How to Decommission, Reuse, or Sell Your Old PC

Step 4: Sell Your Old PC

For an eBay listing, the key information should go into the description and headline. Be clear about the condition and age of the device, and if possible, include the full model number or product name. You’re an individual seller, not a business, so be human and tell the buyer why you’ve decided to sell. Before you set a price, search for similar products online and see how much they tend to sell for. If you’re brave enough to run an auction that starts under one dollar, you’ll attract more interest, but you need to have realistic expectations of how high the bidding will go.

For Amazon, review the postings of similar items from sellers to determine a reasonable price and how you want your product page to look, formatting-wise.

When it comes to shipping, assume your computer is going to be chucked around like a rugby ball in transit. If you no longer have the original packaging, you’re going to need lots of bubble wrap. Always use a few more layers than you think is safe. If you’re putting multiple items into a larger box, it pays to fill the free space with packing chips. For a PC, stuff more bubble wrap into the spaces inside the case to prevent components from coming loose. And the most important step is to always obtain a tracking number, no matter where you sell the PC!

Selling Individual Components

If your PC is no longer functional, you can still sell off the bits that do work. Even if your PC does work, this approach may be more lucrative than selling it as a complete system. That applies particularly to custom-built and upgraded PCs. Perhaps you’ve supplemented a standard PC with a beastly graphics card, for example.

If you’ve decided to sell off the PC’s individual components, it’s also a good idea to take a few photos of them in action before you erase the hard disk.

You’ll have to use common sense when setting prices. Check the typical retail costs and prices on eBay or Amazon for the components you want to sell, making sure you’re using the exact product codes and model numbers. The notes you took earlier should help here. You can also open up the PC and look for a sticker or engraving that confirms the part number, revision, and product code.

Alternatively, look back through your emails for an order receipt. If possible, take a photo that shows the component working, and state very clearly the condition of the item in your listing. Buying second-hand components can be a lottery, so do everything you can to reassure potential buyers.

Reuse The Components

If you can’t find a new home for your PC parts, you can always repurpose them. It may be possible to move spare memory into a newer PC as a top-up, and working hard disks of a reasonable capacity are always useful. USB 3 external hard disk caddies can be purchased for around five to twelve dollars for 2.5in laptop drives and 3.5in desktop drives, turning an old SATA disk into a high-speed backup device. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket though. Older hardware tends to die sooner or later.

Where to sell your PC

Although eBay has a huge audience, the selling fees har increased dramatically over time. You’ll have to factor in the selling fee(s), insertion fee(s), promotion fee(s), not to mention the cost (and considerable effort) of safely shipping something bulky and valuable. If your buyer pays by PayPal, that will cost you an additional amount from the transaction plus a fixed fee.

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