How to Recycle Your Old Gadgets Responsibly While Making Money?

We all could do with a bit of extra cash, couldn’t we?

If you are looking to make a quick buck and have a drawer full of old tech that nobody has used since 2015, well, welcome aboard. This is the space where you will learn how to get rid of all that clutter while also fattening up your wallet a little.

Most people, when making room for new tech, tend to throw away their old gadgets. That’s a lot of money going down the drain – sometimes quite literally. Electronic waste that we throw away in bins eventually ends up in landfills where the toxins present in them get released into the soil, causing damage to earth, environment, and the climate.

old gadgets

To avoid that, e-waste recycling has to become a norm. And one way of doing that is to sell/recycle your old tech for money. There are businesses that will give you cash for used laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic devices that are still in working conditions.

And we couldn’t have picked a better time for this discussion. As we write this, April 22nd, the world is celebrating its annual Earth Day.

So, let’s join the festivities in the best way possible – recycle our old gadgets and make ourselves some sweet money in the process.

1. Trade In

Appropriate for working laptops

If the reason you want to sell your old phone is to have some extra cash for the new one you want to buy, then look for trade-in deals.


Apple’s trade-in program allows you to sell your old iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Watch towards credit for a new one. These upgrade programs not only keep the e-waste into responsible hands, but also make for economical deals for tech enthusiasts who are always looking to get their hands on the latest models.

Sometimes, you can also get deals when you hand-in a certain model or buy a certain model. If your current phone or laptop is a popular model, look for special trade-in deals that’ll buy your gadget for a higher price.

Remember that trade-in deals and programs are not limited to smartphones only. You can trade in all sorts of stuff. Gaming consoles, smart watches, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and even bigger appliances such as TVs, AC units, refrigerators, and other such stuff.

2. Sell It Online

Appropriate for working laptops

Gadgets that are in good working conditions, and event those that are slightly worn off, can be a great source of some money if you decide to sell online.

online marketplace

Facebook Marketplace, Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Craigslist, and many other such apps or businesses online are places where you can sell your old gadgets. Just take some well-lit pictures, add tech specifications in the details, set a reasonable price, and wait for offers to start rolling in.

If you are selling a desirable item, expect a lot of responses, but be prepared to haggle. If you are selling to a business – businesses that buy old laptops or phones, etc. – they may give you the price you are looking for without much haggling. Individual customers, however, will try to discuss the price. So, leave a bit of room for some negotiations there.

3. Sell It to a Second-Hand Shop

Appropriate for working laptops

If you need money quickly and are not interested to wait around for potential customers to show up, selling to second-hand tech shops may be a good idea.

There are tons of local businesses in every community that deal in pre-owned electronic goods. These small establishments are doing their bit to not only offer top brand gadgets at reasonable rates, but also to save the environment by giving old tech new life.

Second hand shop

Google searches can help you get in touch with some local electronic goods stores that deal in pre-owned items. These businesses buy these goods at average prices, then refurbish those items, upgrade them, and sell to prospective buyers. These refurbished goods may be cheaper than new items and offer great value for money.

Keep in mind that though that these small local shops may not be able to offer you top buck for your electronics. Keeping your expectations managed will help you complete your transaction quickly and with least disappointment.

Checking in with your family and friends to see if they are interested in your old gadget may also be a great idea to widen your target market.

4. Recycle It

Appropriate for working laptops

What we have discussed thus far applies to devices that are in great or somewhat great working condition. But what about stuff that has made its final crossing to the light? Is there any redemption for it?

Only if you decide to recycle it.

Quick disclaimer: not all recycling offers pay cash. Some do, but it’s not mandatory.

But you do it for the sake of planet, not capitalism.

Companies such as Dell, Amazon, Canon, and Sprint offer their consumers free of charge recycling drops for all devices that have broken or become obsolete. So instead of throwing them in the garbage, you can take advantage of these options and get rid of damaged, broken, or obsolete devices by sending them for responsible recycling.


What’s absolutely commendable about these initiatives – apart from the environmental benefits – is how they also consider data protection a priority. Every time you drop off your gadgets there, even if you haven’t deleted your data (you should always do, by the way, before you recycle/sell your old devices), it will properly be disposed of in a careful manner.

Companies that do reward you for your recycling efforts in money include Gizmogo, GreenBuyback, and SellBroke, among others. Simply to go their websites, list your device for recycle, and get instant cash.

5. Consider Selling For Parts

Appropriate for working laptops

If you have some desktop computers lying around, you can sell their various components for some nice bit of cash. Components like graphic cards, motherboards, processors, memory, hard drives, and more can be sold or swapped online.

Laptop Parts

Reddit is a great place to start. Its subreddit ‘r/hardwareswap’ is a popular forum where people get together to trade their IT equipment. eBay and other online market places are other areas that you can explore for potential IT buyers.

In addition to selling, there are trade-in programs for IT components too that you can consider. While the prices you get may be lower than what an individual may offer, these trade-in programs are perfect for those of you who you are looking for equipment upgrades, not just cash.

6. Sell for Scraps

Appropriate for broken/damaged laptops

We have been talking about laptop computers that are in good working conditions and you want to sell them to get a better, faster performing system or just because you like a newer model. But now we are going to talk specifically about machines that are no longer working.

If you have never gotten rid of your old electronics, it’s likely your basement or old drawers are full of laptops and accessories that are damaged or broken, equipment that just doesn’t work anymore. It also applies to electronics that have become obsolete – an old PC that doesn’t support any new software.

Damaged phone

Plenty of websites online offer cash for broken or damaged electronic items such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and other accessories. They salvage what they can and send the rest to recycling companies and earn a profit.

When choosing the website you want to sell your broken laptop to, beware of deals that sound too good to be true. Usually, such deals rarely are. Try to look for vendors who are upfront and fair about the price they are quoting you. Also, prefer places that offer free data disposal services. Chances are, you don’t really remember what’s on your laptop from the late 90s and now you can’t find out. But these people can. Therefore, go to a buyer with impeccable reviews and free IT disposition offers.


As you research the resale market for your old tech gadgets, you may soon discover that not all of those items are worth selling. Some, inkjet printers, for example, would sell for too low to go to any trouble listing them on any websites. You’ll do well to either donate them or send them for recycling and show some love to the planet.

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