Saturday, January 8, 2011

eBay Really Works

I mentioned a few days ago that I had three dead notebook PCs lying around the house, all of them obsolete (some way obsolete).  Two are notebooks that my daughter and son-in-law bought in college; the third is an antique that I bought when I still lived in California, and that my daughter took to college with her back in 2001.  I don't ever remember using it--but I know that I did.

The two notebooks that belonged to my daughter and son-in-law had a lot of personal stuff on the hard disks, so I pulled them out, and turned them into external drives for their new desktop.  What to do with the rest?  I put them on eBay, along with a couple of really obsolete PCMCIA network cards--and what do you know?  All three notebooks sold, as did the wireless PCMCIA card.  There was not a lot of money involved--but at least they were not going into landfills.  The Dell is going to be used to replace a broken screen on a similar model.  I suspect that the other two notebooks will have something similar happen to them.


  1. Indeed. Unlike ideal desktops where many if not most parts can be generically swapped, laptops are just about totally custom and old half-broken ones are ideal and sometimes the only way to fix them.

    And unlike the problem with bogus putative buyers for working laptops, eBay shouldn't present problems with the type of sale you did.

  2. Yes, eBay really works - I just sold an old A8N-SLI Premium motherboard to a guy in Tahiti!

  3. Yes, eBay really works - I just sold a motherboard to a guy in Tahiti! Also sold to Finland, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Australia and Albania.

  4. A recent Kiplinger magazine article suggested consulting a YouTube video on how to smash your hard drive to prevent data recovery by bad guys. I, too, have several dead computers that need to be recycled. Good luck.

  5. I have a soft spot for old hardware, myself. I just wish I had the time and money to really tinker with them! Indeed, there are times I wish I could figure out what an old 8048 microprocessor (found in a keyboard) could do.

    I'm glad you were able to find a home for your old laptops.

  6. You can make even a bit more money, based on my experience, if you part out the laptop yourself.

    I parted out an HP laptop in 2006 (it had been made in 2002) and realized enough from the sale of its parts to pay for a then-new Toshiba laptop, which I'm still using today.

    I kept the hard drive, much like you did then sold the following lots.

    1) Screen in housing.
    2) Inverter (Power supply for screen LCD flourescent back-light tubes.)
    3) Power switch daughter board
    4) Mother board with CPU, fan & heatsink
    5) Hard drive caddy
    6) Modem card
    7) Keyboard
    8) Memory (Often quite a bit more finicky for laptops than it is for desktops.)
    9) Every screw and fastener I could remove and put in a zip-loc bag.
    10) Floppy drive (dated, I know)
    11) The balance of the lower case.

    It took just a bit of work, but if memory serves, I pulled in at least twice as much (2.5x?) as the comparable past sales suggested I would have gotten for selling the laptop whole.