Learn How to Sell a Computer
You’ve just upgraded your computer, but your old laptop or pc works perfectly well. To get some value on an operational old device, learn where and how to sell a computer. Not only do you pick up a few dollars to spend on your new electronic toy, but you give someone who needs a cheap Internet connection a good deal.
Good computers shouldn’t go to waste.
So here’s a how-to guide for selling a hand-me-down computer online, or in your community. I’ll also discuss the steps you should take to remove information before selling your personal computer. If you choose that becoming a pc dealer is too much trouble, remove your personal info and donate your computer to a local cause.
Remove Any Information to a Zip File
Any information you want to keep should be removed to a zip file, so you can transfer it to a new computer. This might include word files, photographs, videos, music files, passwords, favorites or bookmarks, and anything else you might ever want. Don’t be a pack rat, but don’t get rid of your old computer, then remember three months later you forgot something essential.
Once you have a zip file, back it up as quickly as possible. There are ways to do this online, such as backing up files in Google Documents or a series of websites which back up information. I usually transfer that zip file information to my new computer immediately.
Uninstall applications that you want to keep for your own computer use, such as Windows 7 operating systems. Many package-bought computers come with their own operating systems, so you might not want to keep them. But if you do, remember that Windows operating systems (and many others on the market) are proprietary and have their own serial numbers, so if you want to continue using them, uninstall them and keep them for yourself.
When you uninstall applications, check beforehand to make sure you have the serial numbers and installation disks needed to reinstall the systems.
Purge Your Personal Information
You want to purge your old computer of all personal information, such as passwords, credit card information, address and social security information, and bookmarks. You don’t want the new owner having any temptation to browse through your stuff and use personal information against you. Identity theft on the Internet is dangerous enough, without you giving someone the keys to the kingdom.
Dragging sensitive documents to the Trash Bin and hitting delete isn’t enough. You want to permanently delete information and overwrite the documents, so there’s no chance to retrieve that information. Use a utility program to reformat your hard drive. If that sounds too complicated, have a tech savvy friend do it, or take it to a data recovery business.
Bag Original Disks and Manuals
Used computers have more value, if they come with the original installation disks and owners manual. Hopefully you saved these in a spot where you didn’t lose them. Collect these, put them in plastic bag and add them to the box you’re packing the computer into.
Go Online and Research Prices
Go online to Internet auction sites like eBay and see what comparable sellers are selling their old PCs for. Go through online classifieds sections, like Craig’s List, to check out prices. Once you decide what to sell your computer for, post it on these same Internet classifieds sections or auction websites.
Remember that old computers aren’t worth a whole lot, but you can sell them for enough money to make it worth your while. The Internet is a wonderland for average people buying and selling common, everyday items, so that’s the first place you should consider when deciding to sell a computer.
Describe Your Computer
When describing the computer for an online buyer or an auction, give the model number and manufacturer, along with the amount of use and any maintenance it might have had in the past (new power cord, new battery). Describe any scrapes or imperfections on the computer face or monitor. Give a full description of the computer or laptop, so the buyer can’t say you weren’t truthful about the transaction.
Try to be unbiased in your description and don’t make your sales copy too “salesy”. If anything, a good description makes for an informed customer, and therefore a satisfied customer.
The better your reputation, the more customers are going to bid on your items. This might not matter to you, if you don’t plan on selling an item online anytime soon, but you’ll hopefully be wanting to sell another computer in a couple of years, so you might as well maintain a good rep.
Sell the Computer Locally
Ask around, with friends, family members and neighbors, whether anyone wants to buy a good used computer. If they do, you might not have to go through the (minor) hassle of posting on an online auction site, then shipping your computer through the postal service. Let family members know that they can inquire with friends. With fewer expenses, you can afford to sell the computer for a little less.
How to Donate Your Computer
If you can’t sell your computer, or you don’t want to go through the trouble of posting on a web auction and mailing your personal computer, then donate it to a local school or charity. Goodwill takes computers, while your local church might want a good operating computers. Schools need to teach kids computer skills, while any number of other charity cases might pop up in your life.
Selling a Computer
Selling a computer doesn’t take too much trouble. Once you learn the steps for how to sell a computer, it’s a matter of taking off your personal information, choosing a price it’s worth it to sell the computer at, then making the delivery when you find an interested buyer. The world still has more people in it that need computers, than operating PCs and laptops, so if you can’t use your electronics, make sure someone does.
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