|Updated: 9/06/2012 11:20 am
||Published: 9/06/2012 10:53 am
When Varian Johnson started packing up his house for a move, he discovered a treasure trove of old electronics he'd forgotten all about.
"You get it and you use it and you think you're going to sell it or do something with it or repurpose it and it kind of gets stuck at the bottom of the drawer and you forget about it," Varian said.
But experts say it's time to clean out those drawers. Because these old, outdated electronics could easily be turned into gadget gold.
"There's never been a better time to get top dollar for your electronics," Michael Fridgen, CEO of Decide.com said.
Of course some products have more resale value than others. Experts say smart phones, tablets and laptops are all great for resale, with Apple products holding the most value.
"Even an iPhone that's up to 18 months old will get up to 50 percent of it's original value," Fridgen said.
This old Blackberry Curve is worth $75.
A used Nintendo Wii could fetch $150. While a first generation iPad is still worth around $300. And while old printers or fax machines don't usually sell for much, experts say old model e-readers can retain much of their value.
"They tend to work for very, very long time,” Michael Flaxman, CEO and Co-Founder of Priceconomics.com said. “When next year's e-reader comes out, it doesn't stop your old e-reader from being able to read a book."
So how do you know what an item is worth? You can try searching Craigslist, eBay or Amazon to start. Or a new site, priceonomics.com, which analyzes thousands of deals each day to calculate current value.
"We've indexed hundreds of millions of posts,” Flaxman said. “Absolutely anything you might buy on eBay, Craigslist or offline in the real world, we know what it's worth."
In addition to knowing what to sell, you'll want to consider when to sell.
"If you sell your product before the new version's announced, you can get considerably more money for it," Fridgen said.
Websites like Decide.com stay on top of the new release rumors and can help you decide whether to sell or hold.
"Prices are changing at a very fast rate,” Fridgen said. “We see, on a given day, 20 percent of products are seeing a price change."
And if the price is too low? Consider donating instead of selling.
"Oftentimes you can get a tax deduction, you'll get that item out of your house, and someone else will be able to start enjoying it," Flaxman said.
As for Varian, he was surprised to find out his old gadgets could earn him over seven-hundred dollars in cash.
"Very surprised, very surprised by how much it's worth,” Varian said. “I think I'm going to sell it."
So where do you go to sell these items? Experts say Craigslist is good for larger items that might cost a lot to ship, whereas eBay instant sale and Gazelle.com are great for items like phones. If you're just upgrading, stores like Best Buy or Game Stop will also buy your items - for credit instead of cash.