2 min

How to Sell Used Laptop or Phone

Aug 25, 2022
in a nutshell
  • Laptops and smart phones hold value for much longer than people think.
  • To make the most money, list it yourself. To sell it with minimal effort use a reselling service.
  • Don’t forget to wipe the data on your used device before you sell.
Image of If you’re thinking of selling your used laptop or phone here are two ways to sell: net the most money vs. efficient, low-effort way.
in a nutshell
  • Laptops and smart phones hold value for much longer than people think.
  • To make the most money, list it yourself. To sell it with minimal effort use a reselling service.
  • Don’t forget to wipe the data on your used device before you sell.

If you were gifted a new set of Airpods for Christmas or bought yourself a new laptop on Cyber Monday, you probably still have its predecessor lying around somewhere.

Instead of keeping it in a drawer or under you bed, you could sell it for a good chunk of money, says Byron Binkley, founder of Sella, a service that will sell your used items for you on marketplaces like Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook.

“It’s a great time to unload gadgets and electronics that may have been replaced over the last six months during the holiday season,” he says. “They depreciate quickly. That value just vanishes into the ether.”

Even if your device is a bit older, you can probably sell it for a decent price. “By and large the value [of old tech gear] extends beyond what people think,” Binkley says. “People think a four-year-old laptop or iPhone is not worth it [to sell], but it is. They should definitely sell those.”

Before you list an item, decide what is most important to you: whether it sells for a lot of money or with minimal effort on your part. Depending on your priorities, you can go about selling your old tech gear in different ways.

How to sell tech to net the most money

Many platforms take a large portion of the profit, so to net the most cash, you’ll want to list it yourself, says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert at RetailMeNot. You can do this on sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Swappa, where you will be able to set your own price.

Keep in mind that there are still fees. For Facebook Marketplace the selling fee is 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of 40 cents for shipments of $8 or less.  Fees on eBay vary by category and final price: For laptops it takes 10% plus 30 cents per order. Swappa has a 3% fee.

“Listing your own products is more time consuming, but it will allow you to make the most money on your used items,” she says.

If you don’t want to take the time to do this, you can use trade-in programs. “Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Best Buy all have trade-in programs meant for recycling and saving on your next tech purchase,” she says.

How to sell tech the most efficient, low-effort way

There are plenty of sites that will resell an item for you, but they set the price and might take a significant cut of the profit. “Sites like Gazelle, Nextworth and Cellcashier are easy to use,” McGrath says.

On these sites you’ll just pick the make, model, and condition of your device and get a quote. For example, Gazelle offers $351 for an 11-inch Apple iPad Pro 4th Gen with 128GB, if it’s in “excellent condition.”

“If you like the quote, then you send the device to the reseller and get paid, but often for a lower price than the real value,” she says.

Don’t forget to wipe the data

Before you sell a tech item, remember to wipe your data, McGrath adds.

“For any tech item you plan to sell, you should wipe the hard drive of any data or personal information that may still live on the device, as well as log out of any location sharing and social media apps,” she says.

It doesn’t hurt to wipe down the hardware, too, she says, so buyers feel like they are getting a product without a lot of wear.

This material has been presented for informational and educational purposes only. The views expressed in the articles above are generalized and may not be appropriate for all investors. The information contained in this article should not be construed as, and may not be used in connection with, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or hold, an interest in any security or investment product. There is no guarantee that past performance will recur or result in a positive outcome. Carefully consider your financial situation, including investment objective, time horizon, risk tolerance, and fees prior to making any investment decisions. No level of diversification or asset allocation can ensure profits or guarantee against losses. Article contributors are not affiliated with Acorns Advisers, LLC. and do not provide investment advice to Acorns’ clients. Acorns is not engaged in rendering tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult a qualified professional for this type of service.

Aditi Shrikant

Aditi Shrikant was a lead reporter for Grow.

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