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|
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 earth911.com 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.