How much is my PC worth? This is one of the most popular queries in many laptop and PC forums online, and for years, it seems a satisfactory answer and a working formula hasn’t been deciphered.
This is mainly because, compared to either buying a new computer or building one from scratch in which cases the prices are available online, selling a used computer is a different ball game. The price you’d probably be looking to sell will heavily depend on a range of factors, like the age of the PC, what components it has, and how the hardware looks. The cleaner the hardware, the more you can request on your resale.
Many online used PC price calculators are completely useless, a prime example is an online calculator I found on The PC Broker website. I stated that I had a Core i7 3rdgeneration processor, an 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, a Wi-Fi USB adapter, and a 1GB dedicated graphics card, and this tool estimated that my PC will sell for $210, which is clearly useless as my PC will be worth a lot more than that.
We’d be sharing a formula that can work for checking how much your PC is worth, so you can calculate your used PC resale price yourself, and some options that you have available if you’re looking to get competitive resale pricing on your machine.
How Much Is My PC Worth? PC Price Calculator / Formula
- Original / First Purchase Price
- Model Brand popularity
- Tech Specs
- Working Condition
- Battery Condition
Original / First Purchase Price
These are some things to consider before putting your PC up for sale. You must consider how much you bought it new, as a rule of thumb your laptop loses around 20% off its purchase value if you want to resell, so consider that. If you bought it new, the 20% rule is mostly binding, but if you bought it from someone, the resale value doesn’t really require a deduction of the 20%.
Model and Brand popularity
You would probably get a lot more if you’re putting an Apple MacBook 2015 machine up for sale compared to a Dell or HP laptop from the same year and with the same tech specs, so the more popular the PC and model is, the higher your chances of demanding a lot more. This doesn’t add to the price or remove from it, but it puts you in a better negotiating position.
This is one of the biggest factors. Generally, a 2GB RAM laptop and an 8GB RAM laptop are going to be priced very differently, not only because they have different purchase prices, but the demand is often different. If you are selling a Core i5 and i7 laptop right now, you have a high negotiating power, but when you’re reselling an Intel Celeron PC, you’ll probably need to remove somewhere between 8 and 10% OFF. Physical features like the color, USB ports, webcam, etc. all fall under tech specs to consider.
I’d like to add this, because, while it isn’t always a factor that needs consideration, it can put you in a really good place when doing negotiations. If you sense that your laptop or PC is no longer in production, and there seems to be a lot of demand for it, you are in a good place and can demand around 5% more. If the reverse is the case, you might need to slash OFF the same 5% or 10%.
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How is your machine’s performance? Are there underlying issues with your computer? This will heavily affect the resale value of your machine. Since the buyer will consider the fault and the cost of repairing the machine, you might need to even cut the resale price by around 20% more. If you can repair the PC before putting it on sale, prices can go up.
The weaker the battery, the lesser the prices go. The stronger the battery, the better your negotiating position. So you will have to consider the battery strength and quality before putting a price tag on the laptop/computer.
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If you got a laptop 6 months ago, with all of the top tech specs we can imagine, Core i7 3rdgeneration processor, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, and 1GB dedicated graphics card, you will be able to demand a higher price than you would if you are putting a computer with the same specs but from 5 years ago on sale. For the former, your buyer gets to enjoy warranty coverage and they also get a relatively new computer, but that isn’t the case for a computer of 5 years. Even if they have the same specs, you would generally see around 20% price differences between the former and the latter.
The older your PC, the lesser it will generally cost. So for those asking, “How Much Is My PC Worth?” the answer remains that it depends on a range of factors, and you never can see a tool or online PC worth calculator that will accurately calculate what your PC should be sold for. We recommend doing an Amazon search of your PC name and model + Renew, and you will get an idea of how much Amazon is reselling it. You should be able to see how much Dell, HP, and many eBay sellers put their PCs up for resale and that will generally give an idea of what you can sell for.
What Do You Do with An Old PC? – Options We Recommend
Besides selling it, there is a wide range of things to do with an old PC – you just have to get creative. Firstly, we recommend giving it out or donating it. You might have younger relatives that need a PC or choose to donate it to a local school or orphanage.
You can also dedicate it to distributed computing projects. Whatever you decide to do with an old PC, it is important to wipe it clean first or restore it to its original state. Here are some other things to do with an old PC;
Convert or Dedicate It
There are many things you can convert an old PC to;
- NAS/Home server or Secondary computing server
You can convert it to a NAS to have your videos, photos, and music in one place for the family to easily access. You would also have better control of the security of these files. You can opt for software like FreeNAS, Tonido, Rockstor, XigmaNAS, and WHS to turn the PC into a network-attached storage device. It can also be converted into a secondary computing server to help with distributed rendering chores.
- Dedicated game server
You can convert the PC into a dedicated game server for your favorite multiplayer game. Simply check if it’s a game that allows you to host a server on a local computer. Of course, you can also dedicate it to old-school gaming.
You can get older games that work on newer operating systems from Steam and Good old games (GoG) or emulate a legacy DOS environment with DOSBox.
- Communal PC
You can have your old PC in the living room or any other general area – maybe a study or library – as a communal PC. It should be connected to networked storage, so anyone can access their files through it to do some light work or quickly access some information. Be sure to have strong security software and separate accounts for each person.
- Guitar amplifier
To convert your old PC into a guitar amplifier, download an amplifier modeling program like Guitar Rig 5 and get a cable to connect the guitar to the PC via USB.
- Dedicated PC
You can decide on any significant function you use often and dedicate the PC to it. For example, you can dedicate it to video conferencing. Then, you can do a fresh Windows 10 install along with your preferred video conferencing apps.
- Security Cam
If you don’t need proper home security cameras but still want to monitor the happenings in your home, you can set up the old PC as a security camera. Simply use the PC’s webcam or an external webcam with a microphone. Then, you can remotely monitor what it captures with apps like iSpy.
Experiment With It
If you’ve been too scared to try out Linux because things could go wrong – an old PC can be your free card. With an old PC, you can experiment as much as you want without fear. You can experiment with any UNIX-based OS if you’re tech-savvy enough.
You can even try your hands at creating a Hackintosh or Chromebook. You can also simply turn the PC into a sandbox to try out things you wouldn’t usually try.
Use Its Parts
For those conversant with building PCs, you should already know that parts from old PCs can help reduce the cost of getting a new one. You can salvage parts like the case, memory modules, power supply, and optical drive. If you don’t know how to build a PC, you can sell the parts of an old PC.
You can also decide to turn the old PC into a tablet. If you are tech-savvy and have exceptional skills when it comes to DIY, you can try this out. There are several tutorials on how to turn a PC into a tablet. It would probably work better if it’s a touchscreen, but you can also find tutorials on how to turn any screen into a touchscreen.
One more way to use the parts of an old PC is for art. Get creative in finding ways to turn different PC parts into insightful art pieces, and maybe you can even exhibit them. If you need inspiration, Google and Pinterest are at your service.
Instead of throwing them away or letting them turn to clutter in your home, you can recycle your old PCs. Find the nearest recycle bank or collection facility to drop your PC at. You can also see if you can return the PC to the retailer; Dell collects old PCs regardless of the brand when you’re buying a new one.
5 Best Places To Sell Your Old Pc – And Why They’re Great
Some of the best places to sell your old PC are;
For the fastest bidding service and highest TrustPilot, use Decluttr. You can sell and buy all kinds of tech and choose from the various bids you get – you also get free shipping, and payments are made quickly. You can get a bid seconds after signing up and putting in the necessary details of the item you want to sell. You can get paid with direct deposit, PayPal, or even a charity deposit.
eBay is one of the more popular platforms for selling old or used items. It is important to note that just as there are several buyers, there are also several sellers – so selling on this platform is a competition, especially if you want fast sales.
Thankfully, eBay offers best practices to help you list your items and set the best prices. You can decide to sell your item in an auction, offer a fixed price, or allow buyers to offer their price.
- Facebook Marketplace or Groups
Here’s a great way to make money with your Facebook account. Facebook Marketplace connects you to local and online buyers for almost any item and for free. You get to control your prices and connect with many buyers – but you have to make your offers competitive.
Sellers use Craigslist to find local buyers for their items. You can use this platform to sell your old PC at your preferred price to any interested buyer. Craigslist puts your item out to a large number of prospective buyers for free.
Gazelle offers the online and in-person sale of phones, tablets, Apple computers, and iPods – they also offer free shipping. After describing its condition, you get an offer from them for the item you want to sell. If they decide the condition of your item is worse than what you described, they offer you a revised amount that you can accept within five days. You can get paid in PayPal, check, or amazon gift card a week after they receive your item or get paid immediately at any of their kiosks.
Best Places to Sell Old PC Parts And Games
Some of the best places to sell old PC parts and games are;
- Facebook marketplace
- Sell GPU
- IT connected
- ITAD Companies
- PC swaps
- Best Buy
It is important to note that, when meeting a buyer in person, you should take a friend and have the meeting in a public place. You should also know to be wary of scammers on these sites. All the sites recommended for selling your old PC have their way of vetting sellers and buyers, but some might not be effective enough. Hence, it is worth being extra careful.
How Do You Wipe A Computer Clean to Sell It?
To wipe your Windows computer clean to sell it;
- First, be sure to back up your files or transfer them out into another hard drive
- Go to Settings or tap the Start button and click Settings
- Navigate to Update & Security >> Recovery
- Under Reset this PC, tap Get Started
- On the page that pops up, select Remove everything to wipe the computer clean completely
- Next, select Change Settings, toggle on Data Erasure
- Tap Confirm >> Next >> Reset
- The computer will be reset to its original state with a fresh Windows 10 installation
To wipe your Intel-based MacBook clean to sell it;
- First, be sure to back up your files, sign out of iCloud/iTunes/iMessage and copy your keychain into a flash drive
- Turn OFF the computer
- Turn it back on, then press and hold the Shift, Option, Command, and R or just the Command and R keys until you see the Apple logo or a spinning globe
- You should see a macOS Utilities page after a few seconds
- Tap Disk Utility >> Continue
- Select the option at the top (the built-in hard disk) of the file tree to erase everything and tap Erase at the top of the screen
- You can keep the default setting for the format and scheme or select the MacOS Extended (Journaled) format and then tap Erase
- Once the process is finished, exit Disk Utility
- Return to the macOS Utilities page and select Reinstall macOS
- After the installation is completed, the computer will start the setup process
- Leave it this way or press the Command and Q keys to skip it for the new owner to set it up
If you have a newer MacBook – a mac with the Apple T2 security chip or macOS Monterey on a mac with Apple silicon;
- Tap the Apple Icon at the top left corner of the screen and navigate to System Preferences >> Erase All Content and Setting
- You will be prompted to type in your details
- If you haven’t already backed up, when you are prompted to back up the mac, open Time machine and select an external device to backup to – If you have, tap Continue
- Next, you will see a list of everything that will be removed from the MacBook
- Check the list and tap Continue
- You will now be prompted to type in your Apple ID password
- On the warning page, tap Erase All Content & Settings
- After the reset is completed, an Active Mac page will pop up, and you will be prompted to connect to a Wi-Fi network
- Connect to your network and tap Restart
- After the mac restarts, it will start the setup process. Leave it this way or press the Command and Q keys to skip it to allow the new owner set it up
To wipe your Chromebook clean to sell it;
- Go to Settings and search for Powerwash with the search bar
- Tap Reset >> Restart >> Powerwash >> Continue
Now that you know how much your PC is worth and what to do with an old PC, what option will you choose? How creative can you get with saying goodbye to your beloved PC?
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A tech writer with a passion for demystifying complex technology for the masses. With a background in computer science and a knack for clear and concise communication, I have made a name for myself in the tech industry as a go-to source for understandable and engaging explanations of the latest developments.