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Money

Selling old tech? How to get the most money for your phone, computer or tablet

Remember the day you first got your laptop or cell phone? The package was pristine, the machine shiny, and there was that excitement of getting to experience all the cool features your new device had to offer.

Chances are that feeling faded in time and you couldn’t wait to run out and buy the latest and greatest device. But, that can get expensive unless you stick with budget phones. Tap or click here for a list of the best budget phones on the market.

Soon you will have a drawer or storage box filled with old gadgets you don’t know what to do with. Luckily you have options other than cluttering up your office with used tech gear. Whether it’s a tablet, smartwatch, phone or computer you can get some of your investment back by selling your unwanted devices.

How to begin the process of selling old tech

The most important thing to keep in mind before you sell old tech is clearing the items completely of information. You don’t want your safety or privacy to be compromised by allowing any of your data to remain on a device when selling it. Tap or click here to find out how to reset devices for resale.

Once you have cleared your gear of all sensitive data, you can get ready to sell. There are many ways to go about listing your items for sale, including through end-user outlets such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace, retail trade-in programs and buyback sites.

Start by researching similar devices for sale online to find out what you can expect to sell yours for. Also, make sure you understand listing fees and payment methods for each platform. Find the best apps to sell your old tech on here.

Note whether items are actively selling or not, and what condition they are in. The better the condition the device is in the more resale value it has, so keep your tech items in the best shape possible.

Caring for smartphones

According to Statista, the average cell phone user will replace their phone every 2.87 years. To get the most out of your resale value keep the original box the phone came in. Make sure to protect the phone with a good case or screen protector. Check out a selection of antimicrobial phone cases here.

What if your screen gets cracked or broken? You will most likely make more money on the resale by getting the screen fixed first. To find resale quotes on items that need repair, go to the carrier’s website, such as Apple, or the sales site you plan to sell your device. Once there you can find estimates on what a phone with a cracked screen will sell for. Using that estimate you can decide whether the cost to repair is worthwhile or not.

According to a University of Arizona study, a cell phone carries ten times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Keeping your phone clean and sanitized regularly will help reduce health risk for you, and increase its resale value. In this time of COVID-19, it is especially important to maintain a clean device. Tap or click here to properly disinfect your phone to protect against coronavirus.

When it comes to cleaning your phone, there are some products that are safe to use, and others you should never try.

Do use:

  • Disinfectant wipes: Though originally not recommended by manufacturers, in the age of COVID-19 tech companies such as Apple do recommend cleaning phones with pre-saturated wipes.
  • Lint-free cloths: Microfiber cloths are best for cleaning phones and screens.
  • Disinfectant spray: Use a spray with at least 70% alcohol content, and spray directly on the lint-free wipe to clean phones safely.

Do not use:

  • Soap and water: Even if you have a waterproof phone, soap and water can damage the phone by entering open ports.
  • Rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or window cleaner: These products can strip your device of the coating that protects it from oil and water damage.
  • Paper towels: These are often too abrasive and can damage your screen and leave paper debris behind.

More old tech that can bring in extra cash

Tablets

Like phones, tablets will fetch a higher resale price if they are kept in the newest condition possible. Because you may have your tablet for a longer period of time than you hold onto your phone, it is especially important to maintain it using the methods described for phone care.

RELATED: Tips for buying a brand new tablet to replace your old one

Computers

Because of their bulky packaging, you may be less likely to keep the original box that housed your new laptop or computer. Even if you do not have the packing materials, you will still want to clean the machine and it’s accessories thoroughly.

Computers and laptops do not have the same protective coatings as smartphones, so you can use a 90% isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Before the alcohol cleanse, use canned air to remove dust from the crevice and ports of your computer. Towers, mice, keyboards, and screens can be cleaned with canned air and disinfectant wipes or lint-free cloths dampened with rubbing alcohol.

In order to keep laptops and computers in the best condition, you should avoid eating food while using your device. Crumbs, liquids and oils can fall onto the machine and cause bacteria to fester or even affect the circuitry.

Taking care of your electronic devices will help extend their life and help you to get the most return on your original investment. Just like buying a new piece of tech, preparation and research can go a long way toward getting you the most bang for your resale buck.

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