Monday 21 January 2019

Ask Adrian: Our tech editor tackles your trickiest technology problems


Old mobile phone
Old mobile phone
Apple TV
Microsoft Arc Mouse
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Q I recently cleared out my attic and am left with a bunch of old tech stuff I'd forgotten about including a monitor, keyboards, a tablet, a Playstation 2 and even two old mobile phones. Before I throw it out, is any of this valuable? How much of it will charity shops take?

A Many old mobile phones still have some value, even if it's only €20. However, you'll get close to nothing for an old keyboard. Similarly, an old monitor is practically worthless, unless it's a high-end screen for an Apple Mac. You'll get something for an iPad, even if it's a very old one (such as the iPad 2, which is still sold for €100 in second hand shops). You won't get much for an old Android tablet unless it's a premium brand (such as Samsung). Even then, it will be less than an iPad, which still dominates the market.

Game consoles like PlayStations are generally in demand, but older models such as a PlayStation 2 or an Xbox 1 will only fetch around €10. Another thing to factor in is that places that buy such old tech usually insist on at least one controller with the console. As for any old video games you have lying around, older ones are usually worth no more than 50 cents each (even if they originally cost €50 when released the year before last).

Monitors have some value, but at a fraction of the price you bought it for.

This is especially so as you can buy a brand new HD monitor for around €100; your six-year-old non-HD monitor is worth almost nothing by comparison.

You'll get nothing at all for items such as cables or adapters, while things such as hard drives also have little to no value second hand.

It's a similar story for PC peripherals such as mice.

A few places buy old pieces of tech. Bricks and mortar shops that buy your old gadgets include GameStop and the CeX chain. They will generally buy an item for a little over half the price that they sell them on for.

Other online services are more restricted to phones, but ask you to post them through before they give you your final price assessment.

As with any other item you want to sell, you also have the option of trying to sell them on services such as DoneDeal or However, that means organising time to meet buyers, who may or may not take the item from you.

Second hand and charity shops don't take as much tech as you'd think, for the good reason that many have no way of thoroughly testing whether the item works or not.

However, they will generally take items such as second hand video games as they can be put on the shelf immediately without much of a need for testing.

In my experience, the best option is to ask around friends or family to see whether any of them could use an old tablet or phone. But don't expect to be greeted as a celebrated benefactor - the days of kids being delighted with a four-year-old entry level Android phone are long gone. They're used to seeing (and playing with) the iPhones and higher-end Android handsets their parents use. When their small, plastic model takes a while to do what mam's iPhone does, they may ask for a 'real' phone for a birthday, Christmas or confirmation. It's even worse with teens, who will sullenly reject most old tech stuff you offer them with an offended, pitying look.


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