How to Make Money Recycling Old Electronics

By Catie Watson

Most of us have old electronics tucked away in a closet or drawer. Did you know you can make money from the gadgets you no longer use and still protect the environment by keeping them out of landfills? Here are some tips for turning yesterday's technology into cash or gift cards.

Trade in Your Electronics for Cash or a Gift Card

Step 1

You can trade in a wide range of electronics items, including laptops, tablets, cell phones, cameras, GPS devices, video games and game consoles, by visiting the NextWorth, Best Buy or Amazon websites. Newer electronics will be refurbished and resold while older items are disposed of without harming the environment. The trade-in process is similar on all of these sites.

Step 2

Start by searching for your gadget on the website. After answering a few questions about your item's condition, you'll receive an instant quote on its trade-in value.

Step 3

If you're happy with the price offered for your item, pick a payment option. NextWorth offers payment by check, PayPal deposit or a Target gift card; Best Buy and Amazon offer their own gift cards.

Step 4

Print out a pre-paid shipping label. Follow instructions on the trade-in website for packaging and shipping your item.

Step 5

Your payment or gift card will be sent after your item is received and its condition has been verified.

Step 6

Eliminate shipping and waiting by visiting a Target or Best Buy retail store and making an immediate trade-in.

Step 7

Older electronics that have no trade-in value can still be turned in to ensure that they're recycled correctly.

Sell your Electronics on eBay

Step 1

You always have the option of selling your old electronics directly on eBay. Provide as much information as possible for potential buyers, including whether a battery charger or adapter is included with your item. If selling your item directly sounds like too much trouble, the eBay Instant Sale program is a quick alternative. Instant Sale is a collaboration between eBay and AllTechWholesale, a top-rated eBay seller.

Step 2

Begin by determining the value of your item on the Instant Sale website or by using the Instant Store iPhone app.

Step 3

Print out a pre-paid shipping label and ship your item.

Step 4

You'll receive a cash payment through PayPal after your item is received.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some electronics retain their value longer than others do, so it pays to shop around to get the best trade-in price. Gently used tablets, laptops and smart phones, especially Apple products, may be worth more than you think. You can compare prices for similar used items on eBay or Amazon. A website called Priceonomics is another good place to check the resale value for a wide range of electronics items.
  • Before you ship your laptop or cell phone to a trade-in website, verify the site's policy for removing data from the device. Refurbishing or recycling should include wiping out personal data. If possible, find out how to erase your data and complete the process yourself.