Sep 162015

Talk of getting a new computer brought up a comment from Linda, which in turn gave me the inspiration for this post.  See how easy it is sometimes to write this stuff?  Anyways, If you are like me and tend to upgrade your computing items, be it desk tops, laptops, tablets, or phones every so often, you are probably looking to do something with the old hardware other than just leave it in a drawer or closet someplace gathering dust.  The good news is there are several options to rid yourself of the old tech wonders and in most cases get some money back.  It’s actually pretty easy to do.

Firstly, before you do get rid of that old computer/tablet/phone which was once the cutting edge of technology but is now obsolete, you need to do a few things.  And just a quick disclaimer:  All I will be talking about is the Apple line up.  Those of you using PC’s and other off brands should be able to find similar resources to sell your stuff as well.

The biggest thing you need to do before getting rid of your device is erase all evidence, er…data which you have accumulated over the time you had said device.  There are several steps to do this and Apple has a handy guide on how to do so right here.  Included are instructions on how to reformat the hard drive and all.  It’s really pretty easy.  Basically you are going to return said device to the condition it was in when you took it out of the shiny new box.  Only now with a few extra scratches, dents, and cat hair stuck in the keyboard.  For iOS devices the process is very similar.

Once you have cleared out all your data and the device is back to original condition, gather up any and all accessories which came with it.  The charger, maybe the old headphones, any old disc drives if you still use them, and now you are ready to do something with it.  Here are some options other than throwing it all away:

Donate it.  Find a favorite charity and give it to them.  Or if you know someone a bit financially binded, perhaps a student heading off to school, give it to them.  Even an older computer, as long as a person can get on and use the basic functions would be greatly appreciated.  Or if you know somebody tech challenged and is unsure about how to use a computer or device, giving them your old one to play and practice on may be just the thing they need to get some experience before they shell out real money for a new one.

Sell it direct.  You can try to sell said devices on the open market.  eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Craigslist are the obvious choices here.  There are some pitfalls.  Arguing over price, shipping costs, dealing with humans.  The last laptop I sold on eBay turned into a month long nightmare.  I got a good price for it but the moron who bought it decided to move right after I shipped the damn thing.  He failed to leave a forwarding address with the post office and the computer wound up stuck in Post Office hell for weeks.  I think I contacted every postal employee between Las Vegas and Los Angeles before I was able to find the damn thing.  He finally got it but the whole affair left a bad taste in my mouth.

Sell it to these guys.  As it happens, there is a market for buying and selling used computing devices.  Two of the most popular spots are NextWorth and Gazelle.  They both work the same way.  Go to the site, find your device, answer some basic questions on condition and such, and they give you a quote as to what they will pay for said device.  If you agree, they send you a shipping label and code, you box up the goodies, send them in, and assuming the device is in the condition you said it was, they send you the money.  I’ve used only NextWorth in the past with very good results and I am assuming Gazelle works just as well.  Their quotes are fair although you could probably get a bit more by selling direct but then using either of these two sites is a whole lot more easy.  No arguing or haggling.  They know the market value and make it real easy to get rid of your old devices quickly and painlessly.  They pay out quickly with different options to get your money.  If you are still intent on selling your device direct these sites are also good for getting a good idea of what kind of value your device has.

Trade it in.  It’s now possible to trade in your old device when you buy a new one, just like a vehicle.  Virtually all the main phone companies will take your old phone in on trade towards the shiny new one.  Just bring the device in, data cleaned out of course, and they will look it over and make an offer.  For the most part, they will come in with a similar price to what NextWorth or Gazelle is offering.  Plus you don’t have to deal with shipping.  Apple also has trade/recycle program so you can get some credit towards a new device.

The bottom line is if you do have some old computers, tablets, or phones lying around gathering dust, you may be able to get a few bucks out of them.  Hit up some of the links I have above and see what your’s is worth.  It’s more better than leaving the stuff just lying around.

Capt. Fritter

  2 Responses to “What Thee Can Do With Thy Olde Computing Device…”

  1. We thought a friend was going to take Dave’s old laptop so we didn’t trade it in but he decided not. We’ve already given our daughter one so she didn’t want this one. Dave kept it for awhile to check out if his new apps would run on old systems. Now he’s done with it but no one seems to want it. It’s too much hassle to try to sell it since that always results in people asking lots of questions we don’t want to bother with. It helps that we don’t need the money it might bring in. If all else fails I suppose we could always give it back to the Apple Store so they can refurbish it for resale–I think they do that. For now, it sits in the closet awaiting us doing something with it some day.

    • NextWorth or Gazelle would be exactly what you need. No haggling, just get the quote, send it to them, and get paid.
      C. F.