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10 best sites and services to sell used tech

James A. Martin | Dec. 8, 2016
Get a new laptop as a gift and want to turn your old computer into some crisp Benjamins? These 10 online services and apps are all viable options, though each has its strengths, depending on what you hope to sell.

The new return policy for third-party sellers hasn't caused a drastic increase in returns, Amazon told CNBC.com. However, one seller quoted in the article said automated returns "are really going to send shockwaves" through the third-party seller community.

3. eBay

Online auction site eBay has been a popular place to sell used tech for years, thanks largely to its active user base of 165 million members, as estimated by Statista. In recent years, eBay made it easier to list items for sale. You can start by searching for your item, and eBay recommends an auction format based on previous sales.

In some cases, the site even gives you a price guarantee if you use its recommendations. With my 2014 MacBook Air, for instance, eBay recommended a 7-day auction with a starting price of $372 and a price guarantee of $519. However, you need to pick through a lot of fine print related to eBay's price guarantee for laptops, cell phones and other gadgets.

To list items for sale, you also have to upload photos, add descriptions and decide on shipping options. eBay estimates shipping costs for you, or you can add your own fees if you know the package size and weight.

Unfortunately, eBay's fees can add up quickly. For example, if I received $519 for my MacBook Air, the seller's fees would total $53.40 (the least expensive option). And that doesn't include PayPal's cut, if the buyer used that payment option. eBay's fee calculator can provide a good idea of the costs you'll pay. Steep fees aside, eBay's massive user base often makes it a quick way to sell unwanted tech.

4. Swappa

Swappa is worth a look if you want to sell a used mobile device. Sellers pay no fees, though they do have to pay all applicable PayPal fees if a device sells. (All sales on Swappa go through PayPal.) Sellers also need to roll shipping costs into the asking price. Buyers pay Swappa a fee based on the sale price, and those fees range from $5 to $35.

It's easy to create a new listing on Swappa. First you write a headline and description, and then answer a few questions, set a price — based on what Swappa suggests or setting your own amount — and post a few photos. Swappa then provides a bar chart to show price fluctuations for your device over time, which is helpful when trying to set a fair price. For my MacBook Air, Swappa suggested $645.

Swappa lets you sell a variety of mobile devices, including smartwatches and VR headsets, as well as smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks and Mac laptops. It does not, however, accept listings for Windows laptops.

 

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