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9 ways to profit from broken electronics

Even broken electronics have resale value. Here's how to make a bit of money from them.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 12, 2013 3:30PM

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneySelling your older-model smartphones, laptops and other electronic gadgets is a fairly easy way to bring in extra money (or offset the cost of buying new devices), but what if those old models are broken?

Damaged laptop © Jason Stang, Photo LibraryYou might be tempted to send them straight to the recycling center, but even broken electronics can bring in a little cash. Before you recycle, check out these options for selling your gadgets.


You won't get as much as you would for like-new items, but the extra cash may be worth it.

In person

If you'd rather skip the hassle of shipping your broken electronics, try selling to an individual or dropping the item off at a resale kiosk. Here are a few places to find a buyer.

  • Craigslist. It's free to post ads on Craigslist, but you'll have to deal with meeting prospective buyers and handling the transaction yourself. To increase your chances of having a successful sale, be descriptive in your ad and include photographs. Craigslist allows up to four photos.
  • Yard sales. If you have other used items to sell, why not hold a garage sale and get rid of everything in one weekend? If you need some help, we have loads of tips on how to throw a high-volume garage sale. If you have a box full of broken electronics, offer one price for the whole lot.
  • Local resellers. Local electronics repair businesses might be interested in buying your electronics for parts. Try calling a few and asking what they would pay.
  • EcoATM. If you have a broken or old cellphone, ecoATM can give you cash on the spot. You plug in the information for your phone, ecoATM gives you a value, and you get the cash as soon as you drop the phone in the machine. Use the ecoATM location finder to see if there are any machines in your area.


Selling online often means waiting for a bid to end or taking a trip to the post office, but you'll have more options on the Web. Check out these sites to see how much you could get.

  • EBay. To get an idea of what you might earn from an eBay auction, use the search function to hunt for devices like yours. Just remember, eBay charges a few fees for their service. Use the fee calculator to get an idea of what you'll pay.
  • is an electronics reseller willing to buy just about anything from a GPS to an iPad, even the broken stuff. You’ll get an estimate of your resale value right away, but you'll have to wait for the cash. Once you ship your item, it's inspected before you are paid, but you can choose to be paid through PayPal to speed things up a bit.
  • Have a broken iPhone? says it will buy any iPhone, working or not. It will also buy other electronics. The site offers payment through check or PayPal. Start by getting a quote on the site.
  • Gadget Salvation. Gadget Salvation will take almost any electronic device, even if it's broken. Check out the Gadget Salvation site  to get a quote on your broken gadgets.
  • Gazelle. Gazelle is primarily interested in smartphones and Apple devices. It offers a 30-day price guarantee and accepts broken gadgets. If your device is something the site is looking for, you can request a quote by choosing the brand on Gazelle's home page. If you accept the offer, you'll get paid by check, PayPal or Amazon gift card.

More on Money Talks News:

Dec 22, 2013 6:54AM

I checked on some of my old (but working) cell phones and even a working HP Touchpad at the machine at the mall.

Not very generous.

Offer was a penny for any of the items I had!

A rip-off!!

Dec 22, 2013 7:41AM
Best Buy also buys some later-model electronics...They give a cash or gift card option.

But if selling on Craigslist, it might be prudent to set up a neutral spot to meet--that is well lit, and has a lot of foot traffic.
Dec 22, 2013 12:54PM
There must be a universe out there somewhere for a broken galaxy...
Dec 22, 2013 11:58AM
My wife buys them at garage sales all the time. She brings them home and they're junk. Throw your garbage out, people!
Dec 22, 2013 12:54PM
I just hold onto stuff I think I could use in the future. Never know when you need replacement components like capacitors to use as replacements for ones that blew out from old age or manufacturing defects.
Dec 22, 2013 3:13PM
Lot of work to go through for making MAYBE $10-20 dollars. Just send them to a re-cycler and call it good.
Dec 22, 2013 2:22PM
A lot of stuff I just pick off parts that are still good (cords, switches, stuff like that) and trash the rest or find a recycler.
Feb 25, 2014 2:51AM
I was looking for a place to sell my laptop and found offered me a far better price and had better reviews,  I used them to sell a laptop online and already got my check
Jan 2, 2014 2:44AM
try I got more for my 4S than the other recyclers in mentioned in this article

i selected check as a payment and it took about a week to get it after I mailed hte phone off

Dec 22, 2013 12:24PM
What if your stuff is really old? Or what if people are not buying outdated electronics? How many people do you know have a desktop these days? How about your old processor?
Dec 22, 2013 2:25PM

  I have to wonder if the author of this article walks upright or if maybe they just attended college too long. The only 99% loss that could possibly be considered a profit would be shipping Obammie and every p.o.s. that voted for him to a third world $hit hole before they complete their goal of turning the U.S. into the worst one on the planet.


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