Need Fast Cash? Sell Your Old Devices Quickly and Safely

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Written by Shannon Flynn

Old phones and battery-depleted laptops litter junk drawers and storage bins. If the technology is in adequate condition to meet vendor criteria, tech owners could sell loose items if they need fast cash. In an increasingly connected world, countless avenues exist for buying and selling goods or sending offers to interested online buyers. If people want to trade in old devices for cash, these are the most reliable and quick methods for safety and efficiency.

Online Marketplaces

If tech sellers want more cash from the sale, they’ll have a better chance of selling independently. Plus, the internet offers more eyes on products than any other platform. Strategies like this often take more time than sending the tech to another company and immediately getting a payout. It could take less, but it is unpredictable.

However, the time investment of taking quality product photos and writing an appealing listing usually yields a more satisfying reward. Some options include:

● Facebook Marketplace

● Buy, sell, and trade Facebook groups

● Reddit threads

● OfferUp

● Craigslist

● Letgo

● Amazon

● Mercari

● eBay

The drawbacks of online marketplaces aren’t only potentially increased waiting periods. Because sellers are dealing with strangers, it’s challenging to identify scams or know how to practice safe selling practices. Most of these outlets have regulations or moderators that assist in securing sellers’ interests. Regardless, there’s always a more significant risk when using these options.

In addition to understanding the site’s safety regulations, sellers can practice additional safety tips when selling old devices for cash. Though peer-to-peer payment apps like CashApp and Venmo exist, PayPal offers the best seller and buyer protections. If there is a dispute, PayPal will assist.

Additionally, sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace sometimes require sellers to meet buyers in person, perform adequate research and verification, and meet in well-lit, populated areas to reduce the chances of fraud or harm.

Buyback Services

If sellers don’t want the entrepreneurial hassle, they can defer to used tech buyback services. As with any selling option, always factory reset devices before sending them into unfamiliar domains. It ensures buyers can’t breach personal privacy and data stays in the owner’s hands.

Outlets like Gazelle are reputable services that pay for unused devices. Buyback services offer almost as much versatility as online marketplaces. Sellers could offload anything from printers and cameras to phones.

The only difference is that buyback services may have acceptance criteria. If they offer payment for recycling, the service may not have guidelines. However, most seek to buy back old tech for resale, so they must be in working order for the exchange to result in quick cash. Here are some other notable distinctions between buyback programs when considering where to sell:

Decluttr: They are one of the most well-known sites in the buyback market. Therefore, their customer base is immense. If products don’t match descriptions, senders don’t get items back. However, they have insured shipping and fast turnaround on deposits.

Gazelle: With no contracts or fees and competitive market visibility, Gazelle has an ideal buyback experience. Even if a seller accidentally forgets to reset a device before selling it, Gazelle will ensure they wipe it before putting it on the market.

TradeMore: They have a rigorous 30-point inspection, so products should be of decent quality. TradeMore sends prepaid shipping materials, so it’s at no cost to the seller.

ecoATM: Use their kiosk locator to find a drop point. No shipping or fees are required, and ecoATM has recommendations for preparing the device before deposit.

It’s in a seller’s best interest to shop around for quotes, shipping costs, and fees. Most places will provide this information before requiring commitment, giving sellers time to research the market for specific products. Extra tech will always be in high demand as eco-conscious buyers seek better deals in an economically unstable climate.

Local Storefronts

Though everyone may default to online resources, traditional storefronts still offer programs to relieve households of cluttering tech. Best Buy has an online tool to measure a product’s value based on the model’s effectiveness and age. Like most stores that offer similar programs, they will offer store credit instead of cash. It’s an excellent option for those looking to upgrade tech on the spot instead of waiting for cash flow from online services.

Apple stores also have programs for taking care of old devices. Even if the device isn’t eligible for credit, the store will responsibly recycle it at no charge. The site has a helpful guide for what prices to expect from different iPhone models so sellers have adequate expectations.

Another unexpected storefront is Target. They only offer Target gift cards in exchange for tech, but if an avid Target customer wants the credit, it’s a valuable option. They don’t accept as many items as Best Buy, for example. However, if it’s convenient, they still receive phones, tablets, and game consoles, among others, to alleviate everyone’s tech load.

Despite limited payment options, the benefit of looking at storefronts is security. These stores have solid reputations and systems in place to solidify seller security.

Secure Quick Cash for Old Electronic Devices

Even if people don’t necessarily expect high returns, there are still several ways to maximize your efforts when you trade in old devices for cash. Not every option is safe, and scams exist all over the internet.

However, that shouldn’t deter anyone from offloading old electronic devices for cash, especially in an age where old tech litters landfills and homes, gathering dust and increasing waste. The numerous benefits would entice everyone to scour through purses and drawers to unearth ancient tech – perhaps the household can treat itself to higher-quality tech in the bargain.

About the author

Shannon Flynn is a technology writer who covers lifestyle and IT trends. Shannon is a staff writer at MakeUseOf, Lifehacker, and is the managing editor of

We are an affiliate of, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!

Image by Brett Hondow from Pixabay

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