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Saturday 20th April 2024

How to cash in on your old tech

If you’re anything like me, you have various old gadgets around the house you no longer use. 

These may include mobile phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, games consoles, and even desktop computers. They may still work, but have been replaced by new and (hopefully) better products.

There’s a natural tendency to hang on to old products for a while, in case a backup is required if its replacement fails.

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Modern brands are generally very reliable, however. And once you’ve established that a new product isn’t faulty, there really isn’t much reason to hang on to the old one – certainly not for months or years on end.

You might think the only thing to do with an old gadget is take it to the council recycling centre. Before doing that, though, it’s worth noting that there are various ways you can make money from old tech, even if (in some cases) it’s no longer working.

The High Street

There are various shops that will pay for old technology of all kinds. For example, CeX will pay for smartphones, satnavs, cameras, speakers, headphones, laptops, games consoles, and even TVs in some cases. The device needs to be working but doesn’t have to be in its original packaging. Buy-and-sell stores like Cash Converter and Cash Generator will buy your old tech too.

eBay

Whatever you want to sell, the online auction house eBay is worth considering. It has a huge audience, and there will always be potential buyers looking for any item you want to dispose of.

Of course, you will have to spend a little time preparing your listing, taking photos, writing a description, and so on. However, eBay make this as easy as possible for sellers by showing you similar items that have sold on the site recently.

This will help you prepare your own listing and assess the likely amount you may be able to get. Bear in mind that eBay does impose charges for sellers, which will reduce the amount you receive.

Facebook and other community sites

Facebook local pages can be a great way of selling larger items that may be difficult to post. You will need to include a photo and write a description stating the price you want. With a bit of luck someone living nearby will want the item and collect it from you for the price asked.

Other community websites may be worth trying too. One is NextDoor. This is mainly a forum for discussing local news, seeking and sharing tradesman recommendations, publicising local events, and so forth. However, you can also advertise items for sale there. 

Specialist sites

There are also specialist sites that want your old tech and will pay for it. This can be a quick and hassle-free option, with the advantage that you know exactly what price you will be getting (the sites quote a price online and it is up to you whether to accept this).

Most will also take products that are no longer working, though of course they will pay a lower price for them.

One well-known site that buys phones and tablets is MusicMagpie. They also buy consoles, tablets, smartwatches, Kindle e-book readers, and more. Other options include Mazuma and Sell My Mobile

My best advice is to try these and similar sites and see who offers the best price. When I wanted to dispose of my old Samsung J5 (2016) smartphone recently, I was surprised by how much the offers I received varied.

I was offered between £25 and £40, and naturally opted for the £40 (which happened to come from MusicMagpie).

When using these services you will need to post the item to them in a padded envelope or box. You will have to provide this yourself, but the postage is normally free.

  • If you have any very old tech gathering dust in your attic, it could have ‘antique’ value. The world’s first commercial mobile phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, now sells on eBay for an average price of £1,776. The HTC Touch Diamond2 and first iPhone are the next most valuable mobiles, both currently selling online for an average of about £542 [source: Protect Your Bubble].

Data security

Before disposing of any item that may contain sensitive information it’s important to erase any personal data, ideally by performing a factory reset. 

All the specialist companies perform a data wipe on receipt anyway, but it’s clearly advisable to do this yourself as well. If you are selling privately – perhaps via eBay or Facebook – it is essential to ensure that any personal data on the device is permanently erased and can’t be restored.

I hope this article has inspired you to gather together any old tech you no longer need and turn it into useful cash. As always, if you have any comments, please do leave them below.

Nick Daws writes for Pounds and Sense, a UK personal finance blog aimed especially (though not exclusively) at over-fifties.

Photo by Davide Boscolo on Unsplash

Nick Daws

Mouthy Blogger

Nick Daws is a semi-retired freelance writer and editor. He is the author of over 30 non-fiction books, including Start Your Own Home-Based Business and The Internet for Writers. He lives in Burntwood, Staffordshire, where he has been running his personal finance blog at Poundsandsense.com for over seven years.

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