How to Sell Your Used Devices

Technology has a life span like any other product. You may need to upgrade your older devices for personal or professional use. Either way, you don’t need to throw out a potential source of cash when your new tech arrives. Learn how to sell your used devices and make money to put toward your next tech purchase.

1.   Back Everything Up

Backing up your device saves all of your data in a secure location. You won’t need to replace any passwords or even remember which apps you downloaded to your tablet. When your new tech arrives, you’ll just have to download your most recent backup to restore everything as it was on your old device.

Depending on what you want to sell, there are a few ways to back-up devices — a cloud system, an external hard drive or a thumb drive. Anyone with a significant amount of data to save may prefer a cloud account or hard drive with a terabyte of memory.

2.   Pick a Place to Sell

Next, you should research the best places to sell your used devices. You might use a local pawn shop, a virtual marketplace or an app for used goods. It depends on what you want from your experience.

A tech store with trained professionals could handle the entire process for you while paying upfront for your device. If you decide to find a buyer yourself, you’ll have to manage potential negotiations and shipping costs. Consider how quickly you need the cash to determine the best place to sell your used tech.

3.   Factory Reset Your Tech

Handing a stranger your unlocked phone, laptop or tablet is unthinkable. They would immediately gain access to everything stored on your device. Anyone can do the same thing if you sell your tech. All they need to do is access your hard drive, any saved information in your settings or open apps for banking or shopping.

Factory resets erase everything on devices. It wipes them clean, so they’re blank slates for new users. It’s easy to do at home and keeps sensitive data private by deleting information like:

  • Passwords
  • Saved payment information
  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Log in information

Research the type of device you have and the model to find a factory reset walkthrough. It’s the best way to secure your information before selling, but ensure that you only perform a reset if you have a replacement device available. Otherwise, you’d have to reactivate everything and resave your data if you needed to access the internet or make a phone call.

4.   Clean Your Devices Thoroughly

You wouldn’t buy a new phone or laptop if there was grime stuck in the ports or keys. Clean your used device thoroughly before listing it or taking pictures for your virtual marketplace post. That means using a cotton swap to clean the charging ports and taking your laptop’s keyboard apart to get crumbs and dirt out. A polished device will sell quickly and for more money.

5.   Write a Great Product Description

If you choose to sell your device online, you’ll have to write a great product description to make your device stand out from all of the rest. Put yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes to include all the information they need to make a purchase.

Mention how old your device is and any damage it experienced in your care. Include things like how much memory it has and its processing capabilities. Recreate everything that would appear on a retailer’s website to describe a brand new device so potential buyers know if it’s the best tech for their needs.

Earn From Used Devices

Use these tips to learn how to sell your used devices with ease. By preparing for the sale and researching your selling options, you’ll have a great experience making extra cash while upgrading your daily tech.

About the Author

Devin Partida
Devin Partida writes about retail, consumer electronics and technology in general. To read more from Devin, visit her page on