Gadgets have a quick turnaround and a short lifespan, at least when it comes to smartphones. Just as you’re getting comfortable with the current model, the manufacturer is already working on the new one. For example, anyone who bought the iPhone 4S last year is probably looking into what to do with it once the 5 is announced. Fortunately, you have a lot of options.
Gazelle: To find out what your item is worth, just find your device, answer a few quality-related questions, and Gazelle will give you a quote within seconds. Its offer will vary depending on the age and quality of your device. For example, a broken 16GB iPhone 4S will return $90, whereas a good or flawless model will earn you $277-290. Offers are guaranteed for 30 days.
Depending on what you’re selling, Gazelle will provide you with either a prepaid label, or in some cases, a box. Prior to shipping, you can select how you’d like to be paid: by check, PayPal, or an Amazon gift card. Once your item has been reviewed by the company, your payment will be sent out, which typically takes a few days from when Gazelle receives your package.
NextWorth: Similar to Gazelle, NextWorth enables you to sell your iPhone, iPad, smartphone, tablet, laptop, and so on. The process is relatively the same: search for your device, briefly explain its condition, print out your pre-paid shipping label, ship, and await your payment. NextWorth’s offers are guaranteed for 21 days, and you can be paid by check, PayPal, or a Target gift card. Currently a 16GB iPhone 4S fetches between $180-280, depending on quality.
There are plenty of other trusted and secure buy-back services, such as BuyMyTronics. However, if you’re feeling brave, there’s always eBay and Craigslist, too.
2. Trade In
Although you’re still able to earn something by trading in, this method is a bit more limited and requires more work on your part. Specifically, you’ll have to leave your home or office.
GameStop, for example, will accept Apple devices, including iPhones, iPods, and iPads. The video game retailer will give you credit toward your next GameStop purchase, or cash. However, the company said its cash offerings fall 20 percent below the store-credit value.
The company intends to resell your device, so it must be in working condition and can’t have any personalized engraving. While it didn’t release specific trade-in values, GameStop did say that offers are fixed, based on the model. It’s fair to assume that an iPhone 4S in good or excellent condition will receive more than an iPhone 4.
Wal-Mart and NewEgg.com also offer trade-in services, which are powered by Gazelle. The experience is the same as dealing with Gazelle, but instead of getting cash or a PayPal deposit, you’ll receive a gift card.
In some cases, those old gadgets have outlasted their glory days. But instead of tossing old yeller into the trash, you can dispose of your gadgets in an eco-friendly way. Although the services mentioned above also include recycling, many manufacturers offer recycling programs as well.
Dell: Provides several options for getting rid of e-waste. Recycling for Business, for instance, allows you to recycle your business’ computer equipment through Dell’s Resale and Recycling service. It also helps protect your sensitive data by removing tags and labels from equipment, overwriting readable hard drives, and shredding inoperable disks.
Epson: You can send in up to 10 Epson products, including printers, scanners, projectors, and more, through the company’s online recycling service. Arrangements can also be made for larger shipments. While Epson provides a pre-paid shipping label, you’ll be required to package your own materials.
Motorola: The company includes mailers with many of its new products, as well as free postage-paid labels on its website. Its take-back programs accepts any mobile devices or accessories, and it’s not limited to Motorola products. Some devices are refurbished and sent to developing countries. You can also print a mailing label to return Motorola-branded modems, routers, and cordless phones at no charge.
You can also bring in your old office gadgets to your local Staples for secure recycling. The company accepts desktop and laptop computers, tablets, eReaders, monitors, printers, copiers, shredders, hard drives and more, regardless of brand, condition, or purchase location.
No matter which option you choose, it’s recommended that you remove all personal and private data from your gadgets. If you’re trading in a phone, you might want to hang onto your SIM card. And if you’re finding it hard to part with your gadgets, just think of all the shiny new devices that will soon take their place!
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.