By Noah Henry • January 23, 2014
It’s never easy when a relationship ends. Sometimes people change; sometimes circumstances falter under the weight of life’s ephemeral nature; sometimes a better thing comes along and you just have to cash in your chips.
I’m talking of course about that old cell phone.
Luckily, there are ways for you to get something in return for all those years of putting up with the same old piece of tech. Whether it’s a laptop, cell phone, tablet or e-reader, here are some methods for getting cash back when you’ve decided you’ve had enough:
1. Get a Quote on Your Cell Phone or Tablet at a Used Electronics Site
It’s always a good idea to keep your old cell phones handy in case the inevitable crack or water damage. But in the event you simply don’t have any more drawer space for your devices, a quick trip to one of these two sell-back sites will get you paid immediately.
I was a little sick of my old LG Lucid and I wanted to get a new model. Here’s what happened when I went to USell: I typed in my make and model, filled in a little info regarding its condition (is it cracked? are the buttons functional? is there water damage?), and clicked the ‘Get Paid button for my quote. It was easy-peas, and the cash money in my pocket wasn’t too shabby either. NextWorth works in an almost identical fashion—it’s basically a pawnshop without the sketchiness.
2. Cash in Your Old DVDs for a Target Gift Card
And though you can walk into any neighborhood Target and get an estimate with a stack of dusty DVDs, you can also do the same online. Simply get a quote (after offering up those old Pauly Shore films), and send them in using free UPS shipping. A Target Gift Card will be mailed to you. Warning: Bio-Dome, Encino Man, and Son in Law might be sent back to you. It’s not a problem at the post office, and Target will not be held accountable.
3. Mail Your Kindle or Tablet to the Folks at Amazon
What do you get? An Amazon Gift Card, why of course. Amazon’s trade-in program is one of the most generous, as they maintain the highest influx and inventories of electronics such as kindles and tablets. For instance, right now you can trade in an Apple iPad 2 and get up to $185. A Kindle Fire HD 8.9” has a trade-in value of $97, which, if you’re unsatisfied with your holiday present your auntie got for a great price during Cyber Monday, is a pretty hot deal.
4. Recycle or Exchange Your Doodad for a Best Buy Gift Card
Best Buy accepts three items per household per day. If your tube TV, flat-panel or DVD player is outdated and an embarrassment to your chic, grasping-for-new-tech lifestyle, you can use Best Best’s trade-in estimators for hefty gift cards priced per condition—good, fair or poor. Surprisingly, each normally holds a value, as Best Buy has people on-hand to correct iffy functionality and weathered models. If your concern for the environment outweighs your desire for dollars, you can drop off most of your electronics at any one of their stores.
5. Broken for Good? Post it on eBay or Craigslist
A hunk of junk might be a hunk of gold to someone else. On eBay there’s a section called ‘Dead Laptop,’ which—you guessed it—is the garage sale for dead laptops. Some bids can go as high as hundreds of dollars, depending on the nerd in question vying for your product. It’s a big world out there, and odds are there’s someone with a purpose for your broken tech. If you’d rather meet in person, Craigslist is the better option because you’ll never have to deal with the uncertainty of shipping or money orders.
Now that you know how to cash for electronics, you won't be as sad when that relationship ends.
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!