Here’s a quick way to replenish your bank account after paying your taxes: trade in your old electronics for cash instead of throwing them out. In addition to money in your pocket, recycling electronics will leave you with the pleasant feeling that results from not letting them leach toxic chemicals into the ground and atmosphere as they sit at landfills and scrapyards. Here are three sites that help:
TradeUps: Choose your item’s make, model and condition and use TradeUps’ shipping label to send it in for cash (shipping costs are deducted from the price of your trade-in). This site takes computers, digital cameras, cell phones, smartphones, MP3 players, gaming consoles, digital cameras, picture frames and projectors, GPS, DVD players, LCD monitors, satellite radios, even power tools.
Best for: handy men
NextWorth: Find your item in the NextWorth database, describe its condition on a checklist and use their prepaid shipping label to mail it in exchange for cash or a Target giftcard. If your local Target participates, you can drop items off there for instant store credit instead of mailing. NextWorth’s menu differs slightly from TradeUps’—they take iPads, iPhones, iPods, cell phones, digital cameras, e-readers, laptops, video games and gaming consoles, GPS, DVDs and Apple TVs.
Best for: Target shoppers
Gazelle: Gazelle seems to take just about everything, including camera lenses, camcorders, calculators, external hard drives and home audio systems (excluding power tools). If your items value at least $1, they’ll provide free shipping and boxes. Gazelle also helps charities run gadget drives, so you can opt to direct your take to a cause at checkout.
Best for: micro-philanthropists and do-gooders
Gazelle’s vast menu and free boxes seem to tip the scales in their favor, but if you have an item that’s accepted by all three sites, check each one’s offer before deciding where to recycle it. Tell us which one is best!