How to Sell Your PC (and Other Gadgets)

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Swap Your Smartphone

If you're stuck in a cell phone contract and need an upgrade, a handful of Web sites can help you find someone willing to take your place so you won't have to pay the dreaded Early Termination Fee (plus the new activation fees for your new provider).

CellTradeUSA can help you swap smartphones--for a fee.
Head over to CellTradeUSA and and you can find listings organized by phone type, service provider, and monthly plans (though you can often change the plan to suit your needs if you like) Also, people with older cell phones or less popular providers often throw in a cash bonus to make their offer a bit more compelling, which could get you a few bucks.

Ideally, you find someone who wants what you have and has what you want--and you pay the site a fee of about $25 to connect the two of you. Once that happens, you'll still need to see what your specific providers need to perform either a "transfer of contract" or "change of financial responsibility"--both parties will probably need to pass their new carrier's credit checks, for example.

If you're nearing the end of your contract, however, you might want to just bite the bullet and pay the Early Termination Fee (which is typically prorated according to the remaining time on the contract)--or live with your phone until the contract expires (and a newer, shinier phone comes out).

Alternatively, you can find sites that specialize in buying and selling used cell phones, like You probably won't get much cash for older phones, but if you need to get rid of models that won't sell on eBay or Craigslist, you can still get a few bucks for them (or recycle them for free).

Step Up Your Sales on eBay and Craigslist

If your Facebook listing didn't pan out and you don't want to pay for Gazelle's convenience, you'll want to sharpen your Craigslist and eBay skills.

I prefer Craigslist over eBay, because you don't have to pay any fees (which can add up to over 10 percent of your final sale price), and you're free to negotiate the price you want instead of getting low-balled in an auction.

However, Craigslist does have its disadvantages: I've found I get much more spam e-mail and many more fraudulent buyers over Craigslist than eBay, and I've had a harder time selling stuff that isn't an Apple product, popular smartphone, or netbook, because my listings just get lost in the shuffle. Less-populated Craigslist portals may have different results.

What you pay in eBay and PayPal fees, on the other hand, you may get back in convenience and visibility. Used-laptop buyers have plenty of reasons to be skeptical of a Craigslist seller because the only thing keeping sellers from selling stolen or poorly working goods is the honor system. eBay, however, allows buyers to initiate disputes if the product doesn't work as advertised, and at the very least leave a bad seller negative feedback to dissuade other people from doing business with them.

Ultimately, there are merits to both, and you'll have to figure out for yourself which one works best for you. Fortunately, we've got plenty of tips to help out.

Figure out how much eBay will cost you with this eBay Fees Calculator.
First off, check out this eBay Fees Calculator to figure out how much you'd have to pay for an eBay auction. If you decide to opt for eBay, read "How to Buy and Sell on eBay Scam-Free" and "Laptop Selling Tips for eBay"; if you need to do your own photography, add the oldie-but-goodie "Shoot Products for eBay" to your reading list.

On the other hand, if you're going to brave the Craigslist frontier, read "10 Craigslist Tips for Power Users," "Craigslist Expert Tips: Better Ways to Buy And Sell," and "Keep Clear of Craigslist Scams."

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