Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Out with the old, in with the new!

As some of you know, I tend to upgrade my gadgets on a fairly frequent basis. So, what do I do with the old ones? I recycle them, of course.

If I have devices that I think are still good, I'll often sell or give them to friends and colleagues. I also sell them and ship them to various companies for credit. The shipping is free and many will send packing materials. Here are those I've used recently:

  • Amazon - Amazon generally offers the best prices on most items and they'll take just about anything as a trade - books, video games, movies & tv, electronics, music. If you're an Amazon Prime member, it's always useful to have a credit at Amazon. I just sold them a bunch of my old e-readers.
  • BestBuy - I recently sold them my Google Chromebook and iPad 3. No one else wanted the Chromebook so that was a factor. But the price they gave me for the iPad was competitive with Amazon.
  • Gazelle - Gazelle will buy a lot of used smart phones but mainly they seem to specialize in Apple products right now. So, if you've got a iPad or Mac, this might be a good place to go. Keep in mind that you'll get more if you opt for an Amazon gift card instead of cash. They sometimes have promotions and you can also get money for referrals. So, I'm using a referral link here. Full disclosure. Help me keep my gadgets current ;)
Some manufacturers offer their own recycling programs:
I'm sure there are others. But these are some of the biggies and ones that I have some experience with. Sometimes these are purely recycling programs. Others will offer a trade in, i.e., they will give you credit toward buying new equipment or accessories from them. But at the very least, the shipping is generally free.

One of the things I've discovered is that there is a booming market in used Apple devices. They tend to hold their value pretty well in the resale market. That's unusual for electronics. But you might find local charitable organizations that can use your old devices as well. In Billings we have an organization called Computers4Kids that refurbishes old computers and electronics to give to kids and/or resell. You can take a tax deduction for your donation. So look around and see who might need it in your community.

And, as a last result, you can look into electronics recycling programs in your community. That's really your only option for some old stuff like CRT monitors. No one is using them any more and you don't want them ending up in a landfill. If you're lucky, there are places that will take them for free or for a small donation. 

  • For Montana, DEQ offers electronics recycling information on their website: e-rase your e-waste. Unfortunately, it's not all up to date.
  • Nationally, Earth 911 has a lot of interesting tips and info about recycling on their website including a recycling search that shows you where take various types of items in your area. I hadn't realized that BestBuy will recycle a lot of items at their store. Guess who will be dropping by with a box load of cables and stuff?

Let me know if this was useful and/or if you have any other suggestions to add. New electronic gadgets are good but we want to be sure to dispose of the old in a responsible manner!


Pam Henley said...

Woohoo! Can't wait to check out some of these options (sorry I didn't know you wanted to get rid of your Chromebook so soon!).

Nancy Schmidt said...

I recently took some CRT monitors and very old computers to the free e-waste recycling outside of Laurel. It is located just off the Frontage Rd by the weigh station at 1315 Allendale Rd. There was no fee for leaving the items. Their parent company is out of California but they are recognized nationally. I was glad to have a place to take electronics that would charge me for the privilege.