By: Doug Feirstein, CEO and Co-Founder, uSell.com
With the fall semester in full swing, like most college students you’re probably already in need of some cash. This time of year, after shelling out for books, dorm room accessories and a meal plan, chances are you’re fishing for funds anywhere you can find them.
The good news is: you’re not alone. With 45% of the average student budget going to tuition and room and board alone, according to a student budget breakdown by Westwood College, that doesn’t leave much for food, books, transportation and entertainment.
But before you go donating blood or hunting for loose change in the couch, consider this: you probably have old or unwanted gadgets just sitting in your desk drawer that you could be turning into spending cash. In fact, based on EPA estimates, over one billion wireless phones are gathering dust in households across the U.S.
And it’s not just cell phones that you can sell back. All electronics are worth something and there’s latent value in just about anything, from mp3 players to digital cameras, tablets, e-readers, even your old PlayStation.
Here are some helpful tips for making the most of your old electronics and turning trash into cash:
- Don’t procrastinate! I’m sure you’re used to waiting until the last possible second to do your laundry or turn in that English paper, but if you’ve been putting off trying to sell back your old gadgets, wait no longer. The older the device, the less money you’re likely to get for it, so be sure to trade in old items as soon as possible.
- Protect your stuff. Are you carrying around that smartphone or tablet without a case? Any physical wear and tear on electronics, including scratches, nicks, dents and cracks, will significantly decrease its buyback value. Protecting your gadgets now is an investment that will pay off down the road.
- Keep the extras. Be sure to hang on to any chargers, connection cords or other accessories your device came with, and if you can, the original box. This makes it easier for items to be resold once they’re refurbished which can add significant value. My recommendation? Put them in a clearly labeled plastic shoebox as soon as you remove them from the packaging, this way they won’t get separated over time.
- Skip the engraving! Whatever you do, do NOT engrave your iPhone, iPod or iPad. This kind of customization negates any resale value in the device. Make your gadgets your own by outfitting them with fun, colorful case instead.
- Shop around. From corporate buyback programs to peer-to-peer sales channels such as eBay and Craigslist, there are lots of different ways to earn cash for electronics, but the first offer isn’t always the best. Obtain multiple offers or go to a comparison-shopping site for electronic re-sale like ours to see which service offers the most cash for your goods. Plus, uSell.com’s 100% Max Cash Guarantee ensures consumers get the most cash for their items or we’ll pay you the difference.
Douglas Feirstein is the CEO and Co-founder of uSell.com, The Consumer Cash Commerce Platform™, that instantly finds the highest cash offers from top-rated buyers of cell phones and electronics.