It happens. The day comes when your old, reliable laptop gets traded in for a new model with more bells and whistles, a faster CPU and more storage space. Unfortunately, with Moore’s Law still in effect and computers becoming functionally obsolete, there’s a hard limit to how many spares and older pieces of equipment you can realistically keep lying about “just in case,” so what’s a business owner to do with all that older equipment? Fortunately, there are a number of good options, and we’ll outline a few of them just below:
Here, the best option is to sell them to your employees if there’s an interest. Old laptops are a lot like older tablets in that you can always find some clever uses for them. While a parent might balk at the notion of letting a young child near the “main” computer, a laptop that’s a couple years old doesn’t cause nearly as much inward cringing. After all, it’s outdated, so if something happens to it, it’s no great loss.
If you’re not interested in selling locally, there are a number of sites online, with Gazelle.com being the most widely known, that will pay you cash for your aging equipment. Granted, you don’t get a lot, but every little bit helps, and you can use the funds you do get to help offset the cost of acquiring up to date equipment.
If you’re looking for a good way to reduce your tax bill for next year, consider donating them. In every community around the nation, a variety of non-profit organizations are pushing to bring technology to the poor. This solution to your outdated tech is a win on multiple fronts, because you get to engage with your local community and show you care, getting brownie points with your customers in your local area, and you can write the donation off, reducing your tax bill. What’s not to like about those things?
Most big box retailers offer trade credits for old equipment, which they turn around and resell. Many retailers have very specific requirements regarding what they will and won’t accept, so check with the vendors you deal with on a regular basis to see if they have a program like that, and if so, what equipment is eligible.
This isn’t true of every state, but an increasing number of them have robust recycling programs that can accept old electronics devices, including old computers. Check to see if the recycling facility in your area accepts computers and other equipment, and if so, your problem is only one trip to the recycling center from being solved.
When you’re ready to replace your laptops or other obsolete computer gear, there are a number of good options available. The worst thing you can do is just stick them in a closet somewhere and forget about them. You might as well let them perform one final service for you on the way out.