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USA TODAY

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Feb 28, 2021
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About this Deal

I just did something that I’ve been putting off for years; found, cleaned and sold more than $2,000 worth of old cell phones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles. Not a bad haul for a few hours on a Saturday morning during a pandemic.

Rooting around in my garage, drawers, and closets for all the dusty devices I’ve been storing took about an hour, but the actual selling part? That took less than thirty minutes.

Granted, I have more digital doodads than the average person since it’s my job and all. But according to a recent survey, Americans have some $43 billion worth of old gadgets sitting around collecting dust — and losing value as time goes on. Four in every five people have an old cell phone, and most people stand to make at least $200 by cashing them in.

Turn your connected clutter into cash
I’ve talked about dozens of different ways to turn your connected-clutter into cold, hard cash in the past including eBay, Craigslist, Nextdoor, ecoATM, and many others. But for this particular pandemic weekend project, I used one single site called Decluttr.

I picked this one because it’s selling to a company — not peer to peer — so there's no writing descriptions, taking photos, managing auctions, meeting people face-to-face, or even leaving the house. (Score!) I’ve always been a fan of doing the least amount of work for the biggest return, and this is as easy as it gets.

I did a price-check with other similar sites too and found that Decluttr routinely offers more than other similar sites, especially on higher-priced items such as a MacBook Pro. Here’s a sampling from the gadgets I ended up selling.

How to do it yourself
When you’re selling tech gadgets, versus DVDs, CDs, books and other items you can sell on Decluttr, the easiest way to do it is to pull up the full site on a laptop or mobile device.

Choose “Sell Tech” from the top menu bar or hit the big green “Start Selling” button. Enter a little bit of information or follow the prompts to find your specific device, choose a carrier or “unlocked,” and choose between “good, poor, or faulty” as the condition. The company outlines how to figure out which category to choose. Add as many devices as you want to sell and send them all in at the same time. You can also download and use the Decluttr app (iOS, Android) too, but that’s easier to do for media like DVDs and books because of the barcode scanner feature, which isn't available for gadgets. For tech, it’s actually easier to use the site.

You don’t need to include chargers, accessories or your gadgets' original packaging, but the company will recycle them if you do. You’ll get an instant price quote based on that initial info you provide, but you’re not quite done yet.

Don't make these common mistakes
Just because you get quoted a specific price, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically walk away with big, big bucks. Take a few minutes and read through the company’s fine print.

For gadgets, Decluttr says the price they offer is valid for 28 days. They also explain that they might “revalue” the item. This might happen if the gadget you send isn’t in the condition you listed, or if it’s a different make, model, or connected with a carrier when you choose “Unlocked.”

If the company makes you a counter-offer, you have 14-days to accept or decline it with the link they send via email. If you decline it, they’ll send your gadget back.

Once the gadget gets to the Decluttr warehouse, it goes through a quality assessment process, checked to make sure it isn’t lost, stolen, or counterfeit, and scrubbed of all your personal data.

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