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How to Make Money from Used Computers

In today’s world, computers have become a vital part of our daily lives. Most of us depend on computers for work, communication, or entertainment. With the rapid advancements in technology, upgrading our computers has become a common practice.

This leaves us with a question: what do we do with our old computers? The answer is simple; we can turn them into money! In this blog post, we’ll provide you with tips on how to make money from used computers.

Sell Used Computers Online

One of the easiest ways to turn your used computer into money is by selling it online using third-party marketplaces that buy electronics. Companies like Gadget Salvation, Gazelle, and Itsworthmore, allow users to sell used computers with ease and very little preparation. To sell your stuff, visit one of those websites and scroll through the laptop categories to narrow down to your specific brand and model:

It is worth noting that some of these platforms accept certain makes and types of electronics, while others have a pretty extensive buyback database. For example, Gadget Salvation takes Asus, Acer, Sager, Gigabyte, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, MSI, Razer Blade, Apple MacBooks, and many other computer brands. Gazelle, on the other hand, focuses primarily on Apple devices.

So, say, you have a used Lenovo ThinkPad P51 laptop with an Intel Xeon E3 processor. Selling it online would be a convenient way to earn some extra cash, especially when you have no idea what to do with your old computer. By using resale sites, you can recover some money from your older computer. And the payout form is the main difference that sets apart sites, like, from Best Buy or Amazon Trade-in, where you get a gift card instead.

Consider Official Trade-In Portals from Brands

Manufacturer trade-in can be another great option, especially if you want to upgrade your current computer model. Consider trading in your old laptop through official trade-in portals from popular electronics brands such as Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo, and Dell.

Here you receive a store credit instead of cash. Brand trade-in is a hassle-free solution that allows for seamless upgrades while saving money on a new purchase. But keep in mind that the trade-in amount is typically lower than what you would receive on a third-party marketplace.

Sell to Individuals on Facebook Marketplace

Selling through Facebook Marketplace is another great option to sell your used laptop for money. You can reach potential buyers in your local area directly and cut out the middleman, potentially making more profit.

However, selling to an individual does come with certain risks, including waiting for someone to express interest in your device, negotiating, and handling the logistics of arranging a meeting, etc. When using Facebook Marketplace, be sure to conduct research to determine your asking price, write a compelling description, and take plenty of photos to attract buyers.

Refurbishing Used Computers

Refurbishing is the process of restoring a used computer to its original condition. The demand for refurbished computers is steadily increasing, and so is the potential to make money from it. Refurbishing computers involves cleaning and repairing the hardware components, updating the software, and giving it a new lease on life.

Once the computer is back in working condition, you can sell it for a profit. Refurbished computers are an excellent option for budget-conscious consumers who want a reliable machine at a lower price.

Individuals seek these components to either replace malfunctioning parts of their personal computers or to assemble a more economical computer from scratch, and they are actively searching for cost-effective options.

However, if you intend to market individual parts, you will be required to complete the task yourself. This involves disassembling your computer, erasing your drives, and ensuring that the components are fully separated, undamaged, and unsoiled.

These are all things that may necessitate some level of expertise. Once you have the components prepared, you must create listings with product descriptions and images on platforms such as eBay or other prevalent component-selling sites. This method necessitates the most effort, but it is also the most effective method of generating revenue from computers that would not otherwise be sold.

Selling Used Computers for Parts

If the computer is beyond repair, you can still try to make some money from it by selling the parts. Computers like PC towers are made up of various components, such as hard drives, RAM, graphics cards, and processors, all of which (if functional) could potentially be sold separately.

Selling used computer parts is an excellent way to earn money, especially if you’re tech-savvy. You can also sell parts that are not working, as they can be used for spare parts. Collect all your spare parts, and you'll have a potential gold mine on your hands.

Donating Used Computers

Donating your old computer is a kind and environmental-friendly act that is also beneficial to you. Companies such as The World Computer Exchange, Dell Reconnect, or the National Cristina Foundation accept computer donations, refurbish them, and donate them to schools, non-profit organizations, and individuals who cannot afford them.

Not only will you be getting rid of your old computer, but you'll also be helping someone in need. Donations also have tax benefits, as they are often tax-deductible. By donating your used computer, you'll help bridge the digital divide and contribute to a good cause.

How to Prepare Old Computers for Sale

Before you hand it off to a new owner, make sure to properly prepare it first. This not only protects your personal information but also ensures the computer runs smoothly for the next user.

First things first, back up any important files and photos onto an external hard drive or cloud storage. This will ensure that you don't lose any important data when you wipe your computer.

Then, factory reset the computer to clear out any remaining personal data. Simply deleting files or formatting the hard drive isn't enough to fully erase your personal data. Use a tool specifically designed for wiping hard drives, such as DBAN, to completely erase all data from your computer's hard drive.

Once your hard drive has been wiped, it's time to clean the computer. Dust and debris can accumulate inside your computer over time, leading to overheating and potential damage to internal components. Wipe down the keyboard and screen. Alternatively, you can use a can of compressed air or a soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or debris from the internal components. With these steps done, your old computer will be ready to find a new home.


In conclusion, used computers don't have to take up space in your home or contribute to landfill waste. By refurbishing, selling parts, selling online, or donating them, you can turn them into money or give back to the community.

So, before you throw away your old computer, take advantage of these tips to make your used computer a valuable asset. Take action today and make the most out of your used computers. 

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Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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