote event in September.”
Howley also expects to see older game consoles, Apple watches, and fitness trackers hitting the resale market as early adopters upgrade their favorite products. If you consider yourself an early adopter, be sure to check out the coolest tech products you’ll want to buy right now.
What is my old tech worth?
Of course, that’s the big question on your mind. So once you’ve rounded up your old tech items, do a little research. Start with your newest items. For example, if you’re ready to sell back your iPhone X, you could be $313 richer, according to Decluttr’s estimate. Let’s say you’ve hung onto your smartphone a bit longer. The average iPhone 6 will fetch just $66. Other buy-back prices range from $10 for a third-generation Kindle to $1,100 for a new MacBook Pro. But just because it’s old doesn’t mean you won’t get a pretty penny for it: These retro tech gadgets could be worth a lot of money.
What is the process like?
Perhaps the best part of selling your items to a site like Decluttr is simplicity. You don’t have to monitor auctions or cyberstalk the neighbor who said she was interested but then disappeared. Other buy-back sites to explore include TradeMore and Gazelle. Once you receive a valuation of your items, ship them off and expect payment within a day or two.
Prefer to take matters into your own hands? Set your own price when you sell your items on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, or Letgo. You can also visit your local electronics store to sell your items back in person. BestBuy, for example, will pay you in a gift card that you can use to upgrade your tech that day.
How can I get started?
To get started, think about the tech items that you’d like to upgrade soon. If you’ve got your eye on the latest iPhone, go to Decluttr to receive a quote on your old one. Most of us have more tech lying around the house than we realize, so Howley suggests doing a sweep of each room to look for hidden treasures. Once you’ve gathered your pile of old tech, remove any SIM or memory cards, and also be sure to remove your personal accounts from the devices. Not ready to upgrade your tech yet? Keep your gadgets going strong with these secrets for a better smartphone battery life.
Anything that’s not worth trying to sell?
Even if your old items have been collecting dust for years, it’s worth checking out their value. “We buy a huge range of phones, game consoles, tablets, MacBooks, Kindles, and wearables, so it’s really worth valuing anything you own,” says Howley. “While we can’t buy everything, you might be surprised by how much you can make by selling older tech items.” Once Decluttr receives your old items, they’ll refurbish them and put them up for sale. If you’re on the hunt for a deal, check out the shopping tab. And when you take the plunge and upgrade your computer, keep it humming for years to come by avoiding these mistakes that could shorten your laptop’s life.