New electronics and tools come out every year, bigger and better than before. It’s tempting and sometimes even necessary to upgrade your setup to the latest model to continue to get cutting-edge performance, particularly if it’s for your career. When you upgrade, however, you’re usually left with one glaring issue: your old components.
This is true for phones, laptops, computers, monitors, keyboards, and every other little piece that can quickly become e-waste unless you’re careful. Before you start looking into the specialist recycling centers that’ll take those components off your hands, however, try selling it on. Selling your old components (so long as they were well-cared for and still in good condition) is a great way to make some money back and help others get the equipment they need themselves for less.
That being said, you don’t want just to sell your laptop or phone as-is. You’ll need to prep your pieces before they reach the second-hand market, so start by using these steps:
Remove Personal Information and Reset Your Device
The last thing you want is to sell on your laptop or phone and inadvertently give a stranger unfettered access to your personal information. Any information, really. If it’s an older work laptop that you’re selling because you’ve upgraded your employees’ setup, then you’ll need to properly wipe it before selling it on to protect your business.
Regardless of what information is on there, it needs to be properly removed. This is different than just erasing your documents. You’ll need to factory reset it. Thankfully, once you know how to erase Macbook or Windows, the process is very straightforward. Just in case, you should also aim to back up the information on a hard drive or server in advance. This way, you know for a fact that you haven’t lost any important data in the reset.
Deep Clean the Hardware
Deep cleaning is a must if you’re selling it on directly. To get started, turn off your device and unplug it entirely. Once you’ve done that, use compressed air to wipe away any debris hiding in the crevices. To clean it of any built-up oil, dirt, or stains, use a microfiber cloth. Doing all of this can make your device look more attractive to potential buyers.
Where to Sell Your Second-Hand Electronics
You have a few different options when it comes to where and how you sell on your electronics. You can sell it directly through an online marketplace, or you can sell it to a reseller.
Selling direct means you’re in charge of the entire process, from putting up the listing to managing the listing, answering any questions, and organizing the meetup and payment method. If you don’t want to meet up in person, then you can use an online marketplace like eBay and include the shipment price in with the order. Make sure it’s packaged safely and that you get signed delivery so that you and your buyer are aware of when it gets delivered and in what condition.
There are many risks that come with selling electronics second-hand, particularly if you’re hoping to recoup as much cost as possible. If you want to avoid issues like buyers’ scams or lost packages, then you may want to instead look into selling or trading in your electronics to a reseller.
- To a Reseller
If you want cash now and don’t want to run the risk of any issues in the selling process, then you can sell to a reseller. Depending on the brand, you may even be able to take your old electronics and use them to trade up. Trading up simply means that you’ll get a discount on your next item. If you’re upgrading an older MacBook to a new one, for example, this can be a great way to get a discount.
Otherwise, you’ll need to go to a reseller. These can be found online, or in person. Typically, an inspection is done to determine the quality of the device, and once that’s finished, you’ll be paid. You may not earn as much, but it’s a simple and straightforward transaction.
When Reselling Isn’t an Option
If reselling isn’t an option or you’ve tried but couldn’t find any takers, then it’s important to seek out companies that specifically recycle e-waste. There’s a lot of valuable materials in electronics, and recycling them can help save the environment. There may be some local businesses near you that take electronics to be recycled, the brand itself may have a recycling program, or there may be an online company that sends packaging to you to be sent back.