CLEVELAND - Did you get a new cell phone or computer this year? Recycling programs that pay you cash for your old electronics are growing in popularity. It's a good incentive to keep the bulky electronics out of the landfill.
Cell phone carriers and independent sites are offering cash incentives for your old electronics. It's a good way to earn some cash and keep your plastic out of the trash. There are websites willing to buy all these items: iPods, iPhones, cell phones, cameras, e-Readers, laptops, video games, game console, GPS, DVD, movies, MP3 players, digital cameras, calculators, laptops, external drives, and tablet eReaders.
Here's a look at some of your options:
Ebay Instant Sale – This site, like many, ships your items for free which is a nice perk so you're not wasting money on shipping. I priced two items — a computer and iPhone. A Dell Latitude D620, Core 2 Duo 1.66 GHz in good condition is worth$59 and an 8GB iPhone 2G is worth $66. If the item isn't worth anything (I guess if you calculate the condition wrong) it will be recycled for free. The money you earn is added to your PayPal account.
Wirefly also offers free shipping and will send a check within 30 days. It offers up to $60 for an 8GB iPhone 2G. In good condition, it pays $51.80. It offers $59.50 for the Dell Latitude.
Gazelle is another ecommerce site. It didn't offer to buy the 8GM iPhone 2G, but offered $40 for the 4GB.
Make sure you check out the company first, and read its FAQ so you know its policies. For example, Gazelle does not offer phone support. That may or may not be a big deal.
You Renew wanted newer iPhones and didn't have an offer for the 2G. It also didn't take the Dell Latitude D620, so this is the site that offered to buy the fewest products.
The nice thing about You Renew is that the site even takes devices and pays for the shipping if your item has no value. As an added bonus, the company will either plant a tree or give a donation towards a domestic renewable energy product.
NextWorth offered $53.26 for the 8GB iPhone 2G. NextWorth teams up with Target, and offers the same service online or in Target stores.
Flipswap takes cell phones only and requires the ESN number on the phone to track it and ensure it's the one that arrives in the warehouse. It appears the site is offering $36.38 for the 8GB iPhone, but you don't know for sure until you enter a bunch of information about the condition of the phone and the ESN number.
Cell for Cash , as its name suggests, only buys old cell phones. They offer a set price without asking questions, but expect the phones to be in good condition. It wasn't entirely clear in the terms and conditions how the company handles phones that don't meet its expectations, so it's worth checking out before you commit. Cell for Cash will send you a check in the mail. It offered $20 for the 8GB iPhone.
Another option is to trade in your cell phone with your carrier for money off a new plan or phone. You can also try Amazon's recently expanded trade in program . It works a little differently, because you're not offered cash. Amazon pays you with a gift card that's added to your account. I couldn't find the same iPhone I compared on other sites nor the Dell computer. This program seems to offer money for new technology, but it's offering good prices so it's worth a check.
Erase your digital footprint
Before you send your electronics to a company, check out consumer reviews and feedback to ensure you'll get the cash you deserve.
Also, make sure you erase all your contact and personal information and perhaps remove the SIM card if possible. You may even consider taking it to your local mobile carrier to see if they can wipe everything for you for a small fee. Some websites that buy electronics also offer the service. I wouldn't be as nervous with a regular cell phone but smartphones are full of rich information that can be used to steal your identity.
Have a favorite site that offered you cash for your electronics? Share it via the comment box below.
Content courtesy: jennstrathman.com . Jenn works as a consumer investigator for WEWS-TV in Cleveland and keeps a blog to update people on the latest money-saving tips.