One person's tech trash is another's tech treasure
That magical feeling you get when you sell your old gadgets
One of the best things about good pieces of tech is that they last a long time. Well-built phones and computers in particular can live many lives before they go to that big recycling center in the sky.
Yes, it's fairly easy these days to trade-in your old tech when you purchase something new. I recently swapped out my Pixel 7 for a Pixel 8 Pro and the process was as easy as factory resetting the phone, placing it in an envelope, and dropping it in a post box. While that process certainly is convenient, it's not as fulfilling as personally presenting your old device to its new owner whom you've just met via Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or wherever you prefer to sell things.
My old iMac
The iMac seems to be very well-suited for these types of resale markets. I've bought and sold several of them over the years and the machines hold up great. Since they are all-in-one computers that always need to be plugged in, there is no concern for battery degradation that would otherwise kill their resale value. Just this week I had a lovely encounter when selling my used iMac to an older gentleman who happened to live very close by.
This computer had come to the end of its useful lifespan for me. It was a mid-2010 model that was top-of-the-line at the time. It's wild to think that a thirteen year old piece of tech could still be chugging along but the 27" iMac is a unique machine with almost a cult-like following. Even when the eternals finally give out, it could be used as an external monitor for your newer, faster laptop.
I took great care of the thing and despite its age, it spent several years in storage and was always a secondary computer. So you could say it had low mileage in terms of a digital workstation. And it still could serve as a perfectly adequate upgrade for the right person, thankfully I found that person.
The new owner
The new owner of the iMac was thrilled as I showed him around his new-to-him machine. He said that it would be his first foray into Apple computers and I couldn't think of a better option to dip his toe into the Mac ecosystem. The buyer said that he was approaching retirement age and just wanted a big screen all-in-one to replace his ancient PC that could no longer connect to his wi-fi network.
The quirks of a 13-year old computer wouldn't be as glaring to this type of user. He has no desire to push the machine to its limits. His biggest concerns were if it could connect to wifi and allow him to print documents. I don't mean to diminish the tech needs of this man, but I happily assured him that this computer should give him no issues with those demands.
He didn't even want to take the included wireless trackpad and Magic Mouse since he said he already liked the mouse he'd been using for years. I certainly couldn't argue with that but did convince him that he'd love the Apple wireless keyboard. He was blown away by how light and thin it was as he begrudgingly accepted.
After the payment was exchanged we lingered in my garage and driveway as he told me more about his life and how long he'd lived in the neighborhood. It was very comfortable small talk and went on longer than the typical resale transaction. I hope the computer works out for him. I have a feeling that I'll hear from him again if anything goes awry. I could see my garage becoming a local Genius Bar for older folks in need of tech assistance...and that actually sounds fine to me.
I should point out that this iMac was posted for sale on Craigslist on and off for months. I lowered the price and added new photos. I wasn't really looking to bring in a lot of cash, I just really preferred to find a local buyer rather than ship it off to Apple for recycling. Time wasn't really a factor, I could wait for the right person to come along. And apparently the man who did come along only started his new computer search that same day we chatted in my driveway. Mine was the first computer he saw and he jumped on it. It was close, it was affordable, it was very easy. For the both of us.
So what's the moral of my little story? First, take care of your gadgets. Treat them right and they should last you a long time. Invest in quality gear and you will be rewarded. Second, when the time comes, do your best to find your tech a new home. Be patient. Sell locally when you can. And maybe you'll just make someone's day by providing them with a new (to them) gadget that they maybe otherwise wouldn't be able to afford.
Do you have any perfectly useable tech lying around? Let this inspire you to find it a new home this holiday season.
Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next week!
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