How to sell old tech

How to sell old tech

Most everyone has laptops, smartphones, fitness trackers, tablets, or cameras lying around the house, no longer in use. If you don’t need them, you can get cash for that old tech—it just takes a little time.

As you’d expect, the more energy you put into the effort, the more cash you’ll reap. Listing the item yourself on an online marketplace yields the highest returns, while using a buyback service lowers the payout in exchange for less work.

Here are your options, plus some tips for the best experience when selling your old gear.

Sell your old tech to a buyback service

The simplest method for selling devices is turning them over to a buyback service like Gazelle, Decluttr, or ItsWorthMore. These websites let you input info about your older gear—make, model, condition—and then give you a valuation. If you like the amount offered, you print a free shipping label provided by the website, pack up the item, and then drop it off in the mail.

Upon receipt, the company will inspect the item, verify that it matches your description of it in the initial valuation process, and then pay you. You’ll receive the funds via PayPal, direct deposit, check, or gift card within several days on average. Sometimes, the buyback service will offer an updated valuation upon closer inspection—if you dislike the new amount, you have the option to request a revised evaluation or for your gadget to be sent back to you. Be aware that some services will automatically pay you if you don’t respond to a revised offer within a certain number of days.

decluttr valuation estimate for 2015 12-in Macbook PCWorld

Quotes vary between buyback services, so try a couple places to see which offers the most money back. For this same Macbook, ItsWorthMore would give us $235.

Choosing a buyback service depends on the type of device you want to sell—each has a different  focus. For example, Gazelle concentrates solely on phones and tablets, while Decluttr accepts an eclectic mix of items that includes smartphones, tablets, Apple products (including MacBooks for trade-in), Kindles, and video game consoles. For its part, ItsWorthMore focuses most heavily on laptops, smartphones, and some desktop computers.

Should you fail to find a buyback service interested in your specific older gear, you can instead try an alternative: trade-in programs at major retailers like Best Buy and Amazon. You won’t get as much as you would with a buyback program, though. When we looked into selling a 2015 Macbook, Best Buy offered $120 while Decluttr quoted $200.

Neither amount feels all that much, especially since we priced a base configuration in Good condition with a working charger. To get more money—or find someone who’ll take less popular or flat-out old tech—you’ll have to use an online marketplace instead.

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