How to Get Rid of Old Electronics

How to Get Rid of Old Electronics

Learn how to get rid of old electronics properly. (CC) Photo Credit: Marie Mosley

Not too many decades ago, when people bought electronic devices, they expected them to last. Sure, many people still hold on to big ticket items like TVs, refrigerators, washers and dryers for a decade or more, but most of us are upgrading faster and faster. Computers are often obsolete after three years, video game systems are dinosaurs after five, and some people buy new cell phones every single year.

With that kind of turnover, you have to come up with a plan for what to do with your old electronic devices if you don’t want to be completely wasting your money or filling up landfills. Here’s a guide on how to get rid of old electronics when you decide to upgrade.

Hand it down. If you have brothers and sisters, there’s a good chance you know all about hand-me-downs – usually in the form of clothes that are several years out of fashion and fit only moderately well. But electronic hand-me-downs are different. Sure, they might be behind the technology curve, but giving a friend or family member who previously didn’t have one your old phone, computer, music device, and so on will bring them hours of enjoyment and relieve you of clutter.

  1. Don’t have anyone close to you that you want to give your old electronics to? Head to the local Goodwill or another similar store. You’re not going to see much of a financial return by donating old electronic devices (other than a possible minor tax break), but you will get the good feeling that comes with helping out the less fortunate, and may even earn yourself some positive karma points.

Trade in and/or recycle. It’s possible to recycle your old electronic devices using local or state programs in many areas, and this is a good thing to seek out so that you can keep it from going straight to the landfill and causing problems for future generations. But think of that as a last resort. Before checking for these kinds of government-sponsored recycling programs, check with the manufacturer. Lots of companies, like Apple, not only have their own recycling systems set up – they’ll actually give you credit towards buying a new device when you turn in your old one. If you know you’re going to be buying the latest iteration anyway, this can be a great way to go.

Sell it online. For people who want the best of all worlds, selling online is probably the smartest thing to do. Not only do you get to ensure that your device will stay out of the landfill, you earn actual real money instead of what’s essentially a discount on spending more money with the same company. Basically, it gives you the freedom of choice instead of locking you into buying the next hot electronic toy. And, because you’re selling online, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the best price possible because there will be a clear record out there showing you how much others are paying for your device.

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