Tech press releases have you dizzy? It seems like you finally upgrade to the latest smart-device only to have it replaced by another newer, cooler version that you just have to have. Okay, we admit, it’s not the worst problem to have. But what do you do with your (barely) old gadgets?
1. Trade. Depending on the contract you’re under, some companies and carriers will let you trade in your old device and apply its value to a new one. This works especially well if your device has been discontinued or if you’ve had it for more than two years. Check with your carrier to see what trade-in value or discounts you can get on a new device with your old one. Hint: if you’re on a family plan, some companies will let you apply another family member’s upgrade to your device. Just ask your siblings very nicely (“pretty please??”).
2. Sell. If you can’t find any trade-in options, deal with your oldie the old-fashioned way: sell it! We like Gazelle,which lets you send in your old gadgets for cash. Don’t know how much it’s worth? Log on to their website for a simple step-by-step evaluation before you sell it. If you’re more of a grassroots kinda gal, ask around for friends who are a model or two behind. Chances are they’ll give you a few bucks to upgrade themselves!
3. Donate. In our hyper-connected world, it’s more important than ever for people to keep in touch with their loved ones and emergency personnel. We love Cell Phones for Soldiers, which was founded by 12- and 13-year old siblings in 2004. The charity provides pre-paid phonecards to troops overseas to call home, and has recycled more than 10.5 million cell phones. Check out Recycling for Charities to find donation options and centers in your area.
4. Repurpose. Let’s be honest: having two iPads isn’t the worst thing in the world. Chances are your old device is overloaded with data anyway. Take a minute to prioritize what you use your devices for and then divvy up the responsibilities accordingly: one for home and one for work, one for word processing and one for multimedia, one for backup storage and one for everyday use. Not only will you be more organized (hallelujah!) but you’ll lighten your gadgets’ load to run more efficiently.
5. Keep. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy when new products come out, but step back and ask yourself: do I really need this now? Is the functionality different enough from my existing device to warrant a purchase right away, or can I wait until the price drops or I’m due for an upgrade to make the move? If the cost-benefit analysis just doesn’t add up, hang on to your oldie-but-goodie until it does.