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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vital to our everyday pursuits, it comes as no surprise that pretty much everyone has a few hundred dollars worth of “outdated” electronics lying around.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

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Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

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How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

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Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

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Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

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Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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