old electronicsIn my mudroom, there are two drawers. In the one on the left, you'll find the electronics -- phones, iPods of all shapes and sizes, Gameboys -- that my family has abandoned over the years. In the one on the right, you'll find the paraphernalia for those devices -- chargers, rechargeable battery packs, headphones and various other connectors. I'm betting there's a drawer or two in your house that contains similar items. That's because every day, Americans throw out more than 350,000 cell phones (that's more than 125 million per year) and 130,000 computers.

But what I've learned this week is that we're passing up a tidy sum -- plus some potential tax deductions -- by dumping them or leaving them to gather dust. Thanks to frequent introductions of newer, better models, like last week's new Apple (AAPL) iPad, there is a robust secondary market for technology that, while not the latest or greatest, still has plenty of life left. A top of the line iPad 2 WiFi 64GB, for instance, can fetch you more than $350. None of the stuff in my junk drawer is worth that much, but some digging around this week revealed there's a good hundred bucks in there. Here's the scoop:

Sell it: Head to uSell.com: It's a deal aggregator, so it saves you the trouble of doing a lot of research to determine how much that old MP3 player is worth. All you have to do is find your product model -- say, a first generation iPod touch, 16GB -- and describe the quality. Does it turn on? Is it scratched? Using this information, uSell will show you offers from various re-sale sites across the web. For example, offers on that iPod touch ranged from $2 to $19. You then pick the site offering the highest price, and send your item to the resale site for free. Assuming the quality of your item matches the description you wrote on uSell, you will get the promised value.

uSell is still a relatively new site, so you can only find cash offers on cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, e-readers, game consoles and digital cameras. For cash offers on laptops, GPS devices, external hard drives, Blu-Ray players and more, head to Gazelle.com. Gazelle isn't listed on uSell, but the offers are usually pretty good, so it's always worth checking there, too. (For example, that same iPod touch received a $23 offer on Gazelle.)

If you'd prefer to go about selling your old device the low-tech way, Best Buy (BBY) is another option for most devices, and again, the value you receive is dependent on the condition of the item. On the aforementioned iPod, you'd get the following: $20.70 for good condition, $15.53 for fair, and $10.35 for poor.

Donate it: Goodwill and Dell have teamed up to create Reconnect, a program that allows you to donate an old computer as easily as old jeans. They'll take computer monitors (even if the screen is cracked), keyboards, printers, mice, speakers and more. To deduct these donations from your taxes, you must determine the value of the item beforehand -- do it online using the estimates from uSell or Gazelle -- and Goodwill will provide you with a receipt, just as it does for other types of donations. Save those receipts for tax time. You can go to reconnectpartnership.com to find the drop-off point closest to you.

Recycle it: The most comprehensive electronics recycling program belongs to Best Buy, which takes items ranging from TVs to boom boxes to alarm clocks. Office Depot (ODP), Office Max (OMX) and Staples (SPLS) also offer recycling services, but before you go, check to make sure they'll take your item. To find the recycling option nearest you, visit 1800recycling.com and enter your ZIP code and the items you wish to recycle. Most of the time, you won't get anything except the knowledge that you are protecting the environment, but Apple offers a cool deal where if you turn in your old iPod at an Apple store, you get 10% off a new iPod.

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Wayne Bradshaw

Do you know who is the prolocutor star of Louis Vuitton Handags now? It is the Sofia Coppola, she is well-know with the director of movies. Of course she like the LV very much ,especial the Louis Vuitton Wallet,but she never buy something from the Louis Vuitton Outlet, because she always get freely and show the newest louis vuitton items .

May 05 2012 at 11:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill L

When they mean "old electronics" they mean 1 to 2 years old, not something older than 2010. All my old electronics are vintage 1989. I'm SOL there, lol.

March 13 2012 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
riddora

Usell is a scam. They offer you bottom line prices. Every single phone I typed in, was worth between 1 and 5 dollars, mostly 1. Is 5 to 10 dollars worth it, if this company is probably making alot more, off of your items? I would rather donate it. Unless you are THAT broke.

March 13 2012 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kilandam

It seems very important to pursue the exact definition of this word, which is employed in the controversial health care bill on page 107, but not easily found in any English or American dictionaries.



Check Snopes and Google, but don't stop there, take the time to visit your Library.


Dhimmitude -- What does it mean?

Obama used it in the health care bill.

Now isn't this interesting? It is used in the health care law.



Dhimmitude -- I had never heard the word until now. Type it into Google and start reading. Pretty interesting. It's on page 107 of the healthcare bill. I looked this up on Google and yep, it exists.. It is a REAL word.


Word of the Day: Dhimmitude

Dhimmitude is the Muslim system of controlling non-Muslim populations conquered through jihad. Specifically, it is the TAXING of non-Muslims in exchange for tolerating their presence AND as a coercive means of converting conquered remnants to Islam.


ObamaCare allows the establishment of Dhimmitude and Sharia Muslim diktat in the United States . Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance, and also from the penalty tax for being uninsured. Islam considers insurance to be "gambling", "risk-taking", and "usury" and is thus banned. Muslims are specifically granted exemption based on this.

How convenient. So I, as a Christian, will have crippling IRS liens placed against all of my assets, including real estate, cattle, and even accounts receivables, and will face hard prison time because I refuse to buy insurance or pay the penalty tax. Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan will have no such penalty and will have 100% of his health needs paid for by the de facto government insurance. Non-Muslims will be paying a tax to subsidize Muslims. This is Dhimmitude.

I recommend sending this onto your contacts. American citizens need to know about it --

March 13 2012 at 1:18 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kilandam's comment
Maged Habib, MD

Awesome peice. God bless you.

March 13 2012 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eloise

I am not giving up my I-Pad 2 yet. I just finished paying for it. It suits me just fine. It is the top of the line and I don't think I will need anything better for a while. Hey! I still have a computer with Windows 98 that still works. Don't use it for much but games but it is back up.

March 13 2012 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
realdoug45

i find it more fun to take a sledge hammer to my old computers,phones and what nots....good stress relief!

March 13 2012 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
realdoug45

i find it more fun to take a sledge hammer to my old computers,phones and what nots....good stress relief!

March 13 2012 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dandmclark

Most importantly, if you sell or donate your old tablets, notebooks, computers or cell phones, make sure that the hard drives and all the memory has been wiped clean. If you don't know how to do it, take it to a reputable computer shop (like Best Buy) and have them do it for you, because you do not want any personal info left on them for others to get ahold of.

March 13 2012 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dandmclark

Most importantly, if you sell or donate your old tablets, notebooks, computers or cell phones, make sure that the hard drives and all the memory has been wiped clean. If you don't know how to do it, take it to a reputable computer shop (like Best Buy) and have them do it for you, because you do not want any personal info left on them for others to get ahold of.

March 13 2012 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wcdaley6754

Why would people SAVE that stuff? What is it, "electronic-hoarding buried alive"?

March 13 2012 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wcdaley6754's comment
evd10

Because many people are pschologically unable to face the moment-of-truth when they have to discard something that once cost a lot. Investors who hold onto stock that is almost worthless, but they paid much more for, have the same mind-set .

March 13 2012 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply