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How to sell your old gadgets

Did you get some new gadgets this holiday season to replace your old ones? We'll show you some tips on how to sell your old gadgets.

Ed Rhee
Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.
Ed Rhee
3 min read
Old gadgets
Ed Rhee

Score some new gadgets this holiday season? Great! What happens to your old gadgets now?

Keeping up with the latest and greatest tech gadgets doesn't come cheap. To offset the cost of your new acquisition(s), consider selling your old gadgets. You might be surprised at the interest your old gadgets receive. Other benefits of selling your old gadgets include decluttering your home and keeping waste out of landfills.

Here are some tips on selling your used gadgets and what to do with them if you can't sell them:

Hard drive

Removing personal data from your gadgets
Before you get rid of your gadgets, make sure to move your personal data off of them. If they're going to end up in the hands of a family member, you may not be that concerned, but if you're going to sell, donate, or recycle your old gadgets, you should take some precautions.

Computers: Hard drives in desktop computers and laptops should be wiped before passing them on. Formatting the drives is not enough. We recommend using DBAN for mechanical hard drives and Parted Magic for solid-state drives (SSD). For more details on wiping drives, check out:

How to spring clean your hard drive
How to securely erase an SSD drive

Smartphones: Smartphones contain a great deal of our personal data--as much or more than computers. Before you get rid of your smartphone, perform a factory reset on it.

How to do a factory reset on Android
How to erase an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

Digital cameras and MP3 players: If you're going to get rid of your digital camera or MP3 player, don't forget to delete the files from it. Aside from music or videos, you may have at one time used your MP3 player as an external storage device and forgot that you stored documents on them. Also, don't forget to remove the memory cards, if they're removable. If you're selling the device with the memory card, you can easily wipe the flash memory card with a utility called Roadkil's Disk Wipe.

Sell your stuff

Selling your gadgets
If you're apprehensive about selling your used gadgets on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist, don't be. We've got you covered with these tips on selling your gadgets:

How to sell anything on Craigslist
How to sell your things on Amazon (video)
How to sell your stuff on eBay (video)
Got a gadget gathering dust? Gazelle will resell or recycle

A good way to set your asking price is by looking at what others are asking for on similar products that are in like-condition on eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon. If there are lots of listings of the same exact product that you're selling, it might be worthwhile to wait a little bit before posting yours, to avoid competing with the other sellers.


Donating or recycling gadgets
If you're not having any luck selling your old gadgets, you can always try donating them to your local church, library, or schools.

If your gadgets are so old or in such poor condition that nobody wants them, recycle them. Retailers like Best Buy, Staples, Dell, HP, Amazon, and Verizon all have recycling programs. Some even take trade-ins, which you can use toward the purchase of a new product.