Getting Cash for Old Tech Gear

A way to avoid the hassles of selling it yourself.

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Recycling old electronics is the right thing to do. Getting bucks for them is better. Too bad craigslist or eBay seem too much hassle for a three-year-old laptop.

So I was intrigued to hear about services from Circuit City, and now Best Buy, that offer to buy back my old gear. Not cash, mind you, but they'll send gift cards for their respective stores. Without much fanfare, the two chains started working with an outfit called Dealtree. Sure enough, the trade-in price offered by both chains was the same. Look for the "trade in" listing at the bottom of their home pages.

You can also, uh, deal directly with Dealtree through its site, EZtradein.com. In that case, Dealtree will send the money to a PayPal account, which is even nearer to cash than a Circuit City gift card.

EZtradein offered the same price for my laptop. So it would come down to which seemed the most convenient to someone: a gift card or money in a PayPal account.

The price, by the way, offered for my laptop seems fair: $160. That includes shipping to the company, though I have to provide the packaging and do the packing. Still, that's more than I would have expected for a laptop that I bought for $600 three years ago.