Electronics power nearly everything a business does, from processing orders to interacting with customers to paying employees. Over time, every device reaches its end of life, though, which means purchasing replacement items and offloading the old equipment. While there are many recycling options available, businesses often expend resources transporting the equipment to a recycling center and, in some cases, they may even have to pay the center to accept electronics.
If you can find a way to monetize your outdated equipment, you can put that money back into your budget. Even a small sum on each item can add up over time. But how do you connect with the individuals and businesses willing to pay? This tutorial will help you turn your old equipment into cash.
Wipe your data
Before any electronic device leaves your property, you should take measures to ensure not a single trace of data remains on the hard drive. This includes multi-function printers, which can house sensitive data. For computers and mobile devices, you may need special software to make sure data doesn’t remain, especially if you’re selling the item, but even recycled equipment can end up in the wrong hands. The goal is to take every step possible to avoid a dangerous data breach.
There are many companies that will offer to purchase used equipment, including online services like Gazelle and big box retailers like Best Buy. However, you may find that these convenient services offer far less money than you can get selling privately. Search sites like eBay to see what comparable devices have commanded recently. You can also use Sage Blue Book to learn the current market price for specific devices (depending on their condition.) Full awareness of the current market value will help you make an informed decision about whether to sell on your own.
If you decide to sell it on through online resource like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, good pictures are essential. Don’t rely on internet stock photos. If possible, use a quality camera to capture the best images. Potential buyers want to see photos of the item you have for sale, including close-ups of any flaws.
Use cases and protectors
Whatever method you choose for selling your items, you’ll quickly learn that condition is essential to making as much money as possible from older items. Invest in screen protectors and cases for your mobile devices and laptops. If your IT department attaches these items before distributing them to employees, you’ll likely find that devices remain in great condition, even after multiple years of use. Before you issue any equipment to a worker, have them sign a computer usage policy
Keep it simple
While selling items yourself can bring more money per item, the time and effort it takes to photograph, list, and interact with potential buyers may not be worth it. It’s important to monitor the cost you put into selling each device and determine whether it’s worth the expense. You may find that your marketing efforts and fees are dramatically cutting into your earnings. Trading the equipment in or handing it over to an online service like Gazelle may be a better solution despite the reduced earnings, since it frees your team up to focus on other things.
No matter what size your business is, you should have policies and procedures in place relating to your equipment purchasing and disposal. It’s especially important to include specifics about your data destruction requirements to make sure hard drives leave your facility clean. Once you’ve determined the best way to dispose of old equipment, create policies that outline how employees should store and offload end-of-life electronics, including printers and mobile devices, as well as servers and computers.
If equipment is piling up in the storage areas of your office, you may be able to turn it into cash. First assess each item and research its value before you begin considering your options. You may find that in the end, the time it takes to list and sell items yourself isn’t worth the extra money you’ll make.
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