Think twice before trading in your old smartphone or tablet—you can make more money upcycling on resale sites

When it comes to old personal technology lying around the house – from smartphones to tablets to game consoles – many people may not realize how much value is left in their devices.

Keeping technology away from landfills or simply collecting dust in the back of your closet by exploring technology-specific resale websites that match buyers and sellers can bring in some extra cash. As for potential buyers, resale can make a lot of sense for younger relatives who are old enough for their first phone but risk losing it. Resale can also pay off – introducing cheaper access to technology and gaming for families, who especially feel the pinch of high gas and food prices

The good news is that tech companies are finally making it easier to extend the life of older devices.

Access resale sites for phones, laptops and other technology

Sell ​​on sites like and its competitors can earn you more money for items you no longer use, such as Phoneslaptops, smartwatches, gaming systems, home technology and tablets.

You have to compare resale marketplaces with the many trade-in and repurchase programs where you can sell your used iPhone and other technology. Certainly, not all repurchase sites are created equal and resale can be more transparent.

The benefits of reselling your used technical devices

“Consumers who choose retailer trade-in programs typically get store credit and usually less value, while those who choose repurchase services get offers below market price so that devices can be resold by the companies themselves,” said Ben Edwards, CEO of the retailer. Swappa. com.

In addition, buyers can find better prices and variety on resale sites than always buying new.

Importantly, the resale and purchase of gently used technology, and really all steps to extend its life, are finally getting stronger support from manufacturers.


released earlier this year the results of an independent investigation that was based on what advocates of the right to repair and the environment have insisted: repairing appliances instead of replacing or reselling old appliances reduces waste and the emission of greenhouse gasses associated with creating new ones.

In response, Microsoft will relax its restrictions on fixing old technology, a move shortly after Apple’s

“Independent Repair”, a unique program that allows owners of recent iPhone models to order genuine Apple parts and tools to perform basic smartphone repairs such as screen and battery replacement.

Samsung and google

said they would also work with the repair guides site i’ll fix it

And the environmental benefit…

By one measure, electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest growing waste problem in the world† We generate about 50 million tons of it every year, although that’s both personal technology and business.

Yet that is equivalent to throwing away 1000 laptops per second.

The costs and savings of reselling used technology

With a trade-in through a carrier or a buy-back site, you usually lose value as much as 50%, Swappa’s Edwards said. Sellers often hand over their device to the carrier or retailer because it’s convenient and they feel the pressure on the spot to unload the item.

Bidding on a secondary market site typically means greater product price transparency for both buyers and sellers.

Purchasing programs can sometimes hide shipping charges and other fees. For example, resale site Swappa charges a 3% fee to both the buyer and seller, which becomes apparent when you navigate through their offerings. Always ask about the costs before purchase.

Consider a resale site that acts as a gatekeeper for reliability: no broken screens; ready to be activated, for example. And make sure the site requires proof of ownership and doesn’t sell lost or stolen items. That can also save a lot of hassle and money.

Take into account…

The incentive to save on a new device can be linked to a trade-in. Of course, carriers want you back, so if you can negotiate a bigger-than-expected reward, it’s worth comparing.

Warranties sometimes pass to new owners, but that’s on a case-by-case basis, so it’s a good idea to ask about these before buying on secondary markets.

That said, if upcycling is part of your motivation, you may still feel better knowing that your old technology is guaranteed to get a new lease of life, at least for a short time.

Editor’s Note: This article launches our returning The upcycler column, intended to help you earn more with less, save or earn extra money, expand your creative side and reduce your ecological footprint

Upcycling involves: reusing objects for practical or aesthetic purposes, extending their usefulness and diverting them from a landfill. In addition, the column will explore the benefits of repairing or upgrading more of what we already own, including personal technology and devices; tapping into potentially life-changing free or heavily discounted goods and services; and travel in less expensive, intrusive and consumptive ways.

Sometimes we talk about spending smarter and consuming less. And for anyone ready for some serious lifestyle downsizing, we’re diving into the expansion No buy move† After all, if we can upcycle more of our time, income and peace of mind, everything can feel like new.

Do you have your own upcycling ideas or dilemmas? Get in touch on Twitter @RachelKBeals or email [email protected].

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