Cashing In Old Electronics

Andrea Weinreb says, "As a family, we just have a lot of junk."

Andrea Weinreb knows you shouldn't throw electronics out with the trash because of all the toxins they can contain.

Andrea explains, "You have a basement, and you just keep putting it down there."

The Weinreb's basement is stuffed with their bulky electronic castoffs. Upstairs there are old iPods and other smaller stuff they don't want.

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says you can turn your old gadgets into cash.

Lisa Lee Freeman with Consumer Reports ShopSmart says, "The latest trend is stores and online retailers like offering cash or trade-ins for your old electronics."

Best Buy, for instance, will take back "gently used" laptops, iPods, and mobile phones right at the store with a Best Buy receipt.

At Best Buy online, you'll be able to trade in a wider variety of products, even older items bought at other stores. As with many other retailers, you'll get a gift card in exchange.

Radio Shack also buys old electronics in stores or online.
And Target runs an electronics trade-in program with the company NextWorth.

Freeman explains, "Hot products like iPhones and iPads will get you the best prices."

But prices vary. For instance, a 16-gig iPhone can get $125 on the site Cell it Used, $132 dollars on Gazelle, and nearly $250 dollars on Glyde.

Lisa points out, "To get the most for your electronics, try to hang on to accessories like manuals, cases, and chargers. The original boxes help, too."

And even if the retailer won't give you anything for your old stuff, usually you can still send it in and the company will recycle it responsibly.

You can also consider making a donation of your old electronics to charities like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, as long as they are in good working condition.

You can get more information on how to unload old electronics in Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine now on newsstands.

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