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  • Don't Keep Your Old Electronics

    December 13th, 2013
    money, phone  [html]
    When people get a new phone or computer they often act as if their old one is now worthless. They put it on a shelf and leave it to sit, until eventually it's old enough that really no one has any use for it. Don't do that! Someone else would like to use it. Put it on Craigslist, post it to Facebook, or ask around at work/school. Whether you charge money or just give it away someone gets $50-$200 of value. It's a kind of recycling that's actually really useful.

    (One reason people might not do this with phones is that we think of them as being worth much less than they actually are. A new top of the line smartphone costs about $600, but is advertised as "$100, with contract". This is a sneaky way of saying "$100 down, we'll loan you the rest, and you'll pay it back two to three times over during the next two years.")

    Update 2014-01-21: I sold my Galaxy SII a few weeks ago when I got a new phone. It was a little over two years old, and I got $150 for it via Craigslist. It helped that it was unlocked and GSM-compatible. One annoying thing was the buyer wanted to test it, but didn't have an appropriately sized SIM. We ended up putting in their SIM just right so it stayed in place while being the wrong size. In the future I'm going to be clear to buyers that the phone takes a SIM of size X and if they want to test it they need to bring an appropriately sized SIM.

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