What do you do with your old laptops? If you’re like most, you set them aside once you’ve bought a new one with plans to organize your files and neatly transfer them to your new device. Except then you get distracted by everything your shiny new laptop can do, your files don’t get organized, and the old laptop goes into your closet to take up space.
Here’s the thing, though – that laptop could be recouping some of the cost of your new machine instead. So why not sell it? It’ll guarantee your files get transferred before a corrupted hard drive happens, too!
No one wants to deal with corrupted data. That’s not a good time.
Instead, check out my post to discover how easy it is to sell your used laptops – it just requires a small amount of time, taking a few pictures, and checking out a few of the sites below until you determine where you find the best deal.
First Things First
If you’ve decided to sell your used laptop, you need to prepare it for selling. That means making sure you have everything that goes with it (manuals, charge cords, that sort of thing) and that you’ve evaluated any problems it might have, such as a broken keyboard, inoperative USB ports, and so forth. You’ll need to clearly disclose any damages or defects present in the machine when you advertise it for sale to someone else or sell it to a company like Gazelle, since these things will affect how much you can expect to receive for your used laptop. It’s a pain to get excited about an offer only to have the company you sold it to reach out to you with a revised offer because your used laptop wasn’t as you described it.
Next, you should wipe every bit of personal data off of your used machine. Make sure you’ve backed up everything first – say, by organizing your files and transferring them to your new machine or moving all your files to Google Drive. Then securely erase the hard drive and reset the device to factory settings. You can learn how to do what’s necessary through Google – try searching “how to prepare laptop for selling” to get you going.
Now that you know what you’re working with, let’s dive into 10 of the best places to sell your used laptop online.
Where to Sell
Gazelle has been around for over 10 years – you may remember their commercials being all over television some five years back. They're still around and still buying people's used devices today – so long as it's an item you can find listed on their website, that is. As with similar sites, they'll ask you some questions about the condition of your used device and then make you an offer. If you like the offer, use their free shipping to ship the device to them. Once they confirm your laptop's condition, they'll issue your payment through either Paypal, check, or Amazon gift card – however you elected to be paid when you sent the item to them. If they determine that your item is in worse condition than indicated, you’ll have the chance to review a revised offer, but you’ll only have five days to decline it and have them ship your item back to you for free.
Some of the best places to sell your used laptop online are those golden oldie websites that've been around for over 20 years – one of the most notable being eBay. If you click over to eBay right now, you'll find that they have a very robust section of their site dedicated to computer equipment of various types, including laptops and netbooks.
How much you can get for your used laptop depends on what you have to sell – but eBay can give you the tools to list it for sale and promote your auction. As long as you're listing less than 50 things each month on eBay, you won't even have to pay a listing fee – you'll just be charged a 10% fee on the final value of your sale (there may be additional fees, as well – check the fine print).
They'll also help you figure out shipping – make sure you remember to factor that into how much you want to make on your used device. You can sell for a set price or put a reserve price on an auction to make sure you’re not selling your laptop for less than you want to make.
Of course, you can also sell your used items to Amazon: this retail giant dabbles in everything. They accept many types of electronics (and other used items) – on some of them, you may have the opportunity to do a trade-in. For example, you can trade in your used Kindle, tablets, cell phones, etc.
Even if they’re not taking your used laptop in trade, however, you can list your item for sale by setting up a seller account. Just do some research before you list your items, as there does seem to be a risk for being scammed when selling used electronics on Amazon.
4. Gadget Salvation
Gadget Salvation is a business built on helping you sell your used gadgets online and get paid for it. The process is pretty straightforward: Get a quote first by telling them what device you have and answering some questions about its condition. They'll provide you with a postage-paid shipping label to send your used laptop to them. Make sure you pack it carefully so that it doesn't get damaged on the trip. Once they receive your item, they'll test your device and evaluate its condition. If everything matches what you told them, they'll pay you what they quoted you within 48 business hours. If they determine the condition is worse than what you indicated, they'll send you a revised offer. You can either accept it or request that they return your used laptop to you (which they’ll do free of charge). If you do choose to get paid, they’ll pay you by Paypal, Venmo, check, or bank transfer – whichever method you prefer.
Speaking of golden oldies, you can also sell your used laptop via Craigslist! There are just a few important items to note. First, there’s a real-life component to this selling method – you’ll list what used item you have on offer in the Craigslist site local to you, and make arrangements with a prospective buyer (once you have one) to exchange the used laptop for money. What this means, secondly, is that you need to be safety-conscious when setting up the sale.
Meet any potential buyers in a public place and bring friends. Also, be explicit and upfront about the state of your used laptop, what accessories and components it comes with, and that you’re selling it as-is. And just don’t ever give anyone you met on Craigslist your home address.
If you’ve watched any TV commercials over the last few years, you’ve seen a commercial for LetGo – they’ve made a name for their app with their oddball ads! Since its founding in 2015, LetGo’s had over 200 million listings on their app and website. Famously, all you have to do is take a picture of the item you want to sell and list it on the app – someone decides they want to buy it, and you meet up to exchange your used laptop for their cash. You can think of LetGo like a local classifieds section you find on your smartphone. You decide how much you want to sell an item for, and who to sell it to. As with other selling processes that include a real-world component, make sure you’re being safe when you meet with a prospective buyer. Interested in apps similar to LetGo? Check out OfferUp or Close5 (which is listed as an eBay classifieds group).
7. Mac Me an Offer
Are you trying to sell a Macbook or some other used Apple product? There’s a whole site for that! Mac Me an Offer is a division of macofalltrades.com, and they boast they've paid out over 18 million dollars over their nearly 25 years in business. The process to sell your used device to them is the same as with most others: select your used product on their site, tell them about it, get an estimate, and they'll send you a formal offer. If you accept it, you can move on to the shipping portion, which they pay for. They pay out through Paypal or check within three business days after they've received and verified your product. According to Flipsy, they have great reviews from folks who've sold to them, make good purchase offers, and they're a Google Trusted Store.
8. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is another great reason not to discount selling your used laptop online to locals. If you’ve never noticed this little gem, you’ll find a link to your local Marketplace in the left-hand menu of your Facebook page. It should be near the top. Click on it, and you’ll find all sorts of items for sale by folks local to you. You can easily offer your used electronics on this platform, too – take some pictures, pick the appropriate category, describe what you're offering, and set your price. Once a buyer indicates interest in your listing, you'll get a Facebook message and can coordinate meeting up with them and getting paid. As always, safety first: meet in a public place, bring friends, and don’t tell strangers on the Internet where you live.
Swappa is a selling platform that lets you list your used items for sale – they just facilitate the sales process to buyers who browse their platform. In order to sell your used laptop with them, you'll have to create a listing with pictures and a description. Swappa reviews every listing to make sure that what you're selling meets their quality criteria, and you'll have to prove ownership of the item before your listing is approved. You set your own price, and Swappa handles payment so you get paid immediately via Paypal. Then you ship your item directly to the customer. The only person who seems to pay fees on Swappa is the buyer, and that fee is incorporated into the advertised price for your used electronics.
10. Best Buy
If you’re a fan of Best Buy – gotta love their customer loyalty points – you can also sell your used laptops (among other items) to them. Visit their website and access their Trade-In Program via the links in their website footer (it’s in the Support & Services column). They'll help you estimate the trade-in value on your old laptop – you just choose the appropriate product category for what you're selling, tell them about the device (brand, model, condition), and they’ll give you an estimate of what they’ll pay for it. You can even ship the item to them if you don’t want to walk into a brick-and-mortar store.
Note that they’ll pay you with a Best Buy gift card if you accept the trade-in. For any other questions, including the breakdown on how they grade your used laptop, check out their FAQ.
Now, grab your used laptops and start snapping photographs of them. They’re worth way more to you as green in your pocket than dust gathered in your closet. Don’t miss out on some free cash when you can sell your used laptop instead.