Holidays are for tech presents
If your family is anything like mine, holidays are for tech presents. New gadgets; tablets, chromebooks, Apple galore! We aren’t wasteful, we use our tech until it’s used up. But when it does come time for a new laptop or a phone that hasn’t had 3 replacement screens, we wait until the holidays to treat ourselves.
But what do you do with all that old tech? Especially when you’re like us and don’t buy the newest thing just because it’s new? Resale value on a laptop is only great if it still has that new(er) computer smell. Smartphones always top gift giving guides, but that old iPhone 5 in the kitchen junk drawer isn’t exactly impressing anyone.
Well, you can go back to grade school and remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Recycle? There’s a bin for that?
Not exactly, but there are programs that will take care of your old tech for you. Consumer Reports has a great breakdown on how to go about recycling and why you should. And before you roll your eyes and tell me you don’t want to hear my hippie dippy tree hugger crap, is it really that difficult to recycle a cell phone or laptop? I’m not asking you to use reusable toilet paper (click the link, see if I’m kidding) or anything extreme. Just take a moment to toss that electronic device in the direction of someone who can harvest it for parts and then recycle it into something not bleeding battery acid into the ground.
Ok, but I really can’t sell it?
You can try, but unless you know it’s a version flying off the shelves you may be waiting awhile for a sale. There are other options. Last night I hauled a few dinosaur laptops from my college days into Best Buy. These things were old. They were so old that every employee that saw what I had did a double take with widened eyes.
There was no reselling these bad boys, and I had resigned myself to the fact that I’d probably not get anything for them. But the diligent employees at Best Buy worked their magic and got me $11.50. Don’t scoff! I’ll take an $11.50 store credit ANY DAY if I can get it.
Best Buy isn’t the only place that’ll accept your trade-ins for store credit. Amazon, Apple, and eBay all have their own trade-in programs, and there are smaller companies out there looking to take your tech as well. As Mason at Best Buy explained to me last night, they can harvest metals from the motherboards even when the machine is completely unusable.
I’m still going to just throw it away.
WAIT! STOP! Don’t do it. Seriously. Don’t just throw away your stuff. There is a lot of sensitive information on those machines. You’ve made online purchases, logged into mobile banking, saved pictures of family and friends, and maybe even e-filed your taxes all on those machines. A skilled hacker can grab even a busted laptop and steal info from the hard drive. Take a minute to find out how to recycle it even if you can’t resell it.
If all of this sounds too hard and you really don’t want to get rid of your old tech, you could always set it all up in one room of your house. Decorate it with holiday decorations and let your friend and family wonder if you’re starting to get weird… or call your local Best Buy. You may not get Mason, but I’m sure your sales associate will be just as helpful.
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