There are plenty of companies where you can sell electronics -- places that'll happily buy old fitness trackers, smartwatches, gaming consoles, laptops, digital cameras and other electronic equipment. In exchange, they'll send you cold hard cash, often in the form of a gift card or PayPal transfer. (Not too shabby for that MacBook gathering dust in your closet.) You can even sell your old electronics without having to visit a physical location such as a pawn shop, now that used electronics website options are becoming more popular. And you won't have to worry about paying for shipping or shouldering the cost of a fee, which is somewhat commonplace with services that sell electronics and old equipment.
Best Buy's payment turnaround time is slower than other services, but the company accepts a wider variety of gadgets -- matching nearly every type of electronic device it sells, including various laptop options, smartphone options, wearables, digital camera options, and video game consoles. You can trade in your gaming system, video games, and an iPhone or iPad at the same time, for example.
We do purchase broken laptops, but the broken laptop must be on the newer side in order for us to use the parts. Our technicians will evaluate your laptop and offer you a great cash price based off the parts we can use and refurbish.
Whether you upgraded and have gotten a better model or just have an extra laptop you want to get rid of, there are a lot of websites and apps where you can sell used electronics including laptops and desktops.
A lot of people prefer Amazon because they trust the company and have been using it for years. Nonetheless, all the places listed above are great for selling old and used laptops. The good thing is that with most you can get a quote before you ship the device. Use that to get an idea of which one pays the most and go with them.
In 2017, somewhere between getting my office and my website off-the-grid, I decided not to buy any more new laptops. Instead, I switched to a 2006 second-hand machine that I purchased online for 50 euros and which does everything that I want and need. Including a new battery and a simple hardware upgrade, I invested less than 150 euros.
Each year, we purchase between 160 and 200 million laptops. Using the data above, this means that the production of laptops requires a yearly energy consumption of 480 to 868 petajoules, which corresponds to between one quarter and almost half of all solar PV energy produced worldwide in 2018 (2,023 petajoules).  The making of a laptop also involves a high material consumption, which includes a wide variety of minerals that may be considered scarce due to different types of constraints: economic, social, geochemical, and geopolitical. 
The production of microchips is a very energy- and material-intensive process, but that is not the only problem. The high resource use of laptops is also because they have a very short lifespan. Most of the 160-200 million laptops sold each year are replacement purchases. The average laptop is replaced every 3 years (in business) to five years (elsewhere).  My 5.7 years per laptop experience is not exceptional.
Not finding what I was looking for, I decided to go back in time. By now, it had dawned on me that new laptops are of inferior quality compared to older laptops, even if they carry a much higher price tag. I found out that Lenovo switched keyboards around 2011 and started searching auction sites for Thinkpads built before that year. I could have changed back to my ThinkPad R52 from 2005, but by now, I had become accustomed to a Spanish keyboard, and the R52 had a Belgian one.
This is the moment to introduce you to my magical SD-card, which is another hardware upgrade that facilitates the use of old (but also new) laptops. Many people have their personal documents stored on their laptop's hard drive and then make backups to external storage media if all goes well. I do it the other way around.
This is pretty much what a lot of us in Umeå Hackerspace do. I've gone so far as buying like five identical laptops whenever the municipal thrift store gets a new batch in. Usually they sell them for $90. Last time we picked some up they were Intel Core i5's with 4 GiB of RAM, with enough slots for 8 GiB. More than enough to run Debian on.
One thing that might be useful to add to the article: old laptops make for decent servers - the battery is a built-in UPS! Most of them have enough regulation to where you can probably plug a solar panel straight into them. No charge controller or external battery needed!
Great article Kris! Those old thinkpads are tanks :-) one note for anyone else reading, windows 10 will install for free on most old laptops if they had at least windows 7 on them. And windows 10 is lighter than previous OSs, although it does spy on you :-( could be an option for those who need windows software or don't want to dabble in Linux, which although great, will have the occasional minor technical headache every now and then.
I just wanted to notify you of one small typo. In your section \"Spare laptops\" you talk about getting your laptop repaired in a tiny \"IT shop run by a Chinese.\" I think that it would sound a little more natural as \"a Chinese man.\" It's just one of those quirks of the Anglos.
There are reasons why laptops become slower over time. One important reason is the cooling system. If it becomes less efficient because the fan is clogged, the CPU needs to throttle down to prevent itself from overheating.
Switching to Linux was a steep learning curve, but now running Mint Cinnamon for 6 years, very happy with it. I haven't bought a new laptop since 2000; a friend send one over that was a refurbished HP Notebook which was 8 years old then, now 13; bought a backup one a few years ago, both running Linux now. No issues with old laptops. HP's and IBM's can be easily taken apart and serviced at home; a good clean of the fan can make a lot of difference.
I love this post. I thrive on discarded computers! Linux on old Thinkpads, can't beat it. Although I did acquire a random high-end Dell from 2013 for free, and Debian works great on it. You might use computers differently than I do, but I've been able to get about 10 years of life out of my laptops, or even more for my still-strong T420s from 2010.
The Wuhan death flu has increased the demand for laptops in America and has nearly tripled this price. Crybabies are always trying to run and ruin the world, don't think that you have written anything that is in the least bit offensive about China or Chinese people. I gave up trying to save the world, I'm just trying to save a buck.
I have also stopped buying new laptops in order to not create more waste than needed. I found out the \"enterprise\" lines of laptops (touchpad for Lenovo, elitebook for HP) tend to last more and are more easily repaired/upgraded than others. You can also find them easily through specialized resellers that buy out old hardware from enterprises.
Great Post Kris. My son works for Dell and he has helped me over the years to find good used laptops and desktops. They are all working and have needed upgrades and repairs from time to time but I have done all the repairs. They are all Dells of course. I could write a similar article on Cars. The last new car I bought was 1990 and I have only bought 3 new cars in my life. The first in 1971. There are some models that are cheaply repairable(like my 2001 corolla with 300K miles) and some that are durable, repairable and almost indestructible if just minimally maintained like my 3 W123 mercedes diesels, also with nearly 300K miles. I also have tractors from the 60's and 70's which still run fine. Most older cars esp from the 60's on were junk as well as most of the new models which are just expensive unrepairable potential junk.
\"We need another economical model, in which we build all laptops like pre-2011 Thinkpads\" -- without a doubt. Unfortunately, if you look at the situation from the point of view of manufacturers and corporate interests fully invested in the current system where profit is the only real motive, there is no incentive whatsoever to build durable, long-lasting products. (There does seem to be a gap in the market for this, however, that a sufficiently determined and knowledgeable group of entrepeneurs might be able to pursue, much like this team at 51nb.)
I just wondered if you also compared the environmental improvements you have made using and repairing older laptops VS doing the same but with desktops As these are very modular and parts can be mixed and matched across different makes and models. Basically the only limiting factor is what the motherboard accepts for RAM and CPU socket. But even if that becomes a issue the motherboard itself can be upgraded together with ram and CPU leaving the rest of the machine alone. The case, fans, power supply, screen, keyboard and mouse might never have to be replaced while a new laptop always discards these parts when one buys another (new to you) one. This is why I favour a desktop for home use and it might not be practical for someone who travels a lot. What are your thoughts on this
I would argue that any laptop purchased today should, terms of performance, be enough for decades to come provided the software providers keep supporting it or there is no DRM/\"security\" features to lock out future software upgrades. That is the crux of the problem however. These machines will be locked down more and more and made into appliances simply so that folks have to keep buying the newest models. Again, look to Apples new laptops and desktops, everything is soldered in place so that you are forced into their obsolescence model. This is the grim future of computing we will face. One in which you either have to pay to have continued access or be using older/lower performant machines (think Raspberry Pi) so that you can use things beyond the designated kill date.
As an added bonus, if laptops become more repairable and more people want them repaired, but lack the technical knowledge to do it themselves, then local, creative jobs could be created in that sector that would replace faraway, resource-intensive, boring industrial jobs in manufacturing. Income would be redistributed as it takes less capital investment to set up a repair business as opposed to a factory. Also, repair shops do not need a lot of space to operate and can contribute to re-enlivening urban neighborhoods. 59ce067264