How to get cash for old computers

If you’re like me you probably have a small or not-so-small collection of computer stuff most of which is obsolete, broken or both. Well now it’s possible to clean out your closet and get some cash for it as well. If you help your friends and neighbors get rid of their old computer junk it could become a significant amount of cash thanks to cash for electronic scrap.

I had a garage full of old and broken computers, scanners, printers and network hardware that needed cleaned and I wanted to see what I could get for it. The total count was about 15 towers, 6 laptops, 2 scanners, 1 largish copier, 2 inkjet printers, 1 24-port 10baseT network hub. I discovered Cash for electronic scrap which allows you to send them the electronic scrap via fedex and they extract the gold, silver and other metals after which they send you a check based on what the scrap was worth. The process is entirely risk free since they pay for the shipping with a pre-paid shipping label that can be printed from there site.

To prepare my shipment, I removed every component from the computers and other devices. They only take the electronic circuit boards and processors so to maximize your profit it’s best to remove anything that doesn’t have value from the shipment to ensure it is as light as possible. The cost of the shipment is likely deducted from the value of the recycled materials so the less excess stuffed shipped the better. So I spent an afternoon removing all the motherboards and add-in cards from each computer and putting them in a box. Cash for electronic scrap requests that the components be separated by type so the CPUs I put in one box and the rest of the printed circuit boards when in another. I strip out the circuit boards from the hard drives, CD-ROMS and floppy drives. I also disassembled and removed the circuit boards from the printers and other electronics. The entire process took several hours.

After all was done I had 42 pounds of electronic scrap that I was able to fit into one box. Print a FedEx label from their site was straightforward. I tapped the label to the box and dropped it off at a local FedEx shipping location. About 2 weeks latter I received a check for $68.25. Much more than I was expecting for electronic scrap. As proof here’s a scan of the check:

It’s impossible to know exactly how much electronic scrap is worth until the actual work is done to extract the precious metals. The towers I sent in were from the Pentium I and II era. The 5 laptops were mostly Pentium 4′s and I doubt the scanners and printers really added any value. As a general rule of thumb the older the computer the more it’s worth and CPU’s are probably the most valuable component.

So if you got a lot of computer junk around I would highly recommend Cash for electronic scrap. Preparing the shipment does take some work but so would hauling the stuff off to the dump so Cash for electronic scrap is a great option if you actually want rewarded for cleaning out the garage. For one or two computer it’s probably not worth the effort. It’s also possible to get old computers for free by checking out the free section on craigslist or watching the postings on FreeCycle. I found a few useful computers this way as well as tons of junk computer that I later recycled for cache.

If you use Cash for electronic scrap please leave a comment and let people know what you sent in and how much it was worth.

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One Comment

  1. Posted February 6, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    I help support computer recycling. It does Mother Nature an enormous favor. I actually helps the environment so much. Many thanks for sharing such informative information. I’ll be sharing this to other individuals. Keep sharing very helpful posts. =)

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