11/05/2019 at 8:29 pm #70122
First a little back story. I do IT for a living but have a small eBay store that hovers at around 200 items. I make a few thousand dollars a year selling stuff I get mostly at garage sales. The IT business I work for takes old computer equipment and “recycles” it as a service to our customers. We have a shed behind the building that we pile all the scrap computers in and when it’s full we call an eWaste company to pick it up and they give us like $20-$40.
Recently our eWaste company has been going through some issues and hasn’t been coming to pickup our computers to be recycled. Our shed is full and we need the stuff gone. My boss told me if I can make the stuff go away it’s all mine for free. I’m contemplating getting a storage unit for $90, renting a truck for $40 and taking it all to part out and sell on eBay.
Am I crazy? I know the parts have value on eBay but I don’t know what exactly I’ll do with the unsalable stuff. I have no interest in becoming one of these scrapper guys that sells computer scrap by the pound, I’m only really interested in the stuff I can sell on eBay.0
11/05/2019 at 8:40 pm #70123
It all depends if its worth anything.
Broken monitors will be worthless. But you can pull out motherboards, chipsets, memory, ram. You can sell mouses, keyboards, and other accessories.
If you work in IT, does that mean you know about hardware? Just start doing some research. Id love to know whats in there.0
11/05/2019 at 8:43 pm #70125
11/05/2019 at 9:03 pm #70132
I know about computer hardware so no issues there. I know some of the stuff sells, I sell it at work once in a while when I find time. My real concern is just the time/profit part of the equation to sort out the mess and go through it all. I estimate there is several thousand dollars worth of parts in there….and hundreds of pounds of eWaste that I’d have to dispose of. I’ll try to take a photo while at work tomorrow and post it.0
11/05/2019 at 9:26 pm #70136
- Location: Central NJ
Old electronics can sell very well and faster than the regular, vintage-y stuff that is most of my store. Considering that you work full-time, you will need that large storage area where you take out a bit at a time to part out and list, perhaps for a year or so depending on how long it takes you. I guess you will need to consider that cost and inconvenience.
My town has a recycling center where we can take analog monitors/TVs and computers. However, it is for residents and not businesses. If you have a similar situation in your town, you would need to take a few things every couple of weeks and hope they don’t start recognizing you. Places like Best Buy and Home Depot take some eWaste, and the area usually isn’t monitored.
And, to answer your last question, yes, you are crazy. But, you are just as crazy as the rest of us!0
11/05/2019 at 10:37 pm #70141
And I personally would be hesitant taking it on if you have to pay for storage and it’ll take months to sort it.
Pick it all up. Pull out all the garbage immediately and safely dispose of it. Then you hopefully have just good stuff that you can sell from home.
How much stuff are we talking about?0
11/05/2019 at 10:39 pm #70142
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
We have an e-waste bin at work. I was out in the waste shed one day and looked in there and saw a TON of awesome stuff. I asked our plant manager if I could have anything out of there and he said “take whatever you want”.
The first time I got a few mini form desktops and a laptop. The next time I got a TON of power supplies and HP docking stations. Another time I got another laptop.
Usually you’ll have to reformat old computers. I reformat them with a linux build called Zorin OS. It looks and feels just like Microsoft windows…or Apple OS if you prefer. Yes, it can do both. Free and amazing.0
11/05/2019 at 10:57 pm #70145
I forgot about power supplies. Just selling those would be worth it.0
11/05/2019 at 11:09 pm #70147
- Location: Missouri
Thanks, I have that Billy Joel song running around in my head after reading the title, lol.
I worked in I.T. up until about 5 years ago. I used to do a little computer repair on the side but it got to be too much hassle for too little money. I do have a small stockpile of used computers stacked in my garage that I keep thinking about parting out, as well as a closet full of parts. I think they breed and multiply in the dark, its starting to get out of control.0
11/07/2019 at 6:37 pm #70288
Ok, I finally got around to taking photos and putting them on Imgur so I can post them here. The shed is about 3 feet wide and about 20 feet long. As you can see from the photos it’s a total mess and filled about chest high with computers.
I have made the decision to take this project on. I think I’m going to keep posting about it here so you can see how things progress.
- This reply was modified 4 days, 3 hours ago by JasonK.
11/07/2019 at 7:25 pm #70291
If anything you’ll learn a lot. Can you take stuff out in batches? Or only all at once?0
11/07/2019 at 7:50 pm #70296
- Location: Northeast US
Looking forward to hearing about this project as it progresses.0
11/07/2019 at 7:51 pm #70297
Retro Treasures WVParticipant
Quick question: Do any of those computers have windows 7 or windows XP licenses? I don’t mean an enterprise license.0
11/07/2019 at 8:22 pm #70308
I’m going to take everything out of the shed this Saturday, we need to empty it out as this is only about 6 months of eScrap for us. If this turns out to be profitable I won’t have any shortage of more should I want it. I’ve rented a 5×8 U-haul trailer and recruited my wife and father to help move it all. It’s such a huge mess that I need to dig it all out and organize it anyway just so I know where to begin.
Retro, yes most of the computers in there will have Windows 7 or XP OEM license stickers on them. I’m banking on some of the PCs with Windows 7 licenses being new enough and in good enough working order to refurbish them, upgrade them to Windows 10 and sell them as working systems. I estimate I should be able to sell a refurbished PC for $100-$300 depending on the specs. There is also a huge lot of old decommissioned servers in there and I’m curious if the parts on those sell for a decent amount on eBay.0
11/11/2019 at 12:13 am #70464
Well the pile of junk has been sorted, my plans changed a bit in the process. It seems that shed is not even slightly water-tight and a lot of stuff was wet and ruined. I ended up just taking about half of the computer towers, a bunch of hard drives and a bunch of busted laptops. I left a little over half of the equipment in the shed. We will have to get an escrap company to come get all the printers and wet stuff and hopefully they are ok with it since they just care about the gold content and scrap value of the metal.
Here is what the storage unit looks like with the 41 computer towers, half dozen servers and bins of hard drives, laptops and some other miscellaneous items. I’ve already pulled a few computers out of the pile and finished refurbishing 2 of them tonight, I’ll hopefully sell them next week on social media.
- This reply was modified 22 hours, 2 minutes ago by JasonK.
- This reply was modified 22 hours ago by JasonK.
11/11/2019 at 7:23 am #70467
That’s disappointing so much was ruined, but glad you saved what you could. Bigger question: are you going to get everything from here on out? How much computer waste does your company create?0
11/11/2019 at 10:10 pm #70528
My boss agreed to let me have my pick of stuff before it gets tossed in the shed. I’ll throw the business a couple of bucks for what I take. The escrap vendor really does not pay much, I think the most we ever got was $70 for a whole shed full so even if I gave $2 per complete computer the company would be making more money and I would be getting a huge bargain.
The volume of computer waste varies, but I’d say what you saw in those pictures was about 6 months worth of stuff. I’m going to try to keep a log here of what I’ve spent and how much I’ve made so we can see if this turns out to be a profitable experiment or not.0
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