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6 Tips to Make the Most of Your Used Gadgets

6 Tips to Make the Most of Your Used Gadgets

The new iPhone 7 has been available for less than four months, and already the web is aflutter with speculation and leaks about the next generation of iPhones. In a world of planned obsolescence for all the tech gadgets that seem vital to our everyday pursuits, it comes as no surprise that pretty much everyone has a few hundred dollars worth of “outdated” electronics lying around.

There’s good news for anyone looking to sell their older model devices for some cold hard cash. An ever-growing market of secondary and refurbished devices means it’s become easier and easier for people to sell older models they no longer need either via trade-in websites like Stopoint and Amazon or via classified portals like Craiglist or eBay. But with so many retailers, businesses, and independent sales platforms, what’s the best way to get the most money out of that old smartphone? Here are six tips for maximizing the trade-in or resale value of your used gadgets and devices.

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1. Looks Matter

Your scratched up device isn’t going to fetch a great price on the resale market, even if it works like brand spanking new on the inside. While some normal wear and tear is expected, the better your device looks, the more value it will have. Think of it in terms of Amazon ratings. Is your device Like New, Very Good, Good, or Barely Acceptable? That’s why it’s smart to invest in some quality cases for your device. Go for durability and function, not aesthetics. That clear PCU case with the floral print might look pretty, but it’s not doing much to preserve the pristine shell of your phone or tablet, nor will it prevent a giant crack on the screen from an accidental drop. Make sure the protective covering you choose protects against scratches, falls, and water to minimize wear and tear.

2. Keep All Original Packaging

Speaking of looks, making sure you have the original box, instructions, dongles and accessories can increase the value if you decide to sell it to a private third party. It just provides more reassurance to them that the product was taken care of, and it feels more legitimate. If you don’t have any of the original packaging, fear not, as there are plenty of websites who buy used devices as-is for recycling purposes.

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3. What’s on the Inside Counts Too

Just in case you thought a pretty face was all you needed, the inside of your device matters too in terms of resale. Always keep your operating systems up to date, with the latest patches and improvements. Any hacks or viruses can damage the internal specs of the devices and seriously diminish resale value. If you can, avoid jailbreaking or hardware modifications that can compromise the internal hardware and software. If you have the technical know-how, return your device to its original factory settings before attempting to sell it – it can give it a little performance and value boost while simultaneously mitigating any concerns about personal data on your device.

4. Keep Up with Routine Maintenance

Oil, dust, and other microparticles will invariably collect on or in your device. Even a regular wipe down with a microfiber cloth is better than nothing. Regular battery and hardware checks are also essential to ensure your device is in the best condition it can be when you choose to sell. And always keep your device away from extreme weather and temperature conditions to avoid premature deterioration. If your device allows for modifications to change the battery or other hardware, doing so may bring in more value than selling it as is.

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5. Timing Is Crucial

Know when to sell. The value of a used product diminishes each time a new model is out. In some instances, it’s possible to upgrade with minimal cost if you know when to sell and where to sell. For instance, if a new iPhone model is set to be announced in October, aim to sell your current model before the new model hits the retail stores; there may be a rush of people trying to sell once the new model is available, driving down prices.

6. Choosing the Right Channel to Sell

While it might be tempting to list your items on eBay or Craigslist, be careful when calculating the resale value of your items. Many sites that allow you to list your own products will take a portion of the selling price, not to mention transaction fees from credit cards or PayPal. There is also a greater risk of getting scammed out of your items by shady buyers. Retailers will often have trade-in programs, but those tend to offer lower value than independent trade-in sites (and depending on the condition of your item, some will offer you no money at all, simply a free “recycle” service). Fortunately, there are trustworthy third party websites that are likely able to offer the best resale value for your device without the risk and hassle of listing it yourself. Shop around and look for ones that match competitor quotes for the best deals on your used device.

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Hira Saeed

Startup Evangelist

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Last Updated on April 3, 2019

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get Aggressive About It

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep Trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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