Posted by Jean
Recently, I’ve found myself fascinated by old electronics. I’m not typically a technology junkie, but I’ve been watching the stash of unused phones, iPods and other devices take up more and more space in my mudroom over the past few years. And, as it turns out, I’m missing out on a decent amount of money by letting them gather dust.
How? Well, I’ve found that there’s a robust secondary market for items that, while not the latest or greatest, are still solidly functioning pieces of technology — pieces of technology that people will pay money for. And if you can’t get money for your old desktop computer, there are plenty of charities that will happily take it off your hands. This, by the way, is a perfect example of one of my Money Rules: If it’s good for the planet, it’s usually good for your wallet. Letting this old technology rot is not good for the planet, so here’s the scoop on how your wallet can benefit, too:
To sell, head to uSell.com or Gazelle.com. All you have to do is find your product model — say, a BlackBerry Bold, model 9780, lightly used — and describe the quality. Does it turn on? Is it scratched? uSell is a deal aggregator, so it will use this information to show you offers from various re-sale sites across the web. Gazelle will only show you what they are willing to pay for the device. So for example, offers on that BlackBerry ranged from $68 to $112 on uSell, while Gazelle offered me $71. Assuming the quality of your item matches the description you wrote on uSell or Gazelle, you will be able to send your item in for free and, in return, get the promised value.
To donate, check out Reconnect, a program created by Goodwill and Dell that allows you to donate an old computer as easily as old jeans. They’ll take computer monitors (even if the screen is cracked), keyboards, printers, mice, speakers and more. To deduct these donations from your taxes, you must determine the value of the item beforehand — do it online using the estimates from uSell or Gazelle — and Goodwill will provide you with a receipt, just as it does for other types of donations. You can go towww.reconnectpartnership.com to find the Reconnect drop-off point closest to you.
And now, here are the other headlines for the week…
Emergency “Woot” Canals
Do you remember that episode of The West Wing when press secretary CJ Craig needed an emergency root canal? It’s probably one of the funniest West Wing moments, in my opinion. (A refresher, here.)
But, as hilarious as it is to hear CJ repeatedly say “woot canal,” there’s some news out of Reuters that isn’t quite so funny. It turns out more and more Americans are heading to the emergency room for dental treatment — there has been a 16 percent increase in dental-related ER visits since 2006. What’s more, visiting the ER for routine dental problems can cost more than ten times as much as it might cost at your local dentist. So while you think you might be saving money by skipping out on dental check-ups, you’re actually costing yourself more money by putting it off.
The Power of Negotiation
Since I’m on a bit of a TV kick here, I’ll admit that one of my favorite shows right now is The Good Wife, with Julianna Margulies. She plays a spurned political wife (a la Elizabeth Edwards, Silda Spitzer, etc.) who goes back to work as a lawyer after 15 years as a stay-at-home mom. The legal cases in the show are always interesting, but I’m particularly enjoying a storyline in which she is struggling to approach her boss about a raise. She tried to do it nicely, but this Sunday’s episode found her with a job offer from a competing firm — an offer she decided to use as leverage for a higher salary.
I don’t want to spoil the episode for those of you who haven’t seen it, but I will say that using a job offer as leverage isn’t the only way to negotiate with a boss. This Forbes article has a great sample negotiation script — I highly recommend taking a look.
We’ll be talking all about negotiation in the March 27th episode of Cash Call, so I’d love to hear all your questions, comments or concerns about negotiation. What do you find hardest about negotiating? What tips would you want me to go over? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out over Facebook — I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Cash Call Resources
Speaking of Cash Call, the folks at RLTV designed this info-graphic and wanted me to pass it along. It’s clickable, so click through to see exclusive clips from the show and some extra videos I’ve been shooting just for the web:
Have a great week!
PS: I’m loving all the Money Rules you guys sent me! I’m still choosing the winners, but in the meantime, you can buy my book here.