Cha-ching! A new survey shows you could be sitting on a pile of cash.

By Marisa Cohen
November 28, 2017

If you’re already panicking about where you’re going to find the extra cash to pay for all those Secret Santa gifts, peppermint mocha lattes, and Coco-inspired toys this holiday season, just take a look in your junk drawer or under your kid’s beds. There’s a surprising amount of money to be found in the cell phones, video games, and Kindles that are gathering dust since you upgraded to the newest versions. In fact, in a recent survey of 1,000 customers, Decluttr.com found that the average family has around $264 worth of unused technology they could be trading in for cold, hard cash.

The same survey found that to 58 percent of Americans have at least three unused cell phones just sitting around their house, mockingly reminding them of the day when they were so excited to get a brand new Blackberry! Wouldn’t you rather clear all reminders of the early 2010s out your desk drawer, and use the money to buy that new espresso maker that somehow never got checked off your holiday wish list?

In addition to selling back your old cell phones—on Decluttr.com, an iPhone 6 in good condition could fetch you $136, and your old Samsung Galaxy A5 could rake in $60—you can also sell that old Xbox, Wii, or PlayStation your teenage son lost interest in when he discovered girls. Kindles, iPads, Apple watches, and laptops are also valuable on the sell-back market. 

Once you snoop into every corner of your house and gather up the old electronics, make sure to back up all your information onto the cloud or a hard drive, and then clear your personal information off the devices. Then, you have a few choices: Put it up for sale on eBay; bring it to a store like Best Buy, which will take your old phone and give you a gift card to spend on a brand-new replacement; sell it to a cash-back site like Decluttr.com; or, if you find that your old e-reader with the cracked screen and missing power cord isn’t worth anything at all, at least do the environment a favor and recycle it (check with your local electronics store or plug your zip code into Call2Recycle for a list of collection sites).

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