Creating Space & Making Money by Selling Old Electronics

Posted on Mar 4 2013 - 11:40am by Susan Bewley

During our move back to Kentucky, I was surprised at just how many electronics we had, both in our apartment and at the house. Nearly every closet I looked into had boxes of old computer parts or old electronics that we don't even use. I even found two or three old gaming systems neatly boxed away in the closet. I'll freely admit, my husband and I are tech packrats. As someone who strives to be eco-friendly, however, I can't stand the thought of getting rid of anything. For this reason, as part of our spring cleaning efforts, I decided it's time to donate or sell our old electronics.  When I decided to sell my stuff, I go to a local used store, but if you live in the UK, you enjoy the convenience of using an online store like Music Magpie.

What to Donate or Sell

While many of us like to keep electronics or an old television for a rainy day – let's face it, odds are good that we will never use it again.  When we came back home, we had three microwaves sitting around. How could anyone possibly use three microwaves? When looking at your old electronics, remember why you replaced them in the first place. Usually, we replaced an old device for a reason. We wanted something with more features or maybe they stopped making games for that old gaming system?

When looking at everything in your closet, I recommend sorting electronics into three categories:

  • Electronics that work & are spares
  • Electronics that are outdated
  • Electronics that no longer operate

By putting items in one of these categories, it is easier for me to decide if it's better to sell my stuff or keep it.  If electronics fall in the last category, it may be time to bring them to your nearby recycling center. DO NOT throw them in the trash. Some electronics, especially old monitors and televisions, can have mercury inside the tube, or lead shielding elsewhere. These devices should be properly disposed of so they do not do harm to the environment or other people.

Making Money From Old Tech

Want to know a little secret about many people don't realize? You can make money off those old electronics that are collecting dust in your closet. In the past, I used to make some extra money selling stuff at online retailers – especially my old electronics and books. It is my own goal this year to get rid of all the outdated electronics, especially televisions and gaming systems. I cannot think of any reason why I would ever get out the old Xbox or Playstation 2 – making them prime targets for selling since they won't be missed. Be

While I can sell my stuff at an auction site, this can be very time consuming. Personally, I prefer selling my stuff to stores that buy used electronics, games, and music since you can very quickly turn these old electronics into cash. Usually you can get a fair price on used items from online used retailers like Music Magpie.  I believe very strongly in the philosophy of one man's junk is another man's treasure. Best of all, everyone wins – you get cash and someone gets a new (to them) gaming system or other device they were hoping to find!  Who knew spring cleaning could be so much fun?



Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

29 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Katie K March 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    I'm a big fan of donating old electronics.  I think I heard that old cell phones are usually refurbished and given to African countries.  You help someone out, clear up space i your home, and save more things from going to the trash!

    • Susan Bewley March 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Depending on where you donate them they are also given to military personal. 🙂

  2. April Wray March 5, 2013 at 9:21 am - Reply

    I agree with you! I usually will take my old phones to a store that re-furbishes them since they pay me cash for each one. My kids like to take their old game systems to stores like Game Stop to trade them in for something newer

  3. Ellen Anderson March 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I'd never really considered what to do with all of my old cell phones… I have a box of them under my bed that are just sitting there! Thanks for the great information!

  4. WidyaningA March 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Very good idea … thanks for sharing.

  5. Susan Alban March 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    I mostly donate old electronics that I have about. Luckily I don't have a closet full of them.. right now just a drawer full of old cell phones!

  6. steve mccuan March 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    I pass everything down to my grandkids

  7. Sara March 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reminder. We have a very old desktop computer that takes up a ton of space. No one uses it, my older kids get laptops from their school, and I have a laptop and hubby and I have sm. art phones. I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the desk it goes on all together!

  8. lisa March 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    I need to get on that. We have so much stuff sitting around. Thanks for the tips.

  9. sam dock March 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    I have a box full of old cell phones and accessories I need to do something with.

  10. Gina H. March 8, 2013 at 12:36 am - Reply

    That motivates me clean out my old electronics (so many!). Do stores buy back broken elecronics or only old ones that still work?

  11. Lisa Garner March 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    I've found that selling my older electronics on local swap/sell Facebook groups has worked really well for me.

  12. Sylvia Ortiz March 9, 2013 at 12:41 am - Reply

    My husband and I sell our old electronics online in a bulk lot – it attracts more buyers and allows us to make extra cash for items that are needed.

  13. Rich Hicks March 9, 2013 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Our basement looks like a warehouse fo old electronics.  Your post inspires me to get busy and get rid of the aging stuff!

  14. Susan Smith March 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I agree I  take my old phones to a store that re-furbishes them since they pay me cash for each one. My kids take games they no longer play with to GameStop to get credit for a new game.

    • Susan Bewley March 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      I love Game Stop! We trade in so many old games there!

  15. Katherine D Schmidt March 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Great idea! Thanks for the info! 🙂

  16. illy junus March 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the info, i will try to get rid lots an old cell phone that just sitting around my house, maybe it's a junk for us, but for others is not

  17. nicole w March 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    I have several old cell phones sitting in my closet, because I never know what to do with them. Thanks for this post!

  18. Andrew L. March 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing these tips. We have some old cell phones laying around I have no clue what to do with.

  19. Nicole Becker March 11, 2013 at 1:10 am - Reply

    I am on several Mom Swaps and sell alot of stuff I dont use anymore. Great ideas you have though. Thanks

  20. Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More March 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I need to do this!  I feel like a squirrel with old electronics stashed all around the house.

  21. Bobby Tarumi April 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    It's definitely more timely to sell online, but we'd probably get more money that way than if we sold our old electronics to local stores. Physical stores (e.g. pawn shops) buy old electronics for like 1/10 the price that you paid. Sounds like a ripoff, but even that's as much as you can expect- if they can't resell your stuff to someone else, they'd still have to get rid of it somehow. They end up having to resell to a wholesaler for a tiny profit. They get ripped off by wholesalers, consequently you get ripped off by pawn shops lol. Online auctions and are probably better options IF you have the time 🙂

  22. Patricia May 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    If it's something we thing of perceived value, we sell it online. It doesn't usually take too much as we price the gadget really low but way higher than what local stores offer. 

  23. Kyla Hickey August 9, 2013 at 1:25 am - Reply

    We had a bunch of old electronics in our apartment before we moved, and I made it a priority to list every single item on Craigslist. Luckily, we were able to sell everything and it felt great to get rid of unnecessary stuff from our space. The only item we still have is an old HP printer that is super slow and bulky. I want to get rid of it (even if it means donating it), but my boyfriend is hesitant to give it away; he wants to keep it "just in case". We almost never use it because we're paperless and rarely have to print a physical document, so I'm hoping to finally let it go soon. 

  24. Michelle S October 1, 2013 at 11:37 am - Reply

    I really like your idea of dividing the electronics into the 3 categories – I really need to get a handle on our old electronics that just lay around.

  25. Kristin Welch November 3, 2013 at 1:09 am - Reply

    Great ideas about what to do with old electronics that you're not using anymore. Kentucky caught my eye though; I live in KY!! 🙂 Anyway, never thought about selling stuff through online resources, I'm like you, I typically sell to stores or yard sales.

  26. Maple May 13, 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on sell my stuff.

Leave A Response