Getting a new laptop is exciting. It’s a chance to start anew and play around with some new and improved specs.
But, what do you do with your old laptop?
Whether it’s in great shape or barely chugging along, getting rid of your computer can be something of a challenge. Do you sell it? Give it away? Send it to a recycling centre? Even if your laptop has some mileage on it, you may still be able to turn it in for some cash.
Before you sell your laptop online, there are some things to keep in mind before listing your device.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to properly prepare your laptop for sale, as well as some ideas for where you might offload your old computer.
An accurate assessment of your laptop’s value, as well as a clean hard drive, and some good photos are all you need to sell your device. But you will need to do a few things before you can put your item up for sale.
The first thing you should do before you sell your computer is back up everything you need. We recommend moving files to an external storage device and double checking that the transfer was successful before wiping the hard drive.
It’s important to gauge the condition of any product before putting it up for sale. But, if you’re not a tech pro, it might be challenging to come up with an accurate assessment of the device.
To get a sense of your laptop’s condition, ask yourself the following questions:
Write down any instances of damage or wear and tear and use your judgement to determine whether your laptop is in excellent, good, or fair condition. If it barely turns on or has significant damage, recycling might be your best option.
Do you know what kind of graphics card you have? What about processing power? It’s okay if you don’t. The average consumer won’t pay much attention to every laptop spec when weighing their options. Though, if you plan on selling your computer, you’ll need to provide as much information as possible.
If you have a PC, you’ll want to open up the System panel. Windows 8 even shows you a screen that says, “view basic information about your computer.”
In Windows 10, all you need to do is right-click on the start button and hit Device Manager. Here, you’ll find key details about your device from RAM and OS Build, to Processor and serial number.
If you have a Mac, click the Apple icon in the top left corner and select About This Mac in the drop-down menu. From there, you’ll see your serial number, graphics, processor and more.
After you’ve backed up your important documents, photos, more, it’s time to wipe your data. Failure to erase sensitive information can have serious consequences, especially if the laptop was used in a business capacity. In this era of security breaches and data misuse, you don’t want to take any chances.
Here’s how to wipe Windows and Mac laptops ahead of the big sale:
On Windows 10, erasing your data is as simple as using the system’s reset this PC feature. From there, you can securely delete all data on your PC, including your system preferences, installation files, and sensitive data.
How to reset in four steps:
* Open Settings.
* Then click “Update & Security.”
* Click “Recovery.”
* There, you’ll see the prompt, “Reset this PC.” Click the get started button.
* Choose the “Remove Everything” option
* Then remove files and clean the drive.
* Click reset and that’s it.
From there, Windows resets to the default settings, and your laptop is ready to sell.
To wipe a Windows 8 device:
Access by going into your settings and selecting Change PC Settings
Click through to the General category and run the Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows tool and select the Fully Clean the Drive option.
Apple Support recommends taking the following steps before wiping your data:
To erase, you’ll open Disk Utility, then select the disk you’d like to delete, such as Macintosh HD. Click Erase, then quit disk utility. Install Mac OS to restore your laptop to factory settings.
Alternatively, you can download an app like Freeraser, which permanently erases your data with minimal effort on your end.
Online auction site eBay is a popular place to offload all kinds of unwanted items from the clothes that don’t fit to your gently used laptop. eBay is home to 168 million members, meaning, you’re able to sell on a global scale. The platform is relatively straightforward. You’ll start by selecting a model like the one you’re selling, plug in the condition, specs, and add a few photos. From there, you can fill in the details and choose the selling format; auction-style or buy-it-now. While the site doesn’t charge any listing fees, you will need to make sure you add in shipping costs and return options, so you don’t lose money post-sale.
Amazon isn’t just for buying electronics (and, let’s face it, everything else) you can also sell used products on Amazon, as well. The benefit of selling through Amazon is the sheer size of the platform. Chances are, lots of potential buyers will click on your listing.
However, keep in mind, there are some fees involved with selling through Amazon Marketplace. There’s also the possibility you have to handle returns. So, do make sure you review the terms and conditions before you put your laptop on the market.
Facebook Marketplace has the unique benefit of feeling like both a community and a platform for amplifying your message. Buyers can submit their payments through Facebook Messenger, or they can pay by PayPal or however you prefer to handle the transaction.
There are no fees for selling through Facebook Marketplace. However, because it’s less formal than something like Amazon or eBay, there are fewer protections for both parties. Additionally, you can’t rate buyers or sellers, so there’s little recourse for bad actors.
Craigslist is one option for selling well, just about anything, computers included. There are few barriers in place to put up an ad and no fees involved. That said, there are a few risks associated with the platform. For one, Craigslist involves meeting people in person. So, make sure you’re meeting in a public space and don’t go alone.
There are zero protections for buyers or sellers—if someone scams you, you’re on your own. And, because you’re coordinating an in-person sale, you’ll need to account for all of the logistics involved. You’re working around someone else’s schedule and dealing with last minute cancellations. The benefit of using Craigslist is, you don’t have to deal with shipping or returns.
Schpock is a boot sale app available on iOS and Android. The platform aims to provide buyers and sellers with a straightforward platform that allows for on-the-go transactions. There are no listing fees, but users do have the option to pay for promotional features if you’d like to make a quick sale. Additionally, sellers can meet in person to complete the sale or deliver the item and get paid via PayPal.
letgo is an online app for local sales and an appealing interface that feels like a Pinterest board. Similar to OfferUp, letgo targets a local audience. You can also create ads for your items and there are no fees for listing an item for sale.
On letgo, buyers and sellers can send messages directly ahead of the sale, making the process much more straightforward than eBay’s inbox system.
Cash in Your Gadgets presents a different solution than Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. The service offers cash in exchange for your old gadgets and pays for courier collection. Once they receive your laptop, they’ll test it and transfer money via PayPal or bank transfer.
Additionally, the process is quite convenient. Unlike apps where you’re running a photo shoot or fielding calls from people who want to come by to see the computer, Cash in Your Gadgets provides a quote when you enter your device’s serial number. From there, you can send in the item as is. They’ll wipe the device and either recycle your laptop or resell it.
Gumtree is a lot like Craigslist, it’s free and you can find jobs, get rid of an old bike, or sell your laptop. The benefit of using Gumtree is, it’s the largest classified site in the UK, so you’re casting a wider net than you might on Craigslist or letgo.
While Gumtree is owned by eBay, there are few rules to consider and no listing fees. Unlike eBay, most of the transactions are local and face-to-face, so do keep safety in mind as you arrange to meet potential buyers.
Before selecting one of the online sellers above, you should be prepared to write a concise, yet detailed description of your product. The more information the customer has, the more likely they are to buy.
When creating a listing, you should also upload a series of high-quality images that show the device — think USB ports, HDMI, DVD or CD trays. It should also reflect the condition of the item as accurately as possible.
Anything you make a note of while assessing the quality should show up in the photos so that customers can make an informed decision.
Cash in Your Gadgets presents a done-for-you approach to selling your laptop. You only need the most basic of information so no need to take pictures, field questions, or even wipe your device. It’s safe, easy, and you get paid right away.