How to Make Money Recycling Your Electronics

About This Week's Action

How many old cell phones or laptops do you have sitting around your house right now? What about old iPods, cameras, eReader, or GPS systems? Letting these sit is like burning money. You can literally lose money overnight the longer they stay stashed in a drawer or hidden away under an old couch in the attic. So, in preparation for the holiday season (where chances are high that you'll accumulate some new electronic) this week's action is about recycling your electronics to earn money.

Why You Should Recycle Electronics

It's Better for the Environment You don't want to get to a point where you are so tired of having old electronics laying around your house that you just throw them out. Putting electronics in the trash is actually illegal in some places due to the toxins in them. And you don't want your gadget's wires to end up piled around a baby in a third world country (for a photo of what I'm talking about scroll towards the end of this post.) Properly recycling your device will lead to it being disposed of in an environmentally friendly fashion.

You'll Earn Money Who doesn't want a little extra cash? When you sell or recycle your electronics you can get up to hundreds of dollars for them.

How Long Does This Action Take?

It takes just a few minutes per item to recycle gadgets and 5-10 minutes per item to sell them.

How to Make Money Recycling Electronics

1. Take Inventory

Find all the items you have in your house that are old electronics. Anything you have replaced with a new version or haven’t used in the last 6 months should go.

2. Backup Files and Delete

First, copy any files that you might want in the future to an external hard drive, flashdrive or computer.You should hard reset any electronics that don’t have too much private data on them (for instance, I would just do a hard reset of an iPod with music on it). For items with private data, follow instructions that you find when searching “Delete data from[name of device] before selling”. Unfortunately, each gadget will have different instructions, but it's important to protect your privacy.

3. Find a Place to Donate/Recycle Item you Can’t Sell

Before you determine how much you can sell your items for, realize that some items won’t get you a penny. So, before the fun stuff, figure out that more annoying piece, which is what to do with items you can't sell. To determine where you can recycle or sell your old electronics search here for your location and the type of device you're trying to sell.

4. Compare Prices and Sell

Finally, the best part - make money recycling your electronics. If you have a newer device (like an iPhone) try I recommend first trying to sell on Craigslist or eBay. We sold an iPhone 3 not too long ago for $150 on Craigslist.

However, many older items won’t net you that kind of cash. Instead, opt for the $5-$25 you will get on sites like Trade2Save, YouRenew, or Gazelle. When I was thinking about how to sell my mobile I found Top Dollar MObile in the UK to be top rated by Good Housekeeping. Companies that you send in your device to should pay for your shipping. Compare at a few different sites, because prices for your gadget will vary depending on the company.

I’ve recycled old electronics times and it is nice to know that the item will continue to be used and not go to fill up some landfill. Plus, a little extra money is always nice.

What do you do with old electronics? How many do you think you have sitting around your house right now?

Photo Credit: Compujeremy