Earning

How to make good money selling used tech online

According to used-electronics site Decluttr, you could make up to $900 selling a used cellphone and up to $1,700 selling a used, top-of-the-line Apple computer.

Criene Images | Twenty20

While at home during the coronavirus pandemic, many people are taking the opportunity to clean out their closets and to see if their used items are worth any money. Don't forget to check in your junk drawer, too: Old technology and media can still be worth hundreds of dollars at trade-in sites.

Decluttr, a site that buys used tech like CDs, video game consoles, and cameras, said in a recent blog post that it had seen a 24% increase in activity between March and May. Trade-ins of old cellphones, specifically, were up 36%.

Depending on the item and its condition, you could pull in substantial money. At Decluttr, for example, a CD could be worth up to $3, while Apple computers, like a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, could fetch as much as $1,700.

You may be able to make more money by selling a gadget yourself, but trade-in sites can make the process of finding a reliable buyer faster and easier. They are "really good for people that don't want to [work too hard] to sell anything," says Daniella Flores, a side hustle blogger. "They just want to get rid of it."

How to sell your old gadgets

The first step to trading in your old tech is to hunt around and compare prices. There are numerous places you might trade in your tech, including:

Pay attention to the offer details, which can affect the value of your payout. Some sites may pay you in store credit or retailer gift cards rather than cash, for example. And there's generally fine print that you may receive less than estimated if your gadget is in worse condition than described.

Once you settle on a trade-in partner, generally, the process works like this: You enter details about your devices to get an estimate of their value. After you agree to the price and complete the order, the site will send you a prepaid shipping label or a kit to mail in your item. (Be sure to wipe the device of your personal information before you send it out.) When the trade-in site receives your item, it will inspect it and send you an electronic payment.

From start to finish, the whole process can take a few weeks. 

Most retailers and wireless carriers also do in-store trade-ins that allow for faster turnarounds — and faster payments. But due to the pandemic, it's worth calling ahead to make sure the store is conducting such in-person transactions. To limit your risk, make sure to adhere to social distancing protocols while in the store.

More from Grow:

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns

GET STARTED

About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2019 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.