What Happens to Technology When It Gets Old?

June 27, 2012

1:00 pm

As the rumors swirl about new iPhones and iPads, TechPayout prepares for busy season: when people flock to buyback sites to sell their old gadgets for cash.

In exchange for your old smartphone, tablet, iPod, and more, TechPayout will pay you by PayPal or check. Here are some typical prices:

  • iPhone 4 32GB, in good condition: $200
  • iPad 2 32GB with 3G, in good condition: $297
  • Kindle Fire 7”, in good condition: $68

But where do your gadgets go once they leave the post office?

Resell. If your device is in good shape, TechPayout can resell it right away to partners overseas, in areas like Russia, South America, and Europe. There, the phones are sold back to consumers – who aren’t always as picky as Americans. “We take for granted how easy it is to have a new electronic piece of technology,” says CEO Audrick Kramer.

Refurbish. If your gadget is well-loved, it might need some fixing up before it reaches the resellers.

Recycle. As a last resort, TechPayout recycles gadgets – they promise that none will end up in a landfill. Even “dumb” phones contain gold, copper, and other metals, and they can be sold for parts to companies that melt them down.

TechPayout hopes to expand their in-house recycling business, but it’s tough to set up a shipping system and stay clear of all the government regulations. “Honestly, the United States and really the whole world does not have good recycling programs,” says Kramer.

If you’ve got some old technology to sell, use the coupon code “TC” to get a $5 bonus on TechPayout.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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