Letting go. Ugh.
Yeah, this is perhaps the hardest part after a very familiar and close relationship. Imagine parting after two years or so. Maybe you've had a much longer relationship, but then, this applies to all of them. After you've exhausted all means of repair or after you started noticing cracks and defects appearing in your perfect love story, is the perfect time to let go.
You're probably wondering right now if you clicked the wrong website. No, this is not a crappy and cheesy teenager puppy love site.
On techie terms, letting go of someone is comparable to upgrading from a failing or lagging laptop. Think of your laptop as the one who has virtually shared all of your secrets, has read all of your chat histories, knows your deepest and darkest desires with your browser's cache, has shared and stored your most precious moments and most of all understands you better than anybody else, save perhaps your smartphone.
You know it's time to let go in real life when it just doesn't work out for both of you, however, for laptops, it is a tricky business. Short of a broken laptop, just when is the right time for you to upgrade?
The right time to upgrade a laptop varies per person and the "future-proof" capability of a laptop. It can be after two years or even four depending on how an owner uses his gadget. Roughshod usage typically lasts a year until you've exhausted the warranty of your item.
Disposing of or recycling your laptop does not always mean passing it on to a younger sibling or a neighbor. That may be the norm for rich kiddos out there, but for cash-strapped techies like yours truly, there are a number of reputable websites and places where you can sell your laptop.
Here are the top five websites in no particular order.
First, of course, is the manufacturer itself. You don't really euthanize your laptop here but instead you enroll in their take-back program from which a user like yourself can get free gift certificates or discounts on their latest products.
Manufacturers such as Acer teamed with supermarkets like Best Buy so users could just drop their old laptops off at Best Buy stores and Acer would reimburse the latter for costs in collecting and shipping.
Apple, on the other hand, utilizes trade-ins. In return for your old Apple laptop, you will be given an Apple gift card. Apple also accepts other manufacturers' products for their recycling program free of charge.
However, this method will probably give you the least amount for your laptop. Short of high appraisals, this is just a glorified recycling method but a sure way of having your old laptop useful in the "green" sense.
Besides, they also accept very old laptops which probably cost a dime a dozen on other websites and stores.
To use eBay, first you need to have an eBay account. Registration is pretty straightforward and it doesn't take rocket science for a new user find his way around. Before, there was an "insertion fee" but as of 2009, eBay has taken that out of the first five auction listings in a month.
It is safe to post your beloved on eBay, but consider that if it is your first time to post and you have no feedback, you will have a tough job convincing people to trust you.
EBayâs bidding system ensures that if a lot of people are willing to pay for your product, you will net a huge amount, but that is negated if there is low to zero demand for your laptop. Or online buyers are simply not interested.
Shipping costs should also be considered. If you and your buyer are on opposite coasts, shipping rates are high. You must weigh carefully whether you will pay for the shipping. A "free shipping" sign attracts more buyers, but be sure that you won't lose money if the shipping cost is more than you thought.
Buyers paying shipping is more practical yet will most likely attract fewer prospective buyers.
Amazon is almost the same as eBay. You register and post your item. No rocket science either. However, for every purchase made, Amazon charges a commission fee of $0.99 and other fees that range from 8-20% of the price of your posted laptop. More senior sellers have to pay $39.99 a month while one-time users, like you, only have to pay the commission fee.
User feedback is everything on Amazon. So it would also be very hard to sell your laptop on Amazon having no feedback. Shipping can be done by you or by Amazon, in which case, you need to pay Amazon.
So many fees, eh? Well, Amazon and eBay are mostly designed for full-time online sellers and not just the occasional seller. That's the catch.
This website is generally just an online classified ads list. It's free and you can post as many ads as you want with matching description and pictures. Since it's a local service, you can schedule a meet-up with your buyer in a secure place. There's a catch, though.
Unlike the protection given by both eBay and Amazon to their customers and vendors, there is no such thing on Craigslist. It is also an open-season for spammers to send spam emails to your posted email address or even phony offers. Scammers are rampant too, and you should insist on only accepting cash because invalid checks are common for unsuspecting and too-trusting sellers.
Craigslist also only works locally. Your prospective buyers are limited to your city area, unlike the global and continental reach of eBay and Amazon.
This is probably the most convenient and safest way to sell your laptop out of the five methods listed here. The good thing is, unlike the three selling options, you donât need any registration or posting. Like Amazon and eBay, customer protection is paramount.
The process is so simple that it takes just a few clicks and you are ready to ship your item, free of charge, to the CashforLaptops technicians for checking. First, you indicate your model on their website and wait for a quote. Next is the page where you fill out the identification details and your mailing address.
After the confirmation process, they will send you a prepaid shipping label, which you can use to ship your laptop. After they check your laptop , you will be informed via email or phone about the final price CashforLaptops is willing to offer for your laptop.
And, if you agree, you can get the money through PayPal or a company check. If you don't, then they'll send you your laptop back in which the seller pays for the return shipping.
Testimonials from those who have successfully completed a transaction offer reliable feedback. Consistent business since 2002 is evidence of the effectiveness of CashforLaptops' buying process.
The Art of Letting Go
It's never easy to let go, even for gadget aficionados. However, in the long run, practicality rules over sentimentality. No use keeping an old and under-powered machine that's on its last leg. No use prolonging the suffering (and your suffering) of a defective device. Sell it! Dispose of it!
Rest assured that the laptop that will eventually replace it is a whole lot better, faster, has more raw power and has a longer lasting battery life.
Maybe we could also apply this to the real moving-on process. You should be paid for letting go. Or even better, you should get to have a new one, much better in lieu of the old?
A much better, "better half," er, laptop.