Liquidating Our Electronic Graveyard: How did We do? – Frugal Confessions

Liquidating Our Electronic Graveyard: How did We do?

I opened up our closet in Paul’s office the other day and realized that our graveyard of electronic carcasses had grown big enough in size for me to attempt to reap some cash out of it. There was the printer that works but we lost the cord in a move, my old cell phone, and an unbranded MP3 player we had gotten with MyCokeReward Points that never worked (the website had credited our account back the points but did not want the device back). And then there was the iPad, a sore subject in our household. Paul had purchased it due to a miscommunication with his boss where he thought it would be a reimbursable expense (he works in IT). Not only was it not reimbursable, but we could not return it because he dropped it the first week and it no longer works (talk about wasted money spent!).

When trying to figure out how to cash in these electronics I first had to determine what level of value I was working with: usable, refurbish-able, or end of life (i.e. recycle/scrap metal). Through my research I found that the amount of money you can get depends on the value of the device and on how you attempt to liquidate it. Selling devices to others directly on eBay or Craigslist seems to reap the most money, followed by selling to sites that will refurbish it. A last resort is scrap metaling it for extra cash followed by recycling it for reward points or for no points.

Item Buy Back World Gazelle Trade 2 save Buy my tronics eBay Simply Sellular
iPad, first edition, 16 GB, 3G, fair condition $80 $40 $0 $32 No market for parts N/A
Phone: Samsung SCH-U490 Trance $0 Does not buy this model $0 $0 Listing Price for Used: $15.99 $2.00
Camera: Nikon COOLPIX L2 6.0 MP Digital Camera (works, but taped battery door) Does not buy this model Does not purchase digital cameras Does not buy this model Nikon COOLPIX L2 6.0 MP Listing Price for Used: $14.95) N/A
Printer: Lexmark Z45 Does not purchase printers Does not purchase printers Does not purchase printers Does not purchase printers Listing price: $25.95 N/A


The Results

Here is how I liquidated all of the above items (note that where there is shipping involved, the website provided the shipping and packaging for free):

  • iPad: I received $80 from Buy Back World.
  • Cell Phone: I originally posted the cell phone in eBay, but it did not sell. Instead I sent it into Simply Sellular for $2.00. Tip: If you are looking for your cell phone model information, try taking out the battery and looking at the label behind it.
  • MP3 Player: This is an unbranded MP3 player that does not work so I didn’t take the time to research whether sites would accept it. Most of the sites above offered to recycle items for free. This is great and everything, but I was still hoping to reap something out of this item. So I sent it into Recyclebank where they offer up to 150 points for recycling an old electronic.  Since it was not branded, I had to fill out a form for a custom offer.
  • Camera: I originally posted the camera on eBay, but it also did not sell. I found that other cameras of the same make and model were selling successfully for $14.95. However, this camera has a piece of tape over the battery door. I took it to a scrap metal place but found that they did not accept it. Then I searched and found that the Staples by my home accepts digital cameras to recycle. Looks like an errand to run on the way home! Update: I met up with a reader who read this article and offered to purchase our digital camera for $25. Win-win for both of us. Thanks again!
  • Printer: This is a working printer, but it needs a cord. Other printers in the same condition, make, and model were selling successfully for $25.99 on eBay. So I decided to donate this item to The Goodwill and take a tax deduction. With the two empty ink cartridges I was able to get a $4 store credit at Office Depot.

Total Reaped: $107 cash, $25.99 in tax deductions, $4 store credit to the Office Depot, and 150 points for my Recyclebank account

I did not receive lots of cash for our old electronics, but it sure beats all of these items taking up space in our closet for another year! It also was nice to know that the hazardous waste materials inside of these electronics will not end up in the landfill.

7 comments… add one

  • Oh dear…the table is messed up on my screen. I will hopefully fix it soon! Sorry for the viewing inconvenience.
    Amanda L Grossman recently posted..Time Release Your Money to Avoid End-of-the-Month Droughts

  • This chart is awesome! My fiance is a software engineer so I’m constantly tripping over chords and tech gadgets that I’m pretty sure he never even uses. I’m going to see what I can wrangle out of boxes and what he’s willing to get rid of ;).
    Shannon-ReadyForZero recently posted..Why You Should NOT Buy a New Car

  • Selling your old electronics is a great idea! I usually sell my old laptops or cellphones online when I want to purchase a newer model. Last year, I also donated my old desktop computer and printer to a non-profit organization helps various educational institutions. Not only that it clears up my office space, it also feels good that I was able to help others who does not have enough money to purchase a PC.

    • FruGal

      Hi Dominique!

      That is a great way to liquify old electronics. If you do it more quickly than I do, you can usually reap greater amounts of money/credit (technology moves so fast!).

  • Very Interesting post!

    Not long ago, I realized we had 5 defunct desktop computers, 4 laptops, and about 5 cell phones stuck in various closets throughout the house. The laptops will sell quickly on ebay even without hard drives :-)

    The desktops I will dontate to a program here in my area that is trying to get computers into the homes of people that have never owned a computer before but are in the area where Google is building their new Google Fiber Network.

    The cell phones will go to a womens domestic violence shelter. You could have probably gotten more from your phone as a charitable contribution to a womens shelter than the $2.00 :-)

    Check your state laws. In some states, a charitable contribution to a domestic violence shelter not only gives you the charitable deduction via Itemized deductions on your tax return, but you can also get a tax credit for 50% of that charitable contribution. Yes, you can get both – a deduction and a tax credit. The charitable deduction reduces your income, the tax credit directly reduces the tax owed on that income.
    Wendy recently posted..Get Your Free Obama Phone!

    • FruGal

      I will definitely check our state laws–thank you for the heads up! It sounds like you will get a small payday from taking the time to liquidate your electronics. Way to go!

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