Electronics Recycling that Pays: 6 Ways to Cash in Old Electronics

Electronics Recycling that Pays: 6 Ways to Cash in Old Electronics

Posted on January 04, 2012

Even after the last sip of nog is a distant memory, the spirit of the holiday season lingers on.... in the form of old electronics that have been replaced by newer, better models. Most of us know that we aren't supposed to toss old computers, TVs, cell phones, and other technology in the trash, because these e-waste items contain dangerous substances that pollute the environment. In spite of that, plenty of old gadgets wind up in a landfill, or sit in a closet collecting dust. Before you become a cautionary Hoarders segment, get rid of your used electronics safely and easily using one of these options.

1. Trade in Your Old Video Games for a Target Gift Card

Don't just toss your old video games and gadgets! Target's NextWorth trade-in program allows you to exchange DVDs and other electronics for a Target gift card.

Electronics Trade-in Programs

Now that he's upgraded, should Ralphie sell, trade, or donate his old BB gun?

2. Get an Offer on Your Old Netbook from a Used Electronics Site

For some, easy, risk-free selling outweighs the need to get the absolute best price, and for those, the best option is a direct-buy used electronics site like Gazelle or BuyMyTronics. These sites allow you to search the make and model of phones, computers, and more to get a price offer. Items with a value of more than $1 will ship for free (you can print out the label at home) and some items qualify for free packing materials as well. After they receive your item, they evaluate it and send payment. Even if your item has no selling value, you may be able to get a mail-in label to recycle it.

3. Trade In Your Old Kindle at Amazon

Now that you've got a bright, colorful new Kindle Fire, it might be time to retire your old Kindle in style. Amazon is one of many electronics retailers that offer trade-in programs, and theirs is also one of the more generous. For other options to trade items back to the original manufacturer, check out this list provided by the EPA.

4. Drop Off Your Tube TV at Best Buy

If you are a Luddite hold-out who has only just entered into the world of flat screen TVs, you won't find much interest in that old tube-style TV of yours. Fortunately, you can drop off most electronics at Best Buy and they will recycle them for you free, no matter where they were purchased. Check their list for exclusions before you go. For other local recycling options, you can do a zip code search at Earth911.

5. Donate Your Old Phone to Support Victims of Domestic Violence

Hopeline by Verizon Wireless allows you to donate no-longer-used wireless phone to help victims of domestic violence. You can print out a free shipping label at home. If you are looking for other charities that accept electronics donations, check out the Electronics Industry Alliance, which has a database that lists non-profit organizations that accept donations locally. Note that not all donations are deductible, so you must research that yourself.

6. Sell Your Dead Laptop on eBay/Craigslist

One person's garbage is another person's goldmine. That 6-year-old white Macbook with a cracked case and a dead hard drive probably still has valuable parts inside. The value of a used item varies greatly depending on condition, age, and current market price, but it is usually worth investigating.

If you want to get the maximum value, you will always do best by selling yourself. Searching the eBay "completed listings" for similar items will give you a good idea of the current market price. Remember that selling on eBay carries its own hassles (and fees), and people may be wary of buying from a new user. Using Craigslist classified ads is a bit easier because you can arrange to meet up in person. Never deal in money orders or shipping when selling on Craigslist, and find a public place to meet your buyer for safety's sake.

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