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What To Do With Old TV: Your Ultimate Guide

What To Do With Old TV

Table of Contents

Wondering what to do with an old TV? Here are your best options:

  1. Repurpose.
  2. Donate it to a charity or nonprofit.
  3. Sell your old TV online.
  4. Recycle responsibly.
  5. Explore trade-in programs.
  6. Check out TV buyback programs.
  7. Store it temporarily.
  8. Hire a junk removal company.

Interested in more details on each of these options? Keep reading!

Option 1: Repurpose Your Old TV

Repurposing an old TV is not only environmentally friendly but also a creative way to add a unique touch to your living space. Here’s how:

Creative Ideas for Repurposing

Your old TV can be turned into many innovative things. For instance, the casing can be transformed into a fish tank or a bookshelf. The screen can also be converted into a picture frame or a digital art display. If it’s a really old TV, it can be a statement piece on its own.

DIY Projects and Examples

YouTube provides you with a lot (from the simplest to over-the-top) of ideas on how you can transform old things, including TVs. Here are some things you may want to try when repurposing your old TV:

  • Turning your old TV into a vintage-themed mini bar
  • Creating a cat bed out of the TV casing
  • Using the screen as a decorative light panel

Benefits of Repurposing

First and foremost, repurposing saves an old TV from ending up in the landfill. It also helps in reducing waste. To date, an estimated 50 million tons of e-waste is produced globally each year. Besides, making DIY upcycling projects can be fun. You only have to choose an idea that will get your creative juices flowing. 

repurpose old TV

Option 2: Donate to a Charity or Nonprofit

If your old TV is still in good condition, donating it would be a wonderful choice that benefits both society and the environment. But where or to whom do you give it to?

Organizations That Accept Old TVs

There are several organizations and charities that gladly accept old televisions, such as:

  • Goodwill. As one of the largest thrift store chains globally, Goodwill accepts functioning TVs and sells them to fund job training programs.
  • Salvation Army. They not only accept old TVs for resale in their stores but also use them in shelters and rehab centers.
  • Local Schools and Community Centers. Many educational institutions and community centers use older televisions for training purposes or as part of after-school programs.
  • Hospitals. Some hospitals accept televisions to provide entertainment to long-term patients.
donate old TV

Tax Deductions and Benefits

When you donate a TV to a registered nonprofit organization, it might qualify you for tax deductions. Here’s how:

  • Itemized Deductions. If you itemize your tax returns, you can deduct the fair market value of the TV at the time of donation.
  • Donation Receipt. Always get a donation receipt from the organization. This will provide proof of your donation, with the item detail and its estimated value. It’s crucial for tax filing purposes.
  • Environmental Benefits. By extending the life of the device, you contribute to reducing the estimated 50 million tons of e-waste produced annually worldwide.

However, tax regulations can be complex, and it’s always recommended to consult with a tax professional to understand how a donation might impact your tax situation.

How to Prepare Your TV for Donation

Before donating your old TV, it’s essential to ensure that it’s in good condition and free from personal data. Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing your TV for donation:

  • Check the Functionality. Test the TV to make sure both the picture and sound are clear. If there are minor issues, note them so the organization is aware.
  • Clean Your TV. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the screen and casing.
  • Factory Reset. If your TV is a newer model with smart features, it might have stored personal data like Netflix or Hulu passwords. Go to the settings menu and choose the “factory reset” or a similar option to erase your data.
  • Include All Accessories. If you have the remote control, power cable, and any other accessories or manuals, make sure to bundle them with the TV. 
  • Inform about Defects. If the TV has any issues or defects, it’s essential to be upfront about them.

Option 3: Sell Your Old TV

In today’s digital era, the secondary market for electronics is thriving, with the used electronics market expected to reach $40 billion by 2025. If you’re considering selling your old TV, you’re on the path to contributing to this booming trend. Let’s explore the best avenues to sell and how to price it right.

Online Marketplaces for Selling Electronics

The Internet offers numerous platforms to connect sellers with potential buyers. Here are some of the top online marketplaces to consider:

  • eBay. This global e-commerce giant lets you auction your TV or set a fixed price. 
  • Facebook Marketplace. Leveraging the power of social networking, Facebook Marketplace allows users to list items for sale locally.
  • Craigslist. This classified advertisements website has sections dedicated to selling items. It’s especially popular in the US and offers free listings for most items.
  • Swappa. A platform specifically for used electronics, Swappa ensures that all listings meet their functionality criteria and provide a level of assurance to buyers.

When listing your TV on any platform, make sure to take clear photos from different angles and provide an honest and detailed description of its condition.

sell old TV

Tips for Setting a Competitive Price

Pricing your TV correctly is crucial for a swift sale. Here’s how to get it right:

  • Research Similar Listings. Check your chosen platform for similar TV models to see their listed prices. 
  • Consider Age and Condition. Naturally, newer models in good condition will fetch a higher price. If your TV is older or has minor defects, factor that into your pricing.
  • Include Accessories. If you have the original box, remote, or any other accessories, they can add value. Make sure to mention these in your listing.
  • Be Open to Negotiation. Setting a slightly higher price than you expect can leave room for negotiation. Many buyers appreciate the feeling of getting a deal, so be prepared to haggle a bit.
  • Avoid Overpricing. While it’s tempting to get the most money possible, overpricing can deter potential buyers. If your listing isn’t receiving interest, consider revising the price.

Safely Packaging and Shipping Your TV

Shipping a fragile item like a television requires meticulous attention to detail. Follow these guidelines to package and ship your TV securely:

Start with a Sturdy Box

If you’ve kept the original TV box with its custom foam inserts, that’s ideal. The manufacturer’s packaging is designed specifically for transporting the TV safely. If not, purchase a box close to the size of your TV. Avoid overly large boxes, as they can allow the TV to shift during transport.

Use Ample Protective Materials

Bubble wrap the TV generously and make sure the screen and corners are particularly well-protected. Fill any extra space in the box with packing peanuts, crumpled newspaper, or additional bubble wrap to prevent the TV from moving.

Protect the Screen

Consider placing a piece of cardboard against the screen before wrapping it in bubble wrap. This adds an additional protective layer against potential impact.

Secure All Accessories

If you’re including the remote, cables, or other accessories, wrap them separately and secure them in the box. Make sure they don’t press against the screen.

Seal the Box Properly

Use high-quality packing tape. Seal all edges and corners to ensure the box stays closed during transport.

Label Clearly

Mark the package as “Fragile” or “Handle with Care.” While this doesn’t guarantee gentle handling, it serves as a reminder for shipping personnel. Make sure the shipping address is clear and legible.

Choose a Reliable Shipping Service

Choose a shipping provider with a good track record. Services like UPS, FedEx, and DHL offer package tracking and insurance options. If possible, opt for insurance, especially if the TV is high-value.

Option 4: Recycle Responsibly

As technology continues to evolve, electronic waste accumulates at an alarming rate. To prevent environmental damage, it’s crucial to recycle old TVs responsibly. Electronic waste recycling centers specialize in the disposal of electronics in an eco-friendly manner. Here’s how to locate and utilize these centers:

  • Local Municipal Programs. Many local governments offer periodic e-waste collection events or have designated drop-off locations. Check with your city or county’s waste management department for details.
  • Retailer Programs. Some electronics retailers, like Best Buy or Staples, offer recycling services. They might either have bins in-store or specific events throughout the year where they accept old electronics, including TVs.
  • Specialized E-Waste Companies. There are businesses solely dedicated to electronic recycling. A simple online search with terms like “e-waste recycling near me” can provide you with options.
  • Manufacturer Take-Back Programs. Certain TV manufacturers have established take-back programs. These programs allow you to send your old TV back to the manufacturer for recycling.
recycle old TV

Environmental Benefits of Recycling

Recycling old TVs goes beyond just reducing e-waste. It also provides the following benefits:

  1. Conservation of Resources. TVs contain precious metals like gold, silver, and copper. By recycling, these metals are recovered and reused.
  2. Reduction of Hazardous Waste. Televisions, especially older CRT models, contain harmful substances like lead and mercury. Proper recycling ensures these toxins don’t leach into the soil and water systems.
  3. Energy Savings. Recycling electronic components requires significantly less energy than producing them from raw materials. 
  4. Carbon Footprint Reduction. By conserving energy through recycling, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

Option 5: Trade-In Programs

As consumers increasingly seek value in their purchases, trade-in programs have gained prominence in the electronics sector. Let’s look into the retailers that offer such options, the trade-in process, and potential financial benefits.

Retailers that Offer Trade-In Options

Various retailers and manufacturers recognize the demand for trade-in opportunities. Here are some:

  • Best Buy. This large electronics retailer offers a comprehensive trade-in program for various electronic items, including TVs. They assess the product’s condition and provide a gift card as compensation.
  • Amazon. The e-commerce site has a trade-in program where specific TV models can be traded in exchange for Amazon gift cards.
  • Walmart. Through their partnership with third-party electronics trade-in providers, Walmart offers store credit for old electronics.
  • Manufacturer Programs. Some TV manufacturers, like Samsung and LG, also run their trade-in initiatives, especially when launching new models.
trade in old TV

The Process of Trading in Your Old TV

The trade-in process is generally straightforward, though it can slightly vary depending on the retailer:

  1. Start by providing details about your TV, including brand, model, age, and condition. This can often be done online.
  2. Based on the information, the retailer provides an estimated trade-in value.
  3. Bring the TV to the store or ship it (some retailers cover shipping costs). They’ll verify the condition matches your description.
  4. Once verified, you’ll receive store credit or a gift card for the agreed value.

Trade-in programs can give you immediate discounts or promotional offers. The credit you receive from trading in your old TV can be directly applied to your next purchase. Sometimes, retailers provide additional promotional incentives for trade-ins, especially during big sales events or when new models are launched. 

Option 6: TV Buyback Programs

If you’re considering an upgrade or simply want to offload an older model, TV buyback programs can be an interesting option. 

Companies that Buy Back Old TVs

Here are some companies that specialize in buying back electronics and offer competitive prices for old TVs:

  • Gazelle. Renowned for its straightforward buyback process, Gazelle provides quotes online and covers shipping costs for items they purchase.
  • BuyBackWorld. This platform buys a range of electronics, including TVs. Their process is user-friendly, and they pride themselves on quick payments.
  • uSell. Acting as a marketplace, uSell connects sellers with a network of professional buyers who bid on items.
  • Retailer Programs. Some major retailers, like Best Buy, also have buyback options, often offering store credit in return for old electronics.
tv buyback programs

How Buyback Programs Work

While the specifics might slightly differ depending on the company, the general process for TV buyback programs is as follows:

  1. Online Quote. Browse the company’s website and enter details about your TV, such as brand, model, size, and condition. You’ll typically receive an instant quote.
  2. Send in Your TV. If you accept the quote, the company provides instructions for shipping. Many buyback programs cover shipping expenses and provide you with a prepaid label.
  3. Inspection: Upon receipt, the company examines the TV to ensure it matches the provided description.
  4. Payment. After a successful inspection, payment is issued, often through methods like check, PayPal, or company-specific gift cards.

Pros and Cons of This Option

Pros:

  • Buyback programs offer a hassle-free way to sell your TV, often taking care of logistics like shipping.
  • Unlike listing on an open marketplace, once you receive a quote and send in your TV, the sale is almost guaranteed.
  • These companies either refurbish and resell the TVs or recycle them, reducing e-waste.

Cons:

  • Buyback programs might offer less than what you could fetch selling the TV yourself on platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
  • Some companies primarily offer gift cards, which limit where you can spend your earnings.

Option 7: Store It Temporarily

Sometimes, you might not be ready to part with your old TV, even if it’s not currently in use. Storing a TV, given its fragility and value, requires special considerations to ensure it remains in good condition for future use. 

Tips for Storing Your Old TV

  • Environment Control: Extreme temperatures can damage the internal components of your TV. If storing in a facility, opt for climate-controlled units to make sure the unit isn’t subjected to excessive heat or cold.
  • Keep It Vertical: Always store flat-screen TVs in an upright position. Laying them flat can put pressure on the screen, potentially causing damage.
  • Original Packaging: If you still have the original box and Styrofoam padding, use it. 
  • Dust Cover: Wrap your TV in a soft cloth or a purpose-made TV cover to protect it from dust. Avoid plastic covers as they can trap moisture.
  • Avoid Stacking: Don’t place items on top of your stored TV, even if it’s in a box. The added weight or pressure can damage the screen or internal components.
  • Keep Away from Magnets: Magnets can disrupt the operation of a television, especially older models. 
  • Humidity Concerns: Excessive humidity can harm the electronic components of a TV. Consider using desiccant packets or silica gel packs to absorb any moisture within the storage area.
  • Secure Location: If storing at home, choose a spot where the TV is unlikely to be knocked over or bumped.
  • Disconnect and Label Cables: Remove all cables from the TV to prevent port damage. It’s a good idea to label these cables or place them in a labeled bag so you know which device they belong to when you decide to use the TV again.
Precautions to Prevent Damage

Precautions to Prevent Damage

Storing a TV involves more than just placing it in a closet or storage unit. Make sure that you follow these precautions:

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can degrade the screen quality. 
  • Elevate the TV. Placing the TV off the ground, on a shelf or platform, protects it from any potential water damage, especially in areas prone to flooding.
  • Beware of Pests. If storing in a facility, ensure it’s regularly treated for pests. If at home, consider using natural repellents or regular inspections.
  • Safe Distance from Hazardous Materials. Store the TV away from chemicals, paints, or any flammable materials. These can emit fumes that might damage the TV’s internal components.
  • Regularly Check on the TV. If you’re storing the TV for an extended period, it’s wise to inspect it occasionally so you can address any issues promptly.
  • Avoid Cramped Spaces. This reduces the risk of accidental knocks or pressure on the screen.
  • Safety First. If the TV is in a high-traffic area at home, consider using safety straps or brackets to secure it.
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Option 8: Hire a Junk Removal Company

For many, the sheer task of disposing of an old TV, especially if it’s bulky or not in working condition, can be challenging. In such cases, hiring a junk removal company becomes an interesting option. These professional services ensure that your old TV is handled correctly, either by disposing of it in an eco-friendly manner, recycling it, or redirecting it for refurbishment.

These companies possess the required equipment and manpower to handle junk removal tasks swiftly. With changing regulations around e-waste disposal, professional junk removal companies stay updated and ensure they adhere to all legal and environmental guidelines.

They also make sure that items like old TVs are recycled or disposed of in a way that minimizes environmental impact. With just a call, homeowners and businesses can schedule a pickup, eliminating the hassle of transporting large items to disposal sites.

If you live in Philadelphia and want to get rid of your old TV, we at EZ CleanUp can help you get the job done fast and efficiently!

dispose of old tv in philly is ez

Let Us Help You With the Clutter

Deciding what to do with an old TV can initially seem challenging, given the many options available. Whether you’re looking to repurpose, donate, sell, trade-in, recycle, or store your old television, each choice comes with its benefits. But the goal remains the same: rather than letting old electronics go to waste or contribute to the growing e-waste issue, it’s important to act responsibly. 📺♻️

For those seeking a hassle-free and environmentally-conscious solution, consider our services at EZ CleanUp. You can count on us to clear the clutter if you have decided to get rid of other things hogging your space. Take the first step towards a cleaner, more organized space by reaching out to EZ CleanUp today!

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