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Save Money With These Tech Disposal Best Practices

Photo by Alfonso Navarro on Unsplash

Those old electronic devices that you have lying around the house may seem like junk, but you should never just throw them in the trash. Doing so can hurt both the environment and your wallet.

For one thing, electronics like smartphones and laptops can contain trace amounts of toxic substances. While these substances can’t hurt users, they can seriously damage our climate if they end up in landfills.

Protecting the planet is essential, but most people don’t realize they can sell their old tech for cold, hard cash. Believe it or not, throwing your old devices into the trash is basically like throwing free money away.

What’s the solution?

Tossing out your old tech is a real double whammy, as it can hurt both the environment and your bank account. Luckily, there are plenty of companies out there that will pay you handsomely for your old, outdated, or unused devices.

Device trade-in services present a great opportunity for techies, yet they can be difficult to navigate at first. After all, with so many factors to consider, how can you know that you’re getting the most out of your unwanted devices?

With this in mind, we would like to share a few best practices that will help you save money when disposing of your old technology.

Sell Your Old Technology Online

It may be tempting to look for ways to sell outdated tech to family, friends, or local businesses. These methods can prove successful, but they’ll cost you valuable time. Since time is money, why not opt to sell your tech online to a trusted reseller?

More often than not, reputable websites will offer you top-dollar for your devices. This is an easy, risk-free way to dispose of your tech while making some extra money at the same time. Best of all, you won’t have to bother your relatives to see if they want to buy your old devices. Talk about awkward holiday dinner table conversations!

Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions Before Disposal

At first glance, this may seem like a strange tech disposal tip, but it can actually be quite useful. When someone disposes of a smartphone or tablet, they will typically perform a factory reset, which erases all of the data and returns the device memory to a factory-like condition.

Most of the time, this is the smart thing to do, as you don’t want your personal information falling into the wrong hands. However, resetting your device before you cancel unnecessary subscriptions can be a costly mistake in the long run.

Whether it’s an old audiobook service on a smartphone or a gaming subscription on a tablet, disposing of devices presents a great opportunity to get rid of unused subscriptions. Figuring out how to get top dollar for your devices is important, but failing to cut off old services could really do some unwanted damage to your bottom line. 

Back-Up ALL Of Your Data, Every Time

In today’s world, our digital identities (the accounts, information, and virtual services we rely on every day) have become intertwined with our real-world identities. Due to this fact, the unintentional loss of passwords, files, or photos can make for a terrible headache.

While it won’t directly save you money, ensuring that all of the information stored on a device is safely backed-up can make the disposal process much easier. For a technology enthusiast, few feelings are worse than realizing you forgot to properly save your data halfway through performing a factory reset.

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, consider adopting a cloud-based storage service (such as OneDrive or Google Drive) and back-up your data periodically. This will guarantee that the majority of your information will always be safe, regardless of what happens to your device.

Donate Your Device To Charity

Out of all the tips and tricks on our list, this may be the most unconventional. With this being said, donating your device to charity can be a great way to save money on your annual tax bill. In fact, there is a little-known tax rule that allows you to claim donated goods as a tax write off.

(Before we explain this option more, a quick disclaimer: we aren’t financial professionals, so this shouldn’t be considered financial advice. If you have tax questions, please consult a qualified professional).

Generally, when you donate old electronics to charity, you are allowed to claim the fair market value of the device for a tax break. Oftentimes, the fair market value (which can be determined by seeing how much a device is currently being sold at online) will be more than the cash offer you’d receive from a reputable reseller.

This means that you could potentially save more money by donating devices that are truly obsolete (we’re looking at you, iPhone 5). Pretty neat, right?

Always Practice Responsible Tech Disposal

Regardless of what you chose to do with your tech, each and every device must be disposed of correctly. If you find that a device is practically worthless, there are still services out there that will help you properly recycle these items for free.

For example, most technology retailors like Best Buy tend to have in-store kiosks where you can drop off old electronics, batteries, ink cartridges, and much more. Better yet, larger items like laptops can be brought to the Customer Service desk where they will be safely recycled. Thanks, Geek Squad!

Wrapping up

The rapid pace of today’s technology means that devices are becoming outdated quicker and quicker every year. This can be frustrating at times, but it doesn’t mean your old technology is worthless. Instead, old devices are often worth good money even after they’ve become last generation’s model.

With these tips and tricks, you now have the tools necessary to save money when disposing of your tech. Following these best practices can help you save time and money, all while helping to clear out clutter. Above all else, make sure to sell or recycle of your tech in an environmentally responsible manner, as this is the #1 tech disposal best practice out there.