Consumer Reports ShopSmart says you just might be able to turn that electronic trash into treasure.
The latest trend is stores and online retailers such as Amazon.com offering gift cards, or trade-ins for your old electronics. Best Buy, for instance, will take back "gently used" laptops, iPods, and mobile phones right at the store if you have a Best Buy receipt. And at Best Buy online, you'll be able to trade in a wider variety of products, even older items bought at other stores. You'll get a gift card in exchange.
RadioShack also buys old electronics in stores or online. And Target runs an electronics trade-in program with the company NextWorth. Hot products such as iPhones and iPads will get you the best prices. But other stuff sells, too.
The prices you'll get vary. For instance, a 16-gigabyte iPhone can get $125 at Cellitused.com, $132 at Gazelle.com, and almost $250 at Glyde.com.
To get the most for your electronics, ShopSmart says, try to hang on to accessories such as manuals, cases, and chargers. Even having the original boxes helps, too. And if the retailer won't give you anything for your old stuff, you can usually still send it in and the company will recycle it responsibly.
You can also consider making a donation of your old electronics to charities such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill, as long as the products are in good working condition.