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By Doug Aamoth
March 28, 2016
Left to right: Surface Pro 4, worth up to $1,400 at resale; MacBook Pro (up to $1,500), Galaxy 6 (up to $450)
Left to right: Surface Pro 4, worth up to $1,400 at resale; MacBook Pro (up to $1,500), Galaxy 6 (up to $450)
Photograph by Gregory Reid for Money

If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance you’ve got a drawer or closet where you stash unused electronics. They might be valuable, so rather than leave them gathering dust, why not convert them into cash?

There are two easy ways to sell your gadgets. An eBay auction is the more lucrative, but that requires taking photos (sharp ones really do pay off) and arranging for shipping. If you’re willing to forgo 20% to 40% of the sale, trade-for-cash sites such as Gazelle, uSell, Glyde, and Amazon Trade-In handle most details, from pricing to mailing labels. Some even wipe your gadgets. Speaking of which…

Remember to wipe your data

Be sure to clear out all your personal data. Use the reset option in your phone’s settings menu and the system-recovery option on your computer or console. If you’re concerned about missing a step, search the web for specific instructions. Whatever you do, don’t just chuck your castoffs in the garbage. Some municipalities will fine you. Big retailers often offer in-store recycling.

What’s worth the most

Not all trade-ins are created equal. Recent Apple laptops and smartphones hold their value the best; expect to sell them for about 75% of what you paid. Apple tablets (60%) and Android phones (50%) also have decent ROI. Not worth the trouble: Android tablets, old printers, keyboards, and mice. But a flat-screen monitor can fetch $50 after five years. Naturally, like-new gizmos are worth more than damaged goods.

 

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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