» more from Retail


Even a limited spring-cleaning spree should include assessing older model smartphones, laptops, tablets and other electronics. Gadget trade-in has become a competitive market, with programs from retailers (including Amazon and Best Buy), cellphone providers (AT&T and Verizon), manufacturers (Apple, Dell) and independent sites (Gazelle.com, NextWorth.com). Value depends on the item, its condition and whether you have accessories such as the charger and instruction manual. Make your trade in a store or mail it in using a free, prepaid mailer. Most programs promise to wipe your gadget of personal content, but it's still a smart idea to clear it out yourself first. (Look for the reset or wipe option in the settings.)

Some smartphones—notably, the iPhone—may be worth more than you paid for them under contract. A 16GB iPhone 5, which originally sold for $199 with a new two-year cellphone contract, is still worth as much as $224.50 at trade-in, according SellCell.com, an offer comparison site. Even an old flip phone may be worth a dollar or two at resale sites—or more on eBay, if it's a Motorola Razr or another still-popular model.

Read MoreThe value in an old flip phone

Ermin Gutenberger | E+ | Getty Images