One of the more common questions about recycling electronics is, “Can I make any easy cash from doing this?” If there’s a recycling option for your old computer that also gets you some money, that’s a classic win-win! Not all electronic waste (e-waste) can be easily recycled for money, but there are several opportunities that you should be aware of, especially if you are looking to get rid of multiple computers at once. Here are your best options.
Use a Trade App
For computers and other electronics that are relatively new and in good condition, a trading app is the best option to get rid of the devices while still making some money (and preventing them from going directly into a landfill or other inappropriate place). These apps link buyers and sellers for used electronics. You are typically bound by the guidelines the app creates – which often means paying a transaction fee and covering shipping costs yourself – but you also have the opportunity to make more money with this option than any other.
There are a lot of this trade apps available, all with their own rules and interfaces, so it’s important to find the right one for you. Popular options include Gazelle and Swappa. When using sites like these, it’s important to choose prices that will be competitive based on how similar devices are selling, and the sites often have tools to help you with this.
Finally, if your electronics are a little too old to be appealing to a trade app, look for options like Nextworth, which will recycle electronics for you and send you some cash when you send your computers in – with shipping prepaid.
Sell On An Ad/Classifieds Site
If you like the idea of selling your used electronics, but don’t really want to use an app system to do it, then there’s always the option of selling through a classified site. Craigslist is, of course, the most popular option for this option, allowing you to create and post your own ad. This makes it a lot easier to explain details, ask for a specific price, or arrange for local pickup so that shipping isn’t an issue. However, that’s also more work, which is why this option is best suited for specific circumstances – like getting rid of a particularly heavy computer, or selling a computer that may only be attractive to collectors.
Your computer has a lot of different components, including storage drives, CPUs, GPUs, RAM sticks, coolers, and more. Some of these components can be valuable on their own, even if no one has much interest in purchasing the computer itself. People want these components to replace parts of their own computers that have failed, or to build a computer of their own as a more affordable option – and they’re looking for deals.
However, if you want to sell individual parts, you will need to do the work yourself. That means dismantling your computer, wiping your drives, and making sure that the components are fully separated, undamaged, and clean – all things that can take some experience. With the parts ready, you then have to create listings with product info and photos on sites like eBay or other popular platforms for selling components. It’s the most work, but also the best way to get money out of computers that wouldn’t otherwise sell.
Sell for Scrap
Take a look at your local scrap yards and see if any are willing to buy your computers as scrap. A lot of places will purchase computers, no matter how old, because computer circuits are made with valuable rare metals like gold. Scrap yards are in a good position to properly harvest these metals. However, they may all have their unique approaches or requirements, so you probably have to give them a call to get all the details. You won’t make a lot of money this way, but you will pick up some cash for an easy delivery and it’s a great way to get rid of large numbers of computers at once. If you can’t sell your components as described above, there are also online sites that will purchase components for scrap.
Trade in For Credit
A number of sites will also accept trade ins and used electronics and provide you credit (or, rarely, even cash) in return. Apple, for example, will take a lot of its computers as long as they are relatively new (10 years old is probably too old) and provide store credit in return. Big brands like Amazon and Best Buy have their own programs for trading in electronics and getting credit in return. If you choose these options, they’ll take care of the details, but they also set the prices – and there’s no negotiations.
This is for the particularly talented among us – there’s a specific demand for electronics-based artwork and creations that you can tap into if you’re skilled in this area. Pinterest, naturally, is full of examples to think about. Get creative, set up a store on someplace like Etsy, and you could make your hobby quite profitable!
Work with a Vendor
On the other hand, you may be a business transitioning to new computer systems, with a lot of older computers to get rid of and not a lot of time to spend on the project. In these cases, we suggest teaming up with a vendor that can quickly secure trade in options or recycling and make sure you benefit as much as possible.
For more information on e-recycling opportunities, you can explore Stream Recycling’s services and find out how we can partner with your organization today!