The holidays have come and gone, and since shiny new technology has probably replaced older models, there are many effective ways to get rid of outdated tech and devices that clutter your home. Not all methods are the same, though. When it’s time to unload a once loved gaming system, camera, laptop, computer monitor, or television that is no longer needed, I always try to evaluate the item, and my goal. Whether you want to get top dollar for the device, have it out of your home quickly, or simply donate it for a tax write-off, here are the pros and cons of the various ways you can get rid of your outdated tech, so it doesn’t become dreaded e-waste.
Effective Ways to Get Rid of Outdated Tech 1 of 8
Here are six effective ways to get rid of outdated tech devices so they don't become dreaded e-waste.
Sell it on Craigslist 2 of 8
Craigslist is great for: Large or heavy items that might cost a lot to ship such as TVs or hard drives.
- Pros: Listing through Craigslist is free, easy, and preserves your anonymity while getting cash for your item. Items that are priced fairly and with descriptive listings tend to sell quickly. Craigslist makes it easy to edit a listing and delete it once your item has sold.
- Cons: Beware of scammers who contact you about your listing, by having them respond with a specific line in their response. If you're worried about having someone come to your home to pick up an item, arrange to meet them in a well-lit public place.
Image courtesy of videocrab via Flickr
Auction it off on eBay 3 of 8
eBay is great for: Hot devices or hard to find items. Coveted by eBay buyers who create alerts for rare items, these buyers are often willing to enter bidding wars for collectibles or unlocked mobile phones that work internationally.
- Pros: It is easy to get cash back directly via your PayPal account, and eBay's Simple Flow process makes it easier than ever to create a listing, by pre-filling the information by clicking through the Simple Flow fields then adding your own photos and a more personal description. Another pro of using eBay is being able to track item views and bids to get a good sense if there's interest before lowering the price.
- Cons: Unlike Craigslist, money is returned to sellers through a PayPal account. You will need an eBay and PayPal account to get started selling, but both are free.
Trade it in at GameStop 4 of 8
GameStop is great for: Games, consoles, and even tablets can be returned to GameStop for cash or credit.
- Pros: With so many stores, it's easy to find a local GameStop and trade in titles your family is done playing and put the credit towards more current ones, therefore defraying your out of pocket expenses. You can even find out what your games and consoles are worth before taking a trip to the store.
- Cons: If you get home to find that you have a non-working game or console, GameStop's return policy states that pre-owned can be returned so long as they're in their original condition.
Donate it to a non-profit 5 of 8
Donating items to non-profits are great for: Devices that may not be the newest but are still in need by non-profit organizations. Items like cell phones can be used by local women's shelters and school systems who are looking to outfit bus drivers with refurbished phones, gaming consoles may be appreciated by after school programs that serve the community, and computers may be wanted by the local high school looking for components that can be used in new computers.
- Pros: After finding organizations in your area that can use your old devices, donating items is a win-win because you get rid of them quickly and can often get a tax-deductible receipt if the organization is a non-profit.
- Cons: Initial time spent locating area organizations that truly need your devices. It doesn't help organizations to get devices they can't use.
Image courtesy of MindfulOne via Flickr
Recycle it 6 of 8
Recycling is great for: Keeping electronic waste out of our landfills.
- Pros: Target and Best Buy often have tech recycling bins near the front entrance for sorting devices for recycling, while Staples and Office Depot have ink recycling programs where you can bring in used cartridges for credit towards future purchases.
- Cons: It can take 30 days or longer to take advantage of credit received from ink cartridges recycled at Staples or Office Depot.
Image courtesy of TaranRampersad via Flickr
Give it away 7 of 8
Giving away devices is great for: Anything you don't feel like selling, auctioning, trading, donating, or recycling.
- Pros: Feel good about passing on your devices to someone who needs them with absolutely no obligation.
- Cons: The recipient may ask you for tech support!
Image courtesy of GabrielaP93 via Flickr
Final Reminder: Always restore your device to factory settings to protect your personal information! 8 of 8
Before you sell, trade, donate, recycle, or give away any of your devices, be sure to transfer all of your data on to another device, the cloud, or a portable hard drive before restoring it to factory settings. Doing this ensures that your data and personal information are safe from whomever may use your device next.
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