Xmas Cleanup: Where to Recycle Your Old Gadgets

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Xmas Cleanup: Where to Recycle Your Old Gadgets

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:57 pm

Xmas Cleanup: Where to Recycle Your Old Gadgets

Christmas morning delivered two iPads to my family, which reminded of one very important thing (beyond the fact that we’re spoiled): It’s that time of year again, where you get rid of your old, busted or just plain out-of-date gadgets, cell phones and computers, and make way for your brand-spankin’ new ones.

There’s been a growth in entrepreneurs and startups trying to build a business off of so-called e-cycling in 2010, but consumers still don’t seem all that more interested in making the effort. Maybe it’s just about knowing the options. So, here they are: where (and how) to recycle and resell your old gadgets.


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By Katie Fehrenbacher at Earth2Tech

Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:38pm EST



Christmas morning delivered two iPads to
my family, which reminded of one very important thing (beyond the fact
that we’re spoiled): It’s that time of year again, where you
get rid of your old, busted or just plain out-of-date gadgets, cell
phones and computers, and make way for your brand-spankin’ new ones.

There’s been a growth in
entrepreneurs and startups trying to build a business off of so-called
e-cycling in 2010, but consumers still don’t seem all that more
interested in making the effort. Maybe it’s just about knowing the
options. So, here they are: where (and how) to recycle and resell your
old gadgets.
1. Gazelle.
Founded in 2006, web-based gadget reseller and recycler Gazelle
specializes in helping resell or recycle your gadgets. The user enters
the gadget make/model into the web site and Gazelle spits back a quote
for how much it’s willing to give you in exchange for your product. For
example, a broken early model iPhone goes for $10, while a newish iPhone
that works perfectly can go for around $400.
You
have to ship your own gadget to Gazelle, but the company provides
printable labels to help with shipping fees and then the company sends
you a check or PayPal reimbursement. Gazelle sells off most gadgets it
can make money on over eBay or Amazon, while certain items it receives
in bulk it can sell off to wholesalers. Anything that can’t be resold,
Gazelle recycles it.
The barrier to
this business model is the time it takes to bring the gadget to the
post office. But if you remember that you should be recycling all your
old gadgets anyways, it helps ease that time commitment. The company is
backed by venture firms Venrock, Rockport Capital, and Physic Ventures
and was formerly called Second Rotation. Gazelle says they’ve processed
over 100,000 gadgets.
2. Fixing Gadgets via Fixya.
Before you resell/recycle it, perhaps you can fix it. Fixya is an
online community that can help you troubleshoot software and hardware
problems. Users can post a question for free, but can also pay rewards
or small fees to boost the chances of getting a quality response from
the community. This seems hit or miss to me. I posted a free query
earlier today and still haven’t heard back.
3. BuyMyTronics. With
an almost identical business model to Gazelle, BuyMyTronics looks to
buy your gadgets and resell them. With its VC funds, Gazelle should try
to acquire ByMyTronics.
4. ecoATM.
Startup ecoATM does pretty much what its name implies: It places
ATM-style kiosks in stores that can collect old cell phones and gadgets
and offer users incentives, coupons and in-store credit in exchange. The
company won our Green:Net startup competition and more recently
received an investment from Coinstar, which hopes to make money off it
in the same way it’s making bank off of its coin-counter machines, or
the Redbox DVD kiosks. The benefit of this model is that it’s so easy to
grab your broken phone and drop it in a kiosk at your local grocery
while you’re shopping. Now they just need more locations.
5. Resell It Yourself.
After looking over these newcomers above, it’s clear that there’s a
market for reselling older gadgets. It just takes a little time and
knowhow. If you want to put in the time, place your item on eBay, Amazon
or Craigslist yourself and give it a spin. Mind the learning curve.
6. Look Locally.
The Electronic Industries Alliance E-Cycling site compiles a list of
nationwide e-cyclers by zip code. There’s a lot of non profits and local
organizations that can direct you to a spot in your community where you
can recycle larger objects like computers and home electronics.
7. ReCellular.
There’s a decent business around old cell phones in particular. ABI
Research estimates that by 2012 the recycling of cell phones will
generate some $3 billion in revenue. ReCellular is one of the oldest and
most established in the U.S. and acts as both a place for selling and
buying of older and refurbished cell phones.
8. Company Options.
One of the reasons there’s been a lack of electronics recycling in the
U.S. is because the manufacturers themselves haven’t been aggressively
pushing recycling options like they have in countries in Europe. Perhaps
this will change one day. A couple of years ago, the EPA created a
program that brought together 11 large companies: Best Buy, Office
Depot and Staples; service carriers AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint; and
manufacturers Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG, all of
whom are supposed to work together to make recycling easier for
consumers.

Guest
Guest


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