The Inconvenient Truths in Buying and Selling Used Gadgets (Plus Bonus Tips in Selling Your Gadgets)

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / 

What do you usually do with your old gadgets? Do you sell them or do you hand them down to your lucky family members?

I usually give my old gadgets to family members. However, a few weeks ago, I tried selling a used gadget for the first time. And boy was the experience brutal.

Armed with a few old gadgets that we’re no longer using and/or willing to let go, we set out to Greenhills in search of the most reasonable deals.

Some of the gadgets we planned to sell were:
PSP phat
Creative Zen music player
Nikon D5100
Nokia N70
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

In the end though, we only sold a tablet and a few PS3 games.

I didn’t set my expectations very high. I know that some of these gadgets have seen better days. But I expected that we would get a pretty decent deal from selling the Nikon D5100. This camera was rarely used and we only had it for a year. But boy was I wrong!

Here’s a quick rundown of the original prices and the prices offered by stores who buy used gadgets:


Inconvenient Truth # 1: Seriously huge price markdown

When selling used gadgets to stores, their offers are ridiculously low. The prices widely vary as well. So, if ever you choose this path, make sure to set your expectations low.

As you can see, the offers were less than half of the original price. It was pretty frustrating to hear every time the sales attendants opened their mouths.

Because of the very low offer, we’ve decided to keep the Nikon D5100.

Inconvenient Truth # 2: Trade in versus Cash

In Greenhills, you have the option to sell your gadgets in exchange for cash. Other stores also offer an option to trade your used gadget for a brand new gadget of your choice. If the value of the used gadget is P10000 and the new gadget you want in exchange is P13000, you’ll just have to shell out P3000.

Important note: Stores will offer a higher value for trade in.

For example:

My Samsung tablet is valued at P10500 (the highest offer) if I trade it with an iPod touch 5th gen.

But if I just want cash, it’s only valued at 9500. But since I forgot the charger (because it’s broken anyway), they deducted P500, which left me with P9000. Although trading in sounds more cost efficient, I ended up taking the cash. They were some problems with the unit they gave me. So, I used the cash to buy an iPod touch 5th gen from a store that I trust.

Inconvenient Truth # 3: Some of the used gadgets listings online come from Greenhills.

Before bringing the gadgets to Greenhills, I actually did my homework and checked out the prices of used gadgets.

When I brought up prices to the exceedingly perky sales attendant in Greenhills, he told me that some of the gadgets that are sold in classified websites like Sulit also come from them.

This means that some of the used gadgets were not actually owned by the person who posted the listing. Of course, not all listings are like this.

So, when buying used gadgets online, just be extra careful.

Some tips when selling your used gadgets:

  • Keep box and receipt.

You’ll get a better deal when you’ve got the original box, charger, and other accessories that came with the gadget.

They won’t necessarily ask for the receipt, but I like keeping it so I know when I bought the gadget and for how much.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the store deducted P500 from their offer because I didn’t have the charger. They can issue a refund for the P500 if I give them the charger within three days. But it’s Greenhills, it’s freaking far! So, I decided to let go of the P500. In my case, it was broken anyway. So, the P500 deduction seemed fair.

  • White gadgets are easier to sell.

I’m not sure if this is true for all stores. But a few of the owners or sales attendants have shared that people are prone to buy used white iPhones or iPod touches.

  • Do not tell sales attendants the price that other stores offered you.

The first question that stores will ask when you present your used gadget is, “How much are you selling it for?” Never answer this question. You risk giving a price that is either too low or too high. It’s best to tell them that you have no idea and let them give their offer.

In addition, don’t let them know about offers from other stores. It might affect their decision of assessing your gadget.

  • Sell gadget before new model or generation gets released.

If you’re planning to sell your used gadget, make sure to check when the next generation will be released. As you know, prices of gadgets get a markdown once the new generation is released. This means that the offer for used gadgets will be much lower.

Most of the time, Samsung and Apple release new generation gadgets each year. You can check out websites like CNET to see if they have any details regarding the release dates. This way you can plan ahead of time.

  • You’re better off selling gadgets to people in your circle.

Based on my horrific experience in selling my tablet in Greenhills, I’ve realized that this is the best option. This might take longer and it’s a more tedious process (you have to put up ads, ask people you know).

But in the end, you’ll get a better deal. Plus, it’s a comforting feeling that the gadget that has been a part of your life is with someone you know.

Have you bought or sold used gadgets? Let us know about your experience by commenting below. 🙂






Irene Chan

Irene Chan

Irene Chan loves two things: communication and technology. With this tech blog and her role as Head of Communications at Veems, she believes she has the best job in the world. 🙂 Besides those two things, she's also crazy for coffee, dogs, and zombies.Follow her on Veems to get tips and fun updates from her geeky life.
Irene Chan

  • Geeklygirl,

    I sell my old gadgets online only. Meet ups at the nearest MRT stations.. Saves me gas, time and effort..

  • There are huge information about the gadgets. It’s really necessary. Thanks for sharing.

  • Francesca

    Hi there! Thanks for this. I’m planning to sell my laptop at wither Gilmore of Greenhills, I’m torn between the two. But upon reading numerous articles about both places, I think I’m going with Greenhills instead :)) This is my first time to sell a gadget so I hope I’m able to make a good deal!

    • Irene Enriquez

      Good luck, Francesca! Make sure to have someone with you. It’s best to have a second opinion when you’re dealing with the buyers in Greenhills.