Top 5 things to do with old gadgets

If you’re wondering what to do with devices you don’t use anymore, Tom Merritt offers five suggestions for how to deal with them.

You just got a new phone, laptop, or tablet and you’re so excited. All you want to do is get to know your powerful new friend, but lurking over there in the corner is the old one, staring at you. What are you going to do with it? Before you throw it in a drawer or stick it in the garage, consider one of these five things to do with an old gadget.

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  1. Sell it. Whether you use an auction site like eBay or try to sell locally on Nextdoor or Craigslist, your old gadget might be the new hotness for someone else. Just make sure it’s in good condition, be honest in your listing, and as always be careful selling online. There are some services that will even do the selling for you, for a cut of the proceeds.
  2. Trade it in. Lots of companies like Samsung and Apple have trade-in programs. You can sometimes get direct discounts on a new purchase or credit toward future purchases. It can be a little less stressful than selling it yourself, but you will likely get less for it.
  3. Donate it. If you just don’t want to deal with any of this, dropping it off at your local charity might be a great boon for them and a tax deduction for you. Again, make sure what you drop off is in good working order. 
  4. Recycle it. Sometimes it’s just too old or too well-used for anyone to want–in those cases, you can recycle. Look around at your local big box store or check with your local waste disposal agency. Sometimes the trade-in programs will offer free recycling as well. You won’t get any money for this option but at least you aren’t throwing it in a landfill.
  5. Repurpose it. Maybe don’t get rid of it at all. Turn that old tablet into a digital photo frame or an e-reader. Use your old phone as a security camera or webcam. That ancient laptop might still work as a media center. Get creative.

For all of these options, (except repurposing), be sure to securely delete all your data before you let the device out of your hands. Among the other benefits you’ll get is a little more space around the house and a little less guilt.

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Electronic waste detail. Discarded computer hardware components on pile under trees with sunny sky

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