Green is a big color these days. Whether you’re looking to be greener by reusing and recycling, or looking for more green in the form of cash, it’s the color on everyone’s mind. With the holiday season approaching, millions of dollars will be spent on electronic items ready to be wrapped up and gifted. And with the new electronics, old electronics are shoved aside.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between 1.5 and 1.9 tons of electronics were thrown away and sent to landfills in 2005. Of the 304 million TVs, VCRs, cell phones, computers and monitors that were discarded that year, two-thirds of them still worked.
Gazelle.com is a fantastic site that both prevents the unnecessary tossing of electronics into landfills and gives its users a bit of green – bills, that is – in return. So far, Gazelle has helped keep about 5 tons of waste out of landfills.
reCommerce – Preventing Any Electronics Landing at the Dump
The idea of being green while putting some green back in your wallet isn’t new. It’s been around in one form or another for several years now through sites like BuyMyBrokeniPod.com, BuyMyTronics.com, and the numerous websites dedicated to paying for used ink cartridges. Regardless of the site, a specific type of product is paid for once it’s broken or no longer used and then repaired and resold if possible, fully recycled if not.
Gazelle has taken the idea of reCommerce and extended it into a huge variety of electronic products. The gadgets they currently buy include cell phones, mp3 players, digital cameras, laptops, PDAs, GPS devices, gaming consoles, camcorders, satellite radios, external drives, video games, and movies.
Whenever possible, Gazelle removes all personal data from working products and readies them for resale through wholesale and retail outlets. They’ve entered into a partnership with Recellular, as well, which means that nothing sent to Gazelle will ever wind up in a landfill.
When a product is broken beyond repair, it is completely disassembled and any reusable pieces are sold individually while the rest is completely recycled. Even better? While you’re feeling all good about the whole reusing, recycling thing (and getting paid for it), Gazelle pays for all shipping and will usually even send the customer a box to ship in.
While writing this article, I kept an eye on their “What’s Happening Now” ticker and found people earning $46 for their iPod Classic, $106 for their LG Chocolate, and $37 for their Palm Handheld. Not bad cash for something that would otherwise be thrown away in favor of the “newer, better model”.
You don’t have to know anything about technology to use Gazelle, it’s that easy. What you will need is the electronic(s) you want to offer them so that you can reference it, and you will need to sign up for a free account.
Got that under control? Okay, here comes the easy part: offer your product and find out what it’s worth.
1. Once you’ve signed in to Gazelle, hit the home page and type in the details of the product you’re offering in the search box. Be as specific as you can unless you don’t mind searching through tons of results. My search for “Cybershot” resulted in 114 results … it was only by typing in the model of the camera that I was able to narrow it down to 1 result.
2. The next page you see will have the search result(s). Each result contains an image, the information on the product, and an orange box beneath. One of two things will be shown in the orange box: a) $ Sell It Now, or b) Recycle It Now. This tells you right away whether your electronic has any market value or not. If it doesn’t, you can choose to have Gazelle recycle it responsibly, but you won’t receive any cash for the item. Click on your product.
3. Now, you’re presented with a screen that has several boxes (assuming you’ve got something with market value – there’s very few things that don’t). The one to be concerned with is the one on the top left, where you’re asked several questions about your product like whether it powers on, what its overall condition is, and what “original” products (manuals, cd’s, etc.) you have to accompany it. When you’ve answered these questions, click the large orange “Calculate” button to the right. For a Sony Cybershot DSC-T77 digital camera, Gazelle was offering $136 as I wrote this article.
4. If you’re happy with the offer, or just ready to get the broken old thing out for recycling, click the orange “Add to Box” button. You’ll be given the option to checkout or sell another item.
After you’ve checked out, you’ll receive your offer within 3-5 days. Gazelle makes payments via PayPal, check, or Amazon Gift Card with is issued by email. You select the method of payment you’d prefer – you can even elect to send your cash to a non-profit organization of your choice. In all , the entire process usually takes about 1 week.