Faster Forward: Sites to e-cycle (and maybe profit from) your e-junk

By Rob Pegoraro
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 11, 2010; 10:25 AM

Like many of you, my wife and I have had too many old and broken gadgets collecting dust in various rooms. Like many of you, we could use some extra cash. Can we address both of these issues at once by selling these things to sites that buy old electronic junk?

Maybe. I tried four such sites--BuyMyTronics, Gazelle, MyBoneyard and YouRenew--to see how they'd deal with a grab bag of e-junk. (So you know, I heard about YouRenew from my colleague Patricia Sullivan, whose nephew founded the site.)

I started with two old handheld organizers: a working Palm Tungsten E and a deceased Sony Clie SJ30. MyBoneyard and YouRenew don't accept organizers at all; Gazelle offered a whopping $6 for Palm and nothing for the Sony, while BuyMyTronics valued both devices at $0.

Then came a dumb and a smart phone. The former was a Motorola i730 for Nextel with a small crack in its screen, which everybody agreed was worth nothing. The latter was a Palm Treo 650 for Verizon with minor cosmetic damage and a missing stylus; BuyMyTronics offered $1 for it, Gazelle $2 and BuyMyTronics and YouRenew $0.

A Pentax Optio 550 digital camera with a fried image sensor and no battery or cable (I'd unloaded those accessories on eBay years ago) fetched an estimate of $0 on Gazelle and BuyMyTronics. The other sites didn't have this model in their databases.

A second-generation, 4-gigabyte iPod Nano with a half-dead screen (it functions after a system restore until the first time it goes to sleep) was worth $3 at BuyMyTronics and nothing everywhere else.

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