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3 things to watch out for when selling your old gadgets via auction or recycling sites

YOU can raise some serious cash from flogging your old tech online – but also long as you do your research first. 

There are a number of different places where you can sell it, but which one you choose can affect how much money you can make. 

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Brits can make some extra cash by selling their old tech online [/caption]

Recycling and trading websites specialise in buying secondhand handsets, but how much you’ll get will vary depending on which one you use and the condition of your tech.

Your gadget will also have to pass an inspection by experts, which could see your original offer drop.

Done right, you could be like IT consultant Andrew Jacob who made £2,500 in a year by flogging his old phones, tablets and CDs on trading in sites.

You may be able to get more cash by selling it on sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree but they come with their own drawbacks.

For example, some sites charge sale fees, which will eat into your profits, and there’s no guarantee that the buyer will pay up.

We take you through the main things to look out for when selling your unused gadgets.

1. Don’t sell your tech for less than it’s worth

Some firms will pay you to recycle your old tech, such as smartwatches, laptops and phones but you should shop around to get the best price. 

There are scores of companies that will refurbish them to sell on, including MusicMagpie and mazumamobile. 

To get a quote, you’ll need to provide details of the make, model and condition of your item using the valuation tool on each brand’s website. 

If you’re happy with a price, you then send in your tech where it is later inspected by the in-house team. 

MusicMagpie reduced my £180 laptop offer to £18

ONE The Sun reader has slammed MusicMagpie after it reduced the offer price for two laptops by hundreds of pounds after finding “liquid damage” on them.

In both cases, they asked for the computers to be returned only to sell them for a profit to another gadget recycling company, where inspectors found no damage. 

In August last year, the reader was quoted £180 for an Apple MacBook Pro that was in good working condition, but it was later reduced to £18 after sending it in. 

Convinced that they were wrong, the reader asked for the laptop to be returned to see if they could get a better price elsewhere. 

They ended up selling it to another recycling company, MacBack, for £115 where it passed inspection without any references to the water damage MusicMagpie claimed. 

The same thing happened last month, when MusicMagpie found liquid damage on a 2015 MacBook Air also in good working condition. The offer was reduced from £236 to £43. 

Again, they turned to MacBack where they were paid £201 for the laptop, which also wasn’t flagged as being damaged by water. 

They told The Sun: “I knew that there was no water damage, so was right to ask for the laptop to be returned, and got the money from elsewhere instead. 

“But I guess a lot of people would assume they were telling the truth, and accept a massively lower offer.”

MusicMagpie was unable to tell The Sun how many offers are downgraded after inspection but said that gadgets go through rigorous checks to ensure they’re of the highest quality for the next owner. 

A spokesperson added: “We understand customers’ frustrations when they believe their phone is in perfect working order and we downgrade it.

“We have a highly skilled team of diagnostic specialists grading thousands of devices a day using industry leading software, that will go through 70 different checks, one of which being water damage. 

“The mantra within the business has always been ‘find a reason to say yes’ in terms of accepting items, however this cannot always be the case when there are binary, un-subjective faults like water damage.

“That is why our price promise is there to protect the customer, so that if they are sent a revised price, they can have their phone sent back free of charge and there is no risk for them.”

The valuation may then be adjusted if the inspectors find signs of damage. is a comparison site that scans the web for roughly how much each site will give you for your phone, although these prices can change once you provide more information directly with the recycle firm. 

You should also research recycling websites that are specific for your product as they might be able to give you a better deal. 

For example, specialises in laptops, while Environfone specialises in recycling mobile phones, although it accepts other tech too.

Make sure that the company you choose to go with offers free returns if you don’t want to accept the new price, otherwise you’ll end up out of pocket. 

Some customers have complained about valuations dropping after sending items in. The key thing to remember is that you can reject the offer and go elsewhere.

Secondhand high street retailers, such as CEX, will also give you cash for things like old SatNavs, headphones, TVs and computers, as long as they’re working. Typically they offer less than what you’d get online. 

2. Watchout for seller’s fees 

For really old tech, you might be able to get a better price by flogging it yourself on eBay. 

If it’s old enough to be considered retro, like an Apple Macintosh Classic, then they could be worth up to £1,555.

But don’t be caught out by the seller’s fees – the auction site charges 10% of the money you make, including postage and packaging costs. 

Paypal also takes a cut of your eBay sale worth 3.4% plus 20p. 

How much can I sell my tech for?

IT'S worth shopping around for some quotes on your tech before deciding where to sell it.

We gathered some quotes online from a range of different companies to show you the different prices you may be offered for the same gadget.

Here are some quotes for an Apple iPhone X 64GB, unlocked and in a good condition:

  • eBay – £599 (average, not including fees)
  • Facebook Marketplace – Up to £425
  • CEX – £325
  • MusicMagpie – £305
  • Mazumamobile – £285
  • Geckomobile – £265.87
  • GadgetsRecycled – £230
  • FonePal – £80

For example, if you sold something on eBay for £100 plus £5 postage, you’d be charged £10.50 by eBay and £3.77 by PayPal. This will leave you with £90.73.

You should also consider setting a reserve price, which means your item won’t sell if it doesn’t meet it. 

This means you can still set the starting bid low to attract buyers with a guarantee you won’t get less than what you want for it. 

Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree will let you sell your wares for free but you run the risk of the seller not paying up. 

Unlike eBay, these selling platforms don’t take responsibility for investigating any sales that go wrong. 

If you’re not desperate for the cash, you could consider giving them to a charity, like ComputerAid, which will take your computer to send to education sites in developing countries. 

The Weee Charity recycles old computers and electrical equipment and gives it to those who need it the most.  

3. Factory reset your tech 

Nowadays, we rely on our tech for so much, such as online shopping, emails and banking, and to speed up the logging in process, many of us often choose for our phones and laptop to remember our passwords. 

You will need to make sure to factory reset your tech before selling it on to somebody else.

This involves wiping its memory completely – not just deleting your photos off it – and restoring it to all of the settings that were in place when you bought it from the shops. 

Doing this will help to protect all of your personal information and data when you sell it onto the next person. 

You can find the factory reset option by looking through the settings on your device. 

Before hitting the reset button, you should also take steps to back everything up because once it’s been wiped there is no way of getting it back.


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