Finding outdated household, business and consumer electronics is an everyday occurrence in the day in the life of a storage unit buyer. This is especially true in today’s market, where new devices are constantly being produced. Here are 5 strategies for unloading these items.
Depending on the age of the items you find, you may be able to successfully sell them. While they may seem dated to you, somebody may be hunting to purchase one. Let’s use the iPhone as an example. While the iPhone 5 is the most current model available, the Apple Store still sells the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S and many people are still interested in buying the slightly older models. You may find an iPhone 3 user who is looking to upgrade but isn’t willing to pay the store price. This is usually true of other popular cell models and brands as well. You may find success by listing your items slightly below the price listed on the company website. Try listing you items on Ebay, Craigslist, or Amazon for maximum visibility. Craigslist is a good option to find buyers in your area and then you can skip the cost and hassle of shipping a device.
Some items have simply seen their better days. But this doesn’t mean they have to meet an untimely demise. Maybe I’m just a softie because I was subjected to that movie, The Brave Little Toaster as a child just one to many times. As a kid I was fraught with fear that the poor toaster and all his friends would get crushed at the junkyard at the end of the movie!
As a result, I have an unfortunate habit of personifying household appliances. So, I’m taking a stand and saying that your unwanted items don’t have to end up as scrap heap! Instead, you can give your items a second life. You may decide to sell your refurbished goods, or you may find that the revamped item is just so awesome that you can’t part with it. I’ve written a four part blog on refurbishing, so check it out for some inspiration!
Electronic recycling programs have become very popular in recent years. Recycling devices is a quick and painless method of getting rid of items you feel you can’t sell! Recyling programs are abundant and varied. Some manufacturers and technology programs will recycle their own devices.
Some programs simply take your items at convenient locations and then recycle the materials for you, saving you a bit of time and energy. Many local governments off recycle drop off locations for this purpose. Some programs take older home goods and personal devices and refurbish them for resale. (Often these programs may offer you a small amount for your items.) Keeping this in mind, remember that certain companies will only take specific models and types of devices.
Trade-in programs offer another alternative to selling or donating your items and combines the two concepts. Many large businesses such as Target, Radio Shack, and Wal-Mart are just a few companies who offer these types of programs. You can turn in your items, and they will send you a gift card in the mail to their stores. Some programs skip the gift card and offer you cash for your eligible devices, such as HP’s Trade-In program! You’ll need to research each program to see what they do and do not accept. Many of these programs have web pages on their websites where you can collect information, without having to drag around heavy electronics to each store.
Donating items is an easy way to get rid of almost any older item that you won’t be able to make money off of. There are various organizations and programs that allow donations, often so that the items can be refurbished and resold for a minimal amount. In 2004 Goodwill partnered with Dell for this purpose. They take any computer, in any condition. Is it just me, or does just saying the world Dell invoke nostalgia for the Dell Dude? Just me then? Fair enough.
Whatever you do, don’t trash your items! While you may not have endowed these old devices with brains, hearts, and souls the way I have, there is another reason not to dump them, it’s completely bad for the environment. In many places, not only is it questionable to dump your devices, but it is also illegal to do so because the environmental impact. Here are some statistics to to think about before heading to the dump!
- Each year, the world tosses 20 to 50 million metrics tons of electronics, and currently we only recycle 10-18%!
- Annually, e-waste is growing by 5%
- Electronics make up 2% of the municipal waste stream in the USA, that’s enough to occupy more than 60 US landfills.
- When dumped at landfills the hazardous chemicals in devices, such as cadmium, can leach out into the groundwater and nearby bodies of water.
- When incinerated the plastic part of electronics will emit dioxin.
Brave Little Toaster: www.dvdizzy.com
Recycling Electronics: www.1800recycling.com
Dell Dude: www.switched.com