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It’s easy to just throw out unused, broken, or old computers, phones, TVs, headphones, and other electronics. It goes without saying there are negative environmental impacts to doing that, but you’re also missing out on an opportunity to make a few bucks.
Besides donating or recycling, another popular option is to sell your used electronics for money, something you can do right at home or work, usually without fees.
To sell used electronics online, you have to answer some questions to value the items, print off a free shipping label, package the products in a box that you or the company provides, and then send it off. Once they receive the items and verify that the condition is as you described, it’s common for them to pay you via a check,, gift card, or some other means just a few days later.
It might be to a company that purchases them for parts or to resell them to their customers, or you might be selling directly to other people wanting inexpensive, used products.
No matter where they end up, look through these trade-in websites first before tossing out your old phone, laptop, tablet, video game, MP3 player, etc. You might find that they’re actually worth something, or at least worth more than they are in the trash!
What to Do Before Trading In
It might be tempting to just fly through the questions you’re asked on the trade-in website, print the shipping label, and send off your laptop, phone, or tablet to wait for your payment. There are two reasons why that isn’t a good idea.
First, the questions you’re asked on these websites are important in valuing the item you want to sell. Everything you send will be looked over before you get any money anyway, so if you give inaccurate information or completely false details, they might just send the item back and force you to repeat the whole process over again. You’ll spend much more time doing that, rather than just answering truthfully and slowly the first time through.
Another reason to take your time is that there’s a lot of personal data you need to look over and decide whether to delete or back up before you sell them.
If you’re selling a laptop or desktop computer, and you’ve already saved everything you want to keep, you should seriously consider wiping the hard drive clean. This will remove every file on the drive and prevent the next owner from possibly retrieving your information.
There’s a chance some of these trade-in services will wipe your phone or hard drive for you, but some explicitly say you are fully responsible for erasing any data. Fortunately, it’s not hard to wipe a hard drive, and you can easily reset your iOS device or reset your Android device if you’re trading in one of those.
Also remember that any headphones, skins, stickers, or other personal items that are on or in the device will probably not be returned to you should you include them in the box. Only have in the box the exact product(s) you’re selling.
- Good shipping policies.
- Simple site navigation.
- Mobile app integration.
- Relatively small market share.
Decluttr lets you sell (and buy) all sorts of new and old electronics. You’ll get paid the day after they receive your stuff, all shipments are insured for free, and you’re guaranteed the first price you’re quoted, else they’ll send your item back to you for free.
The website is really easy to use. Just search for whatever it is you want to sell and choose between Good, Poor, or Faulty to rate the condition of the product before you add it to your basket. You can even scan items into your account with the mobile app.
You can include up to 500 items in one basket, and you’ll always see the value of each of them before you add them to your cart. If you add more than one thing, you’ll see the total amount that Decluttr will pay you for everything you’re wanting to sell.
When you’re ready to confirm the order, you’ll be able to print off a free shipping label to attach to the box (which you need to provide yourself) and send it off without fees.
According to Decluttr, “you’re guaranteed to get the first price we offer with our Tech Price Promise or you can request your item back for FREE!“
- How you get paid: PayPal or direct deposit, or donate your earnings to charity.
- What they take: Apple accessories, Apple computers, Apple TVs, cell phones, game consoles, gaming accessories, headphones, iPods, Kindle E-readers, tablets, DVDs/CDs, and wearables.
- Lots of item types.
- Simple item-rating system.
- Focus is on sales, not trade.
- Unclear what criteria determine an offer price for custom quotes.
Your next best option is to use BuyBackWorld, which will buy back over 30,000 products! In fact, if you can’t find what you want to sell on their website, you can get a custom quote. Over $40 million has been paid out to hundreds of thousands of users.
Like some of these other electronics trade-in sites, follow the on-screen instructions to answer questions about the item and then print the shipping label. You don’t need to provide much information about each product other than the condition, which for most products is: Poor, Average, Excellent, or New.
If you can’t print the shipping label, they also let you request a free shipping kit, which includes a bubble wrap pack and prepaid shipping label. However, that might take a week to arrive, whereas printing the label lets you ship it out that same day.
Another feature that makes this a unique place to sell electronics is that for qualifying items, you can use the “BuyBackWorld Quick Pay” option to get paid the very next day after they receive your order. You have to take a price cut to do this, but if you want the money sooner, this might be a better option for you.
If you need to sell in bulk, you can do that, too!
- How you get paid: PayPal, Venmo, or check.
- What they take: Phones, laptops, tablets, Apple computers and accessories, gaming consoles, cameras and lenses, smartwatches, GPS (e.g., handheld, in-car, watches), calculators, PDAs, wireless hotspots, headphones, wearables, media players, home automation devices, drones, and more.
- The in-person kiosks are an interesting way to get cash fast.
- Easy option to re-quote if your item isn’t as described.
- Good market visibility.
- Prices aren’t always as competitive.
- Limited categories of items they’ll accept.
Like the other cash-for-electronics websites in this list, Gazelle gives you an offer for the item you want to sell so that you can ship it to them and get paid.
When selling something like a phone or tablet, you need to describe how well it works. You might be asked if the device powers on or if there are scratches or cracks anywhere.
After running through the “Get Offer” section to pick the product and describe its condition, select one of the payment options and then provide your address so they can make you a personalized free shipping label.
We like that if Gazelle rejects your item once they receive it (if they decide that it’s in worse condition than what you described), they’ll give you a revised offer that you have five days to accept. If you reject the new price, they’ll send your item back to you for free.
Offers are good for 30 days, and payments are usually processed a week after they get your item.
If you’re a business that needs to sell used electronics, and you have more than 10 items to trade in at once, you can send those old phones, computers, and other devices to Gazelle in bulk.
- How you get paid: Amazon gift card, PayPal, or check. You can also use a kiosk in some locations for immediate cash.
- What they take: Phones, tablets, Apple computers, and iPods.
- You probably already have an Amazon account.
- Instant Payment system is good if your transaction qualifies.
- Limited to Amazon credit only, no cash.
- Amazon’s pricing logic model isn’t always obvious.
Amazon is one of the most popular places to buy and sell things online between other Amazon customers. However, they also have a trade-in program that lets you sell electronics directly to them for gift cards in return. All you have to do is print the shipping label and send the item to Amazon; or, depending on the device, you can trade it in at select participating locations.
You can easily spot products that can be traded in for money by looking for the trade in button on any product page. You can also follow the link below to search for products that are part of Amazon’s trade-in program.
After you answer a few questions about the condition of the product, enter your address and print the shipping label that goes on the box. Amazon doesn’t provide a shipping box for you.
There’s also an option during checkout where you can choose what Amazon should do if the item you send is of a lower value than what you’re quoted online. You can have them ship it back to you for free, or you can choose to automatically accept the lower price.
Some Amazon products are eligible for what’s called “Instant Payment,” which means if you trade in one of those items, you’ll get paid immediately once your order has been confirmed. Others only pay out after Amazon receives and confirms the order.
- How you get paid: Amazon gift card.
- What they take: Kindle E-readers, phones, tablets, Bluetooth speakers, streaming media players, books, video games, gaming consoles, wireless routers, and more.
- Several unique payment options.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Diverse selections.
- Allows requests.
- Not well known and not fundamentally different from similar sites.
- Limited questions about your item raise odds of problems later.
Canitcash is another place you can sell your broken, old, or unused electronics online, and the site is super easy to use. There are some unique payment options with this one, so chances are you’ll have no problem getting paid back.
Like some of these other cash-for-electronics companies, this one provides you with an instant quote online before you send them the item. After identifying the brand and model of the device, you’re asked just two questions: its condition and functionality.
If you’re satisfied with the estimate, print off the free UPS or USPS shipping label, apply it to your package, and then drop it off at a UPS location or your local post office.
- How you get paid: PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, Google Pay, Amazon gift card, check, Chase, or Zelle.
- What they take: Laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, speakers, game consoles, robot vacuums, iMacs, cameras, smart home devices, GPUs, CPUs, SSDs, RAM sticks, monitors, projectors, wearables, drones, 3D printers, media players, smart displays, and more.
- Easy to use.
- Work with bricks-and-mortar locations.
- Payment in store credit.
- Pricing logic isn’t always obvious.
Best Buy also has its own trade-in program for electronics. In fact, they support more products than the majority of the websites on this list. Plus, the website is super easy to use.
To sell old electronics to Best Buy, visit the link above to browse or search for the item you want to sell, and then answer any questions that pertain to that product so that you can get an accurate quote. Once you add the item to your basket, pick the mail-in trade-in option and then enter in your shipping information to print the free shipping label.
What we like most about Best Buy’s trade-in service is that it’s really detailed but also has room for products that aren’t even listed. For example, if you’re trading in an old laptop, there are over a dozen brands you can pick from, but you can also choose Other Brand if it’s not listed. Not only that, you can pick “other” for the CPU and OS, too, and as long as the computer works, you’ll likely get something for it.
Like similar websites that buy used electronics, Best Buy lets you send multiple items in the same box and with the same shipping label.
You have to provide your own box to ship the item, but the label is 100 percent free. If you don’t have a box or want money for your electronics even faster, finish the trade-in estimate online and then take the items into a Best Buy store.
- How you get paid: Best Buy gift card.
- What they take: Phones, laptops, desktops, Apple TVs, tablets, iPods, MP3 players, Microsoft Surface, TV remotes, gaming hardware, video games, smartwatches, headphones, cameras, and more.