While that old Motorola (MOT)
"[These programs] recognize in this economy that consumers aren't wanting to trade up for something new unless they can get some money back for something old," says Michael Gartenberg, research director for market research firm Jupiter Research.
The process is also quick and easy. You'll receive an estimate on how much your item is worth in a couple of minutes, and receive the payment in as little as two days. "There's no learning curve or waiting for a buyer like eBay (EBAY)
Here's how it works: Sellers answer a few simple questions about the item they want to get rid of and its condition. The site then assesses its current market value. If you accept the offer, you'll receive a prepaid shipping label (and sometimes even a box) to mail in the gadget. The company then verifies the condition of the item and processes the payment.
While selling old gadgets can help pad your wallet, don't expect to get rich. With the exception of a used first-generation iPhone which is the only way to get the device without an AT&T (T)
That said, with so many sites clamoring to take old gadgets off your hands, spend a few extra minutes to collect estimates from them all before you settle on one. Also, keep in mind that sites will vary regarding the type of electronics they buy and the type of payment (check, gift card, charitable donation, etc.) they offer. RadioShack (RSH),
What they buy: Most desktop and laptop computers, MP3 players, LCD monitors, game systems, camcorders, digital cameras, smartphones and PDAs. The warehouse club also recycles CRT monitors, printers and fax machines.
Payment method: Costco (COST)
What they buy: Cellphones, MP3 players, digital cameras, laptops, GPS units, game consoles, satellite radios, portable hard drives and camcorders. Also buys some videgames and Blu-ray movie disks. If you own an item within these categories but the particular model isn't listed, Gazelle will create a personalized quote.
Payment methods: PayPal or check. Payments are processed within 10 business days. You can also opt to donate the trade-in value to one of 30 associated nonprofits, including the American Red Cross and Operation Smile, which provides reconstructive surgery to children in developing countries.
What they buy: Most brands of MP3 players, laptop and desktop computers, flat-screen monitors and cellphones.
Payment method: Visa (V)
What they buy: Only iPods.
Payment method: By check. Payments usually sent within three days. Or trade in your iPod at bricks-and-mortar partner stores, including Circuit City (CC)
What they buy: Most MP3 players, cellphones, cameras, camcorders, GPS units, car audio, laptop computers and game consoles. Also buys some videogames.
Payment method: Receive the value of trade-ins as a Radio Shack gift card. Payment is usually sent within 10 to 14 days.
What they buy: Most brands (not just Toshiba) of desktop and laptop computers, tablet PCs, camcorders, digital cameras, servers, monitors, multimedia projectors, home audio receivers, cellphones, car audio, game consoles, PDAs, MP3 players and GPS units.
Payment methods: By check. Payments are usually mailed within a week. Toshiba also offers a free $25 Starbucks (SBUX)
What they buy: Most game consoles, MP3 players, digital cameras, digital camcorders, GPS units, smartphones, laptop computers and HDTVs.
Payment methods: PayPal, check or charitable donation. Payments usually sent within five to 10 days. Click on the site's Trade4Credit feature, and you can also receive your total as a gift card from retail partner Sears (SHLD)