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Make Cash Online Selling Surplus Electronics: Earn Quick Money From Old Cell Phones, Computers, More.

Make Cash Online Selling Surplus Electronics: Earn Quick Money From Old Cell Phones, Computers, More.


Rather than hanging on to a clutter of outdated consumer electronics waiting for a garage sale, or dumping them in the local landfill, consider making cash online selling them.

Quick Cash for Old Electronics

“Each day American’s [sic] throw away more than 350,000 cell phones,” says resale/recycling site Gazelle.com, ” and 30,000 computers daily.” That makes over 125 million old cell phones and some 10 million computers.

Add to that millions of discarded calculators, old floppy and hard drives, and other electronics, and it’s easy to see why Gazelle.com calls electronic waste “the fastest growing part of the U.S. use garbage stream.”

There have been numerous attempts at a solution, ranging from government programs and recycling centers to private endeavors like Costco Gadgets to eWaste management entrepreneurs to online reselling and/or recycling companies like Gazelle.com and MyBoneYard.com.

Making Money Online From Resale Sites

These sites offer to pay for used electronics – “You get green while being green” as Gazelle puts it – such as camcorders, cell phones, desktop computers, digital cameras, flat panel monitors, game consoles, GPS systems, laptop computers, or music players.

Both Gazelle and MyBoneYard, for example, have web sites that are well-organized, quick to provide an estimate of value, and easy to use. Both sites provide prepaid shipping labels, even for for valueless recycle items, as long as the shipment contains something marketable, such as a relatively new laptop or cell phone.

Gazelle claims to pay promptly (the process takes about a week, the site says) for saleable items.

These sites want electronics that are

  • Relatively new (anything more than a year old is worth little)
  • Fully functional
  • Free from water damage
  • In excellent condition (even normal wear and tear seems to bring a price drop)
  • Still in demand

Anything that doesn’t work perfectly, has liquid damage, or is in bad condition will be wiped of data and recycled.

How Much Money From Online Recycling Sites?

Here are some specific examples of pricing, using cell phones in good condition with all original equipment :

  • Motorola RAZR-3 or a Treo 650 – $8 to Gazelle, $5 to MyBoneYard
  • Apple iPhone 3G 8GB – $117 at Gazelle, $85 at MyBoneYard
  • Blackberry Rim Curve8330 – $48 at Gazelle, $51 at MyBoneYard

The difference between Good condition and Perfect condition is only a few dollars for each. And water damage can be caused by something as simple as bringing a digital camera from a cold car into a warm room (internal condensation will occur).

Quick Cash Online – Resale Sites, Auction Sites, or Private Sale?

Are the online resale sites the best way to go? Not necessarily.

That iPhone might get $150 in a private sale, if a buyer can be found. The author was able to sell on eBay some phone power supplies dumped by his employer; they were worthless to the online resale sites. The main benefit of the resale sites is their simplicity and free shipping labels.

Even those may have their hassles, according to Benny Goodman’s Gizmodo, review of his experience with the Costco Trade-In Program (which is partnered with Gazelle.com).

His conclusion: “If you are looking for riches in exchange for your gear, your best bet is still probably eBay, and if you just want to keep your stuff from the garbage, there are plenty of charities” that will accept older cell phones and computers that are in usable condition.

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