Sell Your PC (and Other Gadgets)

Need cash to buy the latest and greatest? Here's how to turn your old tech toys into new gear

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Patrick Miller, PC World - It's not your fault they keep making faster processors, slicker smartphones, and bigger TVs. You didn't ask them to invent an HD camcorder that fits in your pocket. The important part is, they made 'em, and you want 'em.

[ Confessions of tech hoarders ]

But the growing pile of old gadgets in your desk drawer and closet are making you feel a little guilty, and you can't always afford to lay down more cash for the newest, shiniest stuff.

Don't worry--we'll walk you through what you can sell and how you can get the best price possible, so you can turn your tech antiques into 2010's latest and greatest.

What Should I Sell?

If you don't plan properly, you could potentially spend so much time selling your old gear that you'd get a better hourly rate of return by spending 30 minutes taking your tech to a recycling center and picking up a side job washing windshields on the expressway.

Before you start listing your stuff on eBay, you need to sort out what's worth your investment of time to sell them. That, of course, depends on how much you value your time, but we have a few suggestions for you.

Easy to Sell: Laptops, Desktops, Smartphones

Laptops are prime candidates for resale, though your price will depend heavily on the model's age and initial price.

Higher-end business or professional laptops can be compelling buys even if they're two to three years old, especially if they have a current operating system and decent specs.

Older netbooks and low-cost all-purpose laptops, however, will have a tough time competing against the current low-end lineup.

Desktops are similar to laptops; models that were midrange to high-end three years ago can sell for a price roughly equivalent to a current low-end to average model, but budget desktop PCs are significantly harder to resell.

Don't expect your upgrades to bump the price too much, either--a bleeding-edge graphics card when you bought the PC is probably equivalent to a current low-end model, and some upgrades (like high-end sound cards, for example) are simply handled by a current motherboard.

Smartphones are fairly easy to sell--older BlackBerry models are still viable for business-minded smartphone shoppers who don't want to deal with a new contract.

Also, iPhone 3G and unlocked first-generation iPhones still can fetch a decent price--especially for people who lost or damaged their AT&T-subsidized iPhone and don't want to shell out for an unsubsidized replacement model.

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