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What to Do with Old Electronics

Do you have a collection of old cell phones, iPods, DVDs, computer hardware, or other electronic gadgets collecting dust somewhere in your home? Would you like to find a place to sell or recycle them in an environmentally friendly way?

Well, you are in luck; there are a number of companies looking to turn your "trash" into someone else's "treasure." The first thing you must do is take an inventory and decide what you want to sell, recycle or donate. Next, check several websites to determine the market value of your item(s) and determine which company meets your specific requirements.

Here are several companies that will gladly take your old cell phones, iPods, computers, home entertainment electronics and other aging technology gadgets. Some companies will pay you, while others will take items of no value off your hands for free. There are also companies who may charge you a small fee, depending on what they can reuse.

Gazelle (

This company will buy your old cell phones, mp3 players, laptops, or other gadgets. Once they receive your used items, they inspect them to make sure the condition matches your evaluation. They notify you by e-mail when the item has been evaluated and again when a payment has been sent to you. They claim the process takes about a week after they receive your item(s).

Once this company has purchased your used items, they claim to extend their lives by removing all personal data and selling the electronics through a variety of retail and wholesale outlets. Items with no market value are recycled.

YouRenew (

This company's motto: "To reuse an item is the highest form of recycling." They encourage a "full-life cycle of a device because every item that is reused means one fewer needs to be created."

YouRenew will purchase used cell phones, mp3 players, digital cameras, graphing calculators, laptops, video game consoles, external hard drives, video games, and DVDs. If you can't find your device in their catalogue, or they can't pay for it, you can ship it to them for free and they will recycle it "safely."

At YouRenew, you don't have to have an account, use your credit card, or pay shipping fees. You simply follow these steps;

1. Search for your device
2. Answer some questions to help them make an accurate offer
3. Check out and get free shipping

The company will evaluate your item(s), clear the memory and issue a payment. They claim to give you a "great price," and payments are usually made within 5 days. If there are any problems they will get in touch with you to discuss the issue(s).

YouRenew donates to environmental efforts and programs with every transaction and you can ship your devices to them for free. If your device is worth $0, ship it to them and they will make sure that it is recycled.

Glyde (

Glyde claims that "selling your stuff is as easy as throwing it away." They will buy and sell your games, DVDs, CDs, and books.

To begin, you must sigh-up with the company and list your item(s). Once an item sells, Glyde will send you an email and a pre-stamped, pre-addressed Glyde mailer. Place your item(s) in the Mailer and send to them within 1 day. Once the buyer receives the item(s), the proceeds are deposited into your Glyde account (created for you at registration). You can withdraw your money at any time via a bank transfer or check. When an item sells, you pay Glyde 10% of the sale price and the cost of a Glyde Mailer.

GreenCitizen (

GreenCitizen repairs and recycles computers and more for a "cleaner environment." They have an extended list of items they will recycle, some for free and others for a fee. In addition, they offer other services such as hard disk destruction, cell phone erasure and GreenCitizen collector boxes to organize and store your smaller electronics (when full return the box to GreenCitizen for free recycling).

The company claims to provide convenient, safe and accountable solutions that make it easy for individuals and organizations to help save the environment from harmful electronic waste. They have a membership program and a mail-in recycling program.

ReCellular (

ReCellular claims to be the "source and solution for used electronics," and the "world's leading electronics sustainability firm." They innovate and manage solutions for the collection, reuse and recycling of used mobile phones and personal electronics. This generates financial return for their partners, quality products for their customers, funding for charity organizations, and protection of the environment.

The firm is based in Dexter, Michigan and they claim to be the largest recycler and reseller of used cellular phones and accessories. ReCellular partnered with the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association's (CTIA) Wireless Foundation on the original Donate a Phone charitable recycling program, and has since developed long-standing relationships with key industry players such as Verizon Wireless, Motorola, Sprint and Best Buy.

All phones and accessories that cannot be reused are recycled. They claim millions of dollars are donated to charities and tens of millions of phones recycled or reused, with customers in more than 40 countries. ReCellular has developed a global network dedicated to finding the most responsible solutions for the handset industry.

If you want to sell used or new cell phones, you can e-mail or call the company directly.

Best Buy (

Take a laptop, iPod or mobile phone purchased from any Best Buy and get a Best Buy gift card instantly (or have a check for a lesser value mailed to you). *Most Georgia stores do not require that the laptop, mobile phone or iPod have been purchased at a Best Buy.

You must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Best Buy receipt, or if you don't have one, they will make every effort to locate it for you. Only the original purchaser is eligible to participate in the In-store Trade-in program. A government-issued photo ID is required.

The In-Store Trade-in program is for the following select "gently used" electronics: Apple iPods; Apple Laptops; Mobile Phones; and PC Laptops.

For other products, you can use their Online Trade-in program. You must use the Online Estimator to receive an estimate of your item, (if your item has no value, you can take it in to your local Best Buy store for recycling). If the estimated value is acceptable to you, print out the estimate page and take it along with your item to your local Best Buy store. Be sure to bring along the correct accessories (power cords, adaptors, instruction manuals, etc.) to maximize your trade-in value. Go to the "Geek Squad" Precinct counter, they will verify the item, its condition and your receipt, if you do not have one, they will make every effort to locate it. A final value will be determined and a gift card will be issued. You may also request a payment by a check (for a lesser value) which will be mailed within 7 days.

Apple Inc (

Turn that computer you're not using anymore into a brand-new Mac, iPod, iPhone, or iPad. Whether it's a Mac or a PC, working or nonworking, it doesn't matter. Apple will take it and determine if it qualifies for reuse. If it does, they will apply the monetary value towards an Apple Gift Card. You can use the gift card for purchases at any Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. If your computer doesn't qualify for reuse, they will recycle it "responsibly" at no cost to you.

Only Mac or PC desktop and notebook computers qualify for the Apple Recycling Program. An estimate of the fair market value of your computer will be made and then a box with a prepaid shipping label will be sent to you. Pack your computer and send it. After a "short time," your Apple Gift Card will arrive in the mail. Use it for purchases at any Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store.

Target (

Target will buy your old iPods, iPhones, cell phones, cameras, e-Readers, laptops, video games, game consoles, GPS, media & audio, DVD movies.

Start by finding your product on their website and get an instant quote. (You can simply type the name of your item(s) in the search box at the top of every page.) Print the pre-paid shipping label at the end of the transaction. Carefully pack the item(s) and apply the pre-paid shipping label to your package. Give it to your local postal carrier or drop it by a post office. Once Target receives the item, they will make sure it is in the condition described. You should allow approximately ten business days, from when they inspect your item(s), to when they initiate payment.


If you are interested in donating your items to worthy causes, please see the article “Donating and Recycling Old Cell Phones, iPods, and Other Electronic Gadgets.”


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