How to Sell Your Laptop, Phone, or Tablet for Top Dollar

One hundred dollar bills resting on an iPhonedugwy39 / Shutterstock

So you have decided to turn these old electronic devices into cash. But if you're trying to turn a retired phone or laptop into nothing, you'll have to put some fat in your elbows.

If you want money, sell it yourself

If you want to get the best price for an old phone or laptop, you have to sell it yourself. This means that you will make an extra effort. Yes, there are sites like Gazelle that can do the work for you, but they make a big chunk of your profits.

There are many places to sell your old device, but they all work the same way. You list your product with a photo, a description and a price. Some of these websites allow you to build a national or global list, but most of them focus on local listings. In general, websites with local listings are extremely easy to use and use, but they are not always useful for maximizing profits.

But you can not just create a list that requires little effort for a product and expect you to make a lot of money. You must keep your list as clean, detailed and professional as possible. In this way, potential buyers will spend money on your old phone or laptop without the slightest hesitation or anxiety.

Think of it this way: you are the seller, so it is your job to sell your device. The job of the buyer is to buy, and they should play this role as second nature. If a buyer has questions or concerns about your ad, you have not been able to sell them your product.

You must make sure that the photos, the description and the price of your product can attract and inform potential buyers. It can be difficult and time consuming, but we will guide you step by step.

Format your data and check if something is broken

Do not sell a phone or laptop containing personal photos and login information to Google. It's a stupid idea. Take a minute to format your phone, laptop or tablet before selling it. This step is easy and lets you see if the device is still working.

You can still sell a broken device for a decent amount, but a device that works will always bring you more money. Check that the screen has no error, that the battery is still charging and that all buttons are working. You can go to a repair shop to solve potential problems or not. Some people will buy broken electronics.

Formatting a broken down device can be tricky, but it's still an important step. If your phone display is faulty, consider having it repaired and then formatting it. The repair will increase the value of your phone and you will be able to erase your data. Alternatively, you can use software like LockWiper format your broken phone from a computer.

Make your product as new as possible

Nobody wants to pay the big price for electronics that look worn out, so take a minute to clean your old phone or portable before selling it. A little isopropyl alcohol can go a long way (do not use soap or water, you know better than that). Even though this old iPhone still works like new, appearance is everything.

A man cleans his laptop with water and soapJonas Sjoblom / Shutterstock

Remove all stickers from the device and clean the residue with alcohol. It may be tempting to use a knife to remove the stickers, but try first with your hands to avoid scratches.

Then clean the details, such as buttons and folds. With laptops, you might want to take a minute to clean the keyboard. There are probably a few years of sodas, Cheeto dust and dead skin stuck in there. We do not pretend that keyboard cleaning is fun, but hey, would you buy a laptop filled with petrified food and organic dust? I did not mean it.

If you are trying to sell damaged electronics, it may be tempting to ignore the cleanup phase. Do not skip it. People who buy broken electronics are not dirty sewer creatures (well, most of them are not) and they will pay more for something that looks clean.

Take good detailed pictures

If you publish your old phone or tablet on a website such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace or LetGo, you may want to create good images. This is perhaps the most dreaded step in the sales process, but it is the most important. Buyers look at the images before looking at the descriptions, and people will pay a premium for a professionally listed product.

You do not need a sophisticated camera to take good pictures; your phone will work fine. Just try taking photos on a clean surface with a lot of light. Ideally, your list of products will look like a business, and not a junk in a dirty kitchen.

You do not need to take a million different photos; just make sure all your bases are covered. Turn on the device's display (if it works) and get a good mix of close-ups and close-ups. Take pictures of any scratched or damaged areas and make sure the product is not hidden by a phone case. Do not forget that potential buyers should not have to ask you questions.

If something extra is included with the phone, tablet, or laptop you've listed, you want to display it in the images. These additional items will always add value to what you sell, and buyers need to know what they are buying. If cables are included, show them. If retail packaging is included, show it.

Write a good, concise description

You do not need to write a dissertation for your product. At best, a short and organized description is preferable. In this way, buyers can take the plunge without being overwhelmed or confused. Do not forget that buyers should not waste their time thinking. they should spend their time buying.

For phones and tablets, you will usually want to list the model number, storage space, and conditions. For laptops, try including the full model number (usually at the bottom of it), as well as specifications such as RAM, internal storage, and processing power.

An iPhone X case on a stack of moneyGorlov-KV / Shutterstock

Be sure to mention any defects, even if they are only cosmetic. And include information on any additional items that come with the device, such as charging cables.

If you are selling a faulty device, take a moment to find out who would buy it. Maybe someone will use it for parts or maybe he will try to fix it. You must include additional information that may be important to these buyers. Detail it's missing something, if the device makes noises or it lights up.

You can add tantalizing and attractive details to the seller, but be concise. For example: "This little-used notebook is very fast and is ready for games or office work."

Now, above all else, you have to follow the dealers' golden rule. Do not lie and guess. If you can not find the technical details of your old electronic device, you must admit it in the description. If you have never launched a game on your old laptop, do not say it is "Fortnite compatible".

Calculate a good price

This is the fun part. There are two ways to determine a good price for your product. You can set a number based on the retail price or check how many other people are earning with the same product.

If you want to go the easy way, you can base your selling price on the retail price. This method is not perfect and only works for electronic devices still available on the market, such as a newer laptop or tablet. Take the current selling price and cut 100 or 200 dollars. That's it, it's a decent selling price. Of course, you will want to further reduce the price if there are problems or imperfections.

The other method of pricing takes a little more time, but it helps you set a realistic price while maximizing profits. You will need to know how much money people usually pay for the product you are selling. EBay's advanced search tool makes it super easy. You type the name of your product and click on the box "Ads sold". Boom, you can now set a price based on previous ads.

If the phone or laptop you're selling has defects, take a second to look for sold ads with similar issues. In this way, you can have a better idea of ​​the amount that buyers are willing to pay for your damaged product.

Make an offer, barter or stay strong?

It can be tempting to auction your product on eBay or to negotiate with buyers on LetGo. After all, an auction item sells faster and a buyer who tries to barter is probably interested in a little money.

A smug man casually throwing 100 dollar bills in the air like a rainSyda Productions / Shutterstock

If you are trying to maximize your profits, it is better to stay strong and offer a fixed price. But if you want to finish, you can open your product to offers or negotiations. Do not forget that a product listed by professionals will always have more value for potential buyers, even if they bid or negotiate.

Or, take the easy way for less money

If all this work seems disproportionate, you can also choose the easiest way. No, you should not throw away your old phone or laptop, you must use a reseller website or participate in a buy-back program.

Resellers, like Gazelle, are willing to pay a decent amount for old devices. These sites are super easy to use. there is no writing or research involved. You connect information about your device and get a quote on the spot. If you like the quote, you send the device to the dealer and you get paid.

At the moment, Gazelle will pay $ 125 for a 256GB iPhone 7 in a "fair" state. This is the kind of payment we are looking at here. (For the sake of reference, you can sell the same iPhone with a very cracked screen for $ 235 on eBay).

Here are some popular reseller sites:

If you are not interested in a reseller, you can participate in a buyback or exchange program. These programs will usually give you a store credit or a discount for new purchases, such as a phone upgrade. Sometimes they will even pay you for broken devices.

Here are some popular buyback and exchange programs:


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