Do you have old, used-up electronics sitting around your house? It’s a sure bet that you do. Maybe you’ve even accumulated enough old stuff to start building little model cities and tributes to ancient races gone by. Did you know there are ways to get money for your used electronics? It’s a much better alternative to throwing them out, given that many electronic devices contain metals and liquids that are poisonous (often classified as “E-waste”) and therefore shouldn’t be discarded in a typical landfill.
Given the shortening life span of modern electronics (that brand-new iPhone in your pocket will be fit for a museum in less than five years), it’s not feasible to just let your old stuff pile up in your house. Next time you’re looking to do a spring cleaning, keep these methods of making money off your old gadgets and electronics in mind:
Bring it Back to Best Buy for Store Credit – Best Buy participates in an electronics recycling program for old video games, tablets, computers, smartphones, mp3 players, and more. You can assess the value of your old product online, or you can bring it into a participating store. (U.S. only.) Depending on your item’s worth, you’ll either receive a gift card for trading it in, or if the product has no value, the store will recycle it for free.
Trade it Back to Amazon for Online Credit (and Free Shipping) – Amazon.com likewise has a trade-in program that rewards recyclers with store credit—and your products don’t even have to come from Amazon to qualify for said credit. You simply look up the value of your item online, print a shipping label to send it off (shipping is free!), and get a gift card for the agreed-upon amount.
Sell Your Electronics on eBay – And then there’s the ol’ standby: sell your electronics on eBay. Of course, it’s initially a bit of a hassle to set up your online store, assess the value of your electronics, sell them, deal with customers, then ship them, but you’ll receive actual cash for your items. Moreover, you have far more control over their presentation and pricing.
ExchangeMyPhone.com – As its name suggests, Exchange my Phone is a website that lets you exchange various models of smartphone for cash. You get a quote based on the condition of the quote, have it shipped to EXMP’s headquarters (shipping is free), and are paid via PayPal or cheque. You can also choose to make a tax-deductible donation to one of several charities.
Gazelle.com – Gazelle lets you sell electronics of all kinds, including smartphones, tablets, and pretty much everything Apple has produced since the iMac. Your electronics are evaluated, shipped to Gazelle’s headquarters for free, and you receive a cheque, a PayPal deposit, or an Amazon gift card.
Consider Donating! – There are tons of organizations that are always looking for older cellphones and electronics that can be re-issued to other recipients. As was mentioned above, ExchangeMyPhone can donate your old electronics and issue a receipt. You can also bring your used electronics to a Goodwill outlet that participates in the Reconnect program. They’ll refurbish and redistribute your items.
With new phones, tablets and laptops debuting every month, rapid advancements in technology can quickly turn a beloved tech device into an outdated waste of space. Bu although throwing them away is a convenient option, the impact of the billions of pounds this e-waste could have on the environment are frightening. So whether your computer has stopped to functioning or you’ve simply decided to upgrade, here’s a look at top options for how to recycle your electronics.
Greener Gadgets – Presented by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Greener Gadgets site is designed to help you easily find areas where you can recycle your old electronics simply by entering your zip code. Greener Gadgets is part of the organization’s “eCycling” effort to facilitate the recycling of one billion pounds of electronics every year. In the first two years of service, the number of eCycling centers has grown by more than 50%, and the number of pounds collected has nearly doubled.
The Greener Gadgets site also offers lots of information on ways to cut down your consumption and educate yourself about using less power and resources. In addition to tips for “Living Green” and “Buying Green,” the site features a handy calculator that helps you figure out how much your electronics usage costs, encouraging you to cut back on your consumption. You can quickly tabulate your monthly and yearly power costs for dozens of different devices.
uSell – uSell offers a chance for consumers to make a few dollars as they put their still-functioning devices directly into the hands of buyers who are experts at refurbishing and reselling electronics. The site lets you list your cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, tablets, game consoles and eReaders up for auction, and once a buyer is secured, you receive free mailing materials and shipping to send it along.
Goodwill – In partnership with Dell, Goodwill accepts most forms of electronics at their collection sites, regardless of brand or condition. Simply make sure you find a nearby location that accepts them, and drop your item off and receive a tax-deductible donation receipt.
Manufacturer Sites – AT&T and Verizon offer customers the chance to bring in any cell phones or other accessories to their store for recycling, with the Verizon program dedicated to providing refurbished phones to victims of domestic violence. LG’s Ecomobilize site allows you to find easy ways to either drop off or mail in your device, including the ability to request mailing info simply by texting a message to LG.
Retail Sites –Best Buy allows consumers to bring in up to two items a day per household into any of their US stores for recycling. Office Depot sells small, medium and large boxes for $5 – $15 in which you can place however many electronics you can fit and bring it back to the store for recycling. Staples offers in-store collection bins for small items, and will accept larger items such as monitors, printers and copiers, with a limit of six items per day.
Additional Electronics Recycling Resources
Earth 911 – Helps you find recycling centers for many types of goods, including electronics.
Call2Recycle – Offers a map of locations to recycle old cell phones and rechargeable batteries
eRecycle.org – A site set up specifically for California residents to find information and locations for electronics recycling