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Smartphones & gadgets

3 ways to make money off of old gadgets

Those old electronics gathering dust in your basement can actually be worth a lot of money. Even if it’s super old or broken, there’s going to be someone who wants it. So dig out that box full of old phones and computer parts and see if you can make some cash.

1. Trade it in

If you’re upgrading to a new phone soon and you don’t need to keep your old one, check out its trade-in value with your carrier. If your old phone is one of the more in-demand models, you’re going to get more money.

Many carriers also have promos that get you more for your trade in if you’re purchasing a certain phone or trading in a certain model. If you keep an eye out for that, you could almost double what you would normally get.

If you have something that’s not a phone, don’t worry. Retailers like Target, GameStop, Amazon and Best Buy offer trade-in value for game consoles, tablets, wearables and more. You don’t have to trade in a smartphone to get some extra money.

Note: Watch for special trade-in offers when new products are rolling out. Last year, for example, Apple made it easy for consumers to trade in their old phones for a credit toward their new iPhone 7.

2. Sell it online

If it’s still in good condition — or even if it isn’t — there’s a market for it online. Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Craigslist are all popular sites to sell on where you can get a decent value. Facebook yard sale groups are also a good place to try and sell things. Apps like LetGo are catching on as well. There really are a ton of places for you to sell your items.

Note: Gadgets aren’t the only things you can sell for cash. Click here for a list of hot-selling items that can help you earn top dollar

And electronics are very popular for buyers. If you have the original charger, box and packaging, they boost the price. Taking well-lit, quality pictures from a variety of angles is also helpful—particularly if your device is in good shape. If it’s a bit beat up, customers can at least see exactly what they’re getting.

People tend to haggle on these sites, so be prepared for that. You don’t want to undervalue what you have, but you also can’t expect to get top dollar for a 4-year-old iPod. Be realistic when you set your prices, and be open to genuine offers from people who are looking to haggle a bit.

3. Recycle it

If you chuck your devices in the trash, 85 percent of electronics that get thrown away go into landfills. And that’s not a good place for them. Electronics often have internal components that can be extremely harmful to the environment if they aren’t disposed of properly.

See if your local landfill or recycling center offers any cash incentives for bringing your device in for recycling. If you have any Apple product, look into Apple’s recycling program. If they can’t refurbish the device and resell it, they recycle the materials for reuse. You’ll get an Apple Store gift card that you can use toward another device. (For more information, click here.)

Bonus: Keep it local

If you’re having a yard sale or your community has one, you can always take your chances on selling it there. The only issue with yard sales is that people are normally going to get a deal, so they probably aren’t going to want to pay what it’s actually worth. This option may be best if you have some really old stuff that isn’t worth much anyway.

You can also look into local electronic shops and businesses. Electronic repair businesses may be interested in buying your electronics to use for parts. Depending on what you have, there may also be local collectors who want to buy your wares. If you have some insanely old computers or game consoles, they could be worth a lot of money to the right person. Nostalgia is big right now, and you might have something they’ve been looking to get their hands on.

The best option is to look into all of these choices and find the one that’s the best value for what you have. Different options are better for different devices — but the right choice can make you a pretty decent amount of cash!

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