Gallery: Get Fast Cash by Recycling Your Used Gadgets with eBay’s Insta...


OK, early adopters: You want to spring for the latest phone or tablet, but your old one is still in great condition. What to do? Instead of holding onto those old electronics, or trying to pawn them off on friends or family, you can sell them back to an electronics wholesaler for cold, hard cash. With Instant Sale, eBay’s electronics buy-back site, you can unload your unwanted gadgets for fast money, and your old electronics will be resold or recycled. Even really old gadgets that can’t be resold (because they are so old) can be recycled at Ebay’s Instant Sale site, so you know they’re going to a good place (at least a better place than that cardboard box in your closet).

Back in 2010, eBay launched Instant Sale to handle growing demand for used electronics, offering cash via PayPal for used gadgets. The site is separate from the murkier auction side of eBay, where you generally have to take a chance and hope that someone bids a fair price for your goods. Instant Sale also pays for shipping. And if you have any problems with the transaction, Instant Sale offers customer service, which is probably much nicer than trying to track down a user on the auction side of eBay.

MSN Money recently ran the numbers on some popular electronics, comparing Instant Sale’s cash offers to other buyback or trade-in offers, and found that in most categories eBay outperformed Best Buy,, and others.

If you live in the NYC area and have old, unwanted electronics that are cluttering your apartment and collecting dust, eBay and gdgt are hosting an Instant Sale party at The Ainsworth on Monday, March 26th (RSVP is required). There, you can trade in your old gadgets, and everyone who shows up with walk away with a gift card worth anywhere from $5 to $100. And even if you can’t make the party, eBay will be at the Ainsworth all week, taking Instant Sale trade-ins.

+ eBay Instant Sale

Photos by Flickr users p_a_h and Yutaka Tsutano


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  1. Franklin Newsletter May 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks a lot for sharing and this is very interesting to read. I really love this.

  2. Rebecca Paul March 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Informative and alarming info about what really happens to our e-waste

  3. Rebecca Paul March 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I’m extremely impressed and excited by this program. E-waste is a serious problem and it’s imperative that we start recognizing the damage it’s causing to both the environment and the communities that have become E-waste landfills. It’s great to see leaders in the field taking action towards finding a solution.

  4. Paulson March 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    As far as buying/saving on eBay goes:

    If you see an item that you want listed in auction format, send the seller a message asking if they will accept $x to end the auction early and sell the item to you. If that doesn’t work, use a sniping service such as to bid for you. It’ll bid in the last few seconds, helping to save $ and avoid shill bidding.

    If there is a particular item that you want that is relatively rare on eBay or goes fast when one is listed, use to set up a saved eBay search for it. You’d get an e-mail whenever a match is listed. You can use the price, category, exclude word, etc. filters to narrow down the results that you get in the e-mails. Excellent for “Buy It Now”s priced right.

    If the item that you’re looking for is difficult to spell, try a misspelling search site like to find some deals with items that have main keywords misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers may never see them.

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