Regina Lewis, Special for USA TODAY
Given our high-tech lives these days, just about everyone has a few used electronic gadgets around the house. There's a thriving secondary market for your old devices. Old iPads or iPods, Nooks, Kindles, smartphones or digital cameras may be worth something.
In this week's Money Quick Tip, we've got the 411 on how and where to trade in your used electronics for store credit, gift cards or even cash.
To find out what your device is worth, check out such sites as Gazelle.com, BuyMyTronics.com, NextWorth or Amazon Trade-in. Getting a quote is as simple as picking a product category, clicking on the make and model number, and entering the item's condition. In less than a minute, you'll know what your used gadget will command.
Sending in your used electronics is simple - and if it's worth at least $30, many trade-in services will cover shipping via a prepaid label you can print at home.
When it comes to getting paid, Gazelle lets you choose from an Amazon gift card, PayPal payment or check. In our house, we've received several checks, because I make all my children trade in their old devices when they get something new. Amazon offers store credit, and at NextWorth, you can opt to receive a check, PayPal deposit or Target gift card. Expect to receive payment about 5 to 10 business days after your item is received.
Here are some tips to consider:
1. Enter an honest description of your gadget. Be sure to accurately describe the condition of your item, as it will be assessed by a professional. Misrepresenting the condition will likely lead to a notification that it will only be accepted at a lower payment.
2. Trade-in used iPhones now to get top dollar. One of the most popular used gadgets to cash in on is Apple's iPhone - but if you are planning to part with one, time is of the essence. While used iPhones hold their worth better than many smartphones, iPhones' resale value tends to drop when Apple announces a new version. The new iPhone 5s is expected to be announced this month.
Recently, Gazelle was offering about $315 for a 16-gigabyte AT&T iPhone 5 in good condition, and close to $215 for the 32-gigabyte iPhone 4S. You can lock in quotes you receive, and Gazelle will give you up to 45 days to send in your old phone. That should provide you with enough lag time to upgrade to the new iPhone or another smartphone of your choice.
3. Always back- up your data and "wipe" your device clean. No matter what type of device you're trading in, always be sure to back up any data you'd like to hold onto - e-mails, personal contacts, photos and other files. It's also important to permanently delete or "wipe" clean all data from the device you are parting with.
With so many options for trading in old gadgets, there's no reason to let them gather dust. Get rid of the clutter, and put some extra cash in your pocket.
Regina Lewis is a national television contributor and host of USA TODAY's "Money Quick Tips" videos. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaLewis.