Why You Shouldn’t Trade In Your Stuff

cdsTrading in your old model when you’re moving up to a new one can seem like a great deal at first, but you’ll often throw money away if you take this route. No matter what you’re trading in, the same fundamental principle applies: when you sell to a store or dealer, you’re forced to sell at a significantly lower wholesale price so the store can profit by reselling the item at retail price. When you sell to a private party, that higher retail value goes straight to you. Here are a few common instances where you might be tempted to trade in your old item but can get a better deal by reselling it yourself.

  • Trading in your old car at a dealership. Even if you go to o


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13 Responses to Why You Shouldn’t Trade In Your Stuff

  1. abe says:

    If something is not worth the bother, consider donating it to charity for the tax deduction.

  2. David says:

    Actually, Sprint will give you credit for your old phone- I got $25 or $30 for mine (which I got free). Possibly other phone companies have similar programs.

    You need to donate a lot and keep the receipts if you’re giving away old items to charity. If it’s below a certain amount, you don’t get the deduction.

  3. Amy L. Fontinelle says:

    David, thanks for the tip about Sprint. I didn’t know that, and $25-$30 is not a bad deal at all.

    Another important thing to keep in mind is that if you’re taking the standard deduction on your taxes (which is common if you aren’t a homeowner), you won’t get any tax breaks for charitable donations.

  4. gloria s says:

    What is the price point when the fees for auction sites like ebay and paypal make it not worthwhile to list something?

  5. Brent says:

    BookMooch.com is great place for trading away those old books 1-to-1 for new ones. You just pay media mail shipping for your books.

  6. Nate says:

    I have a problem with selling CDs/DVDs on websites … what isn’t factored in is the time involved, plus shipping, packaging, and service fees. I’ve always found it to be much more of a hassle than just going to a couple stores trying to get rid of your stuff. I don’t believe it pays off except if you have lots of time to devote to it.

    Oh, and these format may be going away soon, so strike while they’re still buying.

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