Sell and recycle your old tech gear with Gazelle.com

Many of us tech enthusiasts have lots of old electronic gear lying around and sometimes it is good to clean house. Gazelle helps you recover some money and recycle your gear for free.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

As readers here know I purchase a LOT of devices to test out and use for reviews and my own personal enjoyment. Thus, I have built up quite a collection of old devices with many that end up sitting in my drawer gathering dust and dying of old age. I was at the recent GDGT Live event in Seattle and met Anthony from Gazelle.com who inspired me to clean out my drawer and send in my old devices for cash and for recycling. I just went through the entire process and wanted to let you know how you can get some cool cash for your next purchase by sending them your old devices.

The first thing I did after getting back home was to Google sites that purchased old devices and recycled those that were not worth anything and I discovered that Gazelle does indeed appear to offer the best prices and is well regarded. The next step was to identify gear to send to them and that was as simple as going through and entering the device name into their search engine to see what value I could get, if any. After entering an item name and selecting the item page you then check boxes for context specific questions. For example, for cell phones you enter the following:

  • Makes a call successfully - Yes or No
  • Free of water damage - Yes or No
  • Rate the overall condition - Poor, Fair, Good, or Perfect
  • Identify the accessories you are including - A/C adapter, cables, manuals, etc.

If you wonder how to rate your item you simply hover over the condition identifier or click on the question mark at the end of the question. I like how you can click Calculate and see the price then change the condition and see it again so you can get a feel for the worst case price you might get if the condition is not as you selected when they conduct their inspection.

You will also see a cool price history chart below so you can see how the price of your item is trending and decide if you want to wait to sell it or hurry up and sell it before the price drops further.

I sold off my old original iPhone, some MP3 players, and several old cell phones. I also recycled an MP3 player and some phones rather than have them sitting around in my desk. I was very surprised to see they paid me $30 for my dead original iPhone 8GB. I had the battery replaced once, but then after a couple of months it just died. I thought it was complete junk and would have thrown it away so I was very happy with the $30.

When you go to checkout you might see that you have enough value to get a free prepaid shipping label and/or a free box sent to you to send in your item. Payment options include check, PayPal, Walmart prepaid Visa, Amazon.com gift card, and donation to charity. If you select Amazon then you also get an extra 5% on your order so that is what I did. There is a large number of charities to select from including the American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts, YMCA, and many more.

After you go through and add all of your items to the virtual box you checkout, select your payment, print the shipping label (if that is what you decide to do), then box up everything and send it away. After you submit your order tracking numbers will be assigned for each item and Gazelle will let you know the status as your items go through their inspection process and get valued by them. This inspection started within just about four days after I sent in my items.

I received an email that one item was slightly less quality than I selected (it had a couple minor scratches on the back) so they gave me the option to select the lower value price or have them return it to me for free. I selected the lower price. Another item ended up having a broken feature (7 key did not work) and I had no idea it didn't work when I sent it so I decided to have them send that one back to me. Several items had a value of $0 when I sent them in, but I found it a very convenient way to recycle my old gear so sent those in too.

I kept several classic pieces of my gear, including my Apple Newton 2100, Palm Treo Pro, Palm m500, Sony CLIE UX50 and a few others because they mean something to me and most had no resale value.

I now have a nice chunk of change in my Amazon account that I plan to use to buy the latest smartphone when it gets released so I can evaluate it and tell you all about it. My drawer is lighter, old non-working gear is recycled, and I am on my way to filling the drawer again :) I highly recommend you check them out and think you too will find the process easy and valuable.

UPDATE: Another recycle and selling site a reader pointed me to is BuyMyTronics. You might want to check them out and compare them for yourself too.

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