Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Reselling and Donating Old Computer

The best way to get rid of your computer is to sell it (or give it) to someone who still finds it useful. Doubtless there are a few older machines--especially ones with large CRT's--which are such energy hogs that two or three more years of electricity use would cause more impact than manufacturing a new replacement; but the only way to know that is to do a life cycle analysis. Most of the time it will make sense to keep old machines running. The two most popular sites to sell used electronics are eBay and Craigslist, simply because they are so popular for all person-to-person selling. SecondRotation is a company that will buy your old cell phone, GPS, digital camera, or laptop (Apple only, so far) for a fixed fee, then resell it. A quick check on the value of my MacBook Pro showed that I would get more selling it on eBay, but that may not be true for some of the other product categories, and they offer the security of a known buyer/seller.

If your computer is too old to talk anyone into buying it, you can donate it. Free Geek has, as they say, been "helping the needy get nerdy since the beginning of the 3rd Millennium". They and other similar groups like Youth for Technology Foundation and Network for Good take old computers, refurbish them if necessary, and give them to low-income schools (both in industrialized countries and developing countries.) TechSoup has a good list of tips for donating a computer.


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