You may not see much value in those outdated cell phones or MP3 players, but there are several Web sites that will actually pay you cash for them. How easy is it? We checked it out.
Today's electronic gadgets are forever getting faster, better, cooler. We all want the latest upgrade. So what do we do with all the outdated stuff?
"They were older models and they were not working," said Kassia Fiedor of San Francisco. "They just went kaput."
Fiedor searched online for a way to properly dispose of her old iPods. She was expecting to have to pay a fee, and instead, found just the opposite.
"I was really surprised, but of course I was really happy that they were going to give me money for something that was broken," she said.
Fiedor found the Web site Buymytronics.com. It not only took her broken iPods, it paid her for them.
"I got 17 bucks for both of them," she said.
"There's definitely a huge market now for sites that will buy up your old electronics and that's kind of good for people because obviously you can sell something on eBay and Craigslist, but it's kind of a hassle," said CNet.com technology expert Molly Wood.
"It's nice to go to a site like this, get a quote, and just ship it off. In some cases they'll even pay for shipping, so it definitely makes it easier."
Here's how the Web sites work. You enter information about your gadget, wait a few seconds, and up pops the price the Web sites will pay, if they will pay you at all. Not everything sells, but the sites will recycle worthless items for free.
"It's pretty likely you're not going to get money out of say a three or four-year-old desktop computer or a pretty old flip cell phone," said Wood.
So we tried it out ourselves on Gazelle.com. An Xbox 360 in good condition fetches $78 and a Sony camcorder brings in $99. However, a fully loaded Dell laptop only gets us $25, and an older model desktop PC, not a dime.
Fiedor had such good luck with her broken iPods, she decided to try out some of the other gadgets laying around her house.
The verdict? Buymytronics.com offered her $94 for a first generation iPhone, about one-fourth the original price. The same offer was made by Gazelle.com. Her five-year-old iPod Nano fetched $11 on Buymytronics.com and $13 on Gazelle.com. A beat up smart phone garnered $6 and $3.
All in all, she says, not too bad for stuff that would otherwise sit in a drawer.
"We're all consumers, we all have cell phones laying around," she said.
As you can see, it is a good idea to compare the Web sites to see which ones will offer you the most for your particular items and how much they will pay for your shipping.