If you are looking for, or if you just have an old one gathering dust in the attic, you might be wondering what to do with your old TV. Assuming it still works, you have different options. The most obvious is to move it to another room, but I assume you’ve already thought about that.
If that doesn’t work, there are also a few options. In general, most cities don’t want you to throw your old electronics in the trash. Depending on the age of the TV, it may have toxic metals such as mercury.
Fortunately, many options for getting rid of your old TV don’t cost you anything except maybe a little bit of your time. Here’s what to do.
Before doing anything else, clear the data
No matter what you intend to do with your TV, make sure log out of all your streaming accounts. Then go a step further and perform a factory reset, which you’ll find buried in the user menu. Obviously to have someoneis only a problem if your old TV is a but deleting your passwords and personal information is a .
Try selling on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace (if it’s worth it)
While selling a TV may seem as obvious as moving it to another room, the specifics are a little less obvious.
First you need to pick up your TV locally. No matter how well you pack your TV, even if you have the original box, it probably won’t survive the trip. Modern TVs are too fragile. Now the seller has to deal with the broken TV and you have to refund the buyer.
Even if you sell it locally, the same problem applies. Buyers will inevitably show up to get yoursin a 1990 Honda Civic and I’m going to ask you to help stuff it into the back. If you are getting rid of a large TV, be sure to include its dimensions and weight in the ad.
And that’s if you can sell it. Used TVs depreciate quickly, partly because new TVs keep getting cheaper and cheaper. That TV you spent $2,000 on? You might get $200. Check out “Is your TV worth anything?” section at the bottom.
Alternatively, just mention it for free if the person picks it up. That’s a win for everyone.
Donate your TV to charity
An easier option is to donate it to a local charity, ideally one whose volunteers will come to collect it.
Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers, or other second-hand retailer are not missing. You will need to move the TV to one of their locations. Check their website to see if they accept your TV type and size. For example, they probably won’t take the old onebecause most people don’t want them.
Also contact your local library or public schools. Many always need gifts, even if a 20-year-old television may not be what they’re looking for.
Return your TV (back) to Best Buy
your used electronics. Not just TVs, but old phones, tablets, batteries and even cables. Again, you’ll have to bring the TV to the nearest Best Buy, but since it doesn’t matter if it still works, the amount of care required drops precipitously. You’ll even earn Best Buy points that you can combine with $5 to get $5 worth of candy at checkout.
Larger TVs will incur a $25 fee, which seems reasonable considering it takes this huge thing off your hands.
If you buy a new TV and have it installed, he will take the old one away for $40. If you didn’t buy a new TV from Best Buy, it will come to your house and take it for $200.
Have your TV professionally recycled
Some cities and local jurisdictions offer TV recycling, either by drop-off at a recycling center or as part of your regular curbside pickup. Contact your local authority for details.
There are a number of organizations that will help recycle your electronics, including TVs. See the EPA page for more information. MRM Recycling also has a page to help you find options in your area.
A number of manufacturers have their own programs or work with companies that do. Check out the Electronics Take-Back Coalition page for more information. Keep in mind that just because a manufacturer has a program doesn’t mean there will be a drop-off location near you. For example, the nearest LG outlet to Los Angeles, the second largest city in the US, is more than 500 miles away.
Now if you’re thinking about all the smaller electronics around your house that you could recycle, take a look at ours.
Sidewalk or garage sale
Depending on where you live, you can let the neighbors deal with it. I hesitate to even mention this because if you live in an area where people will take things to the sidewalk, you probably know it. And if you don’t know, it’s not a great look to leave trash on the sidewalk for days or weeks. So your mileage may vary.
Another option is a yard or garage sale. Again, easier than pulling it yourself.
Is your TV worth anything at all?
Most people remember how much they paid for a TV and assume it’s still worth something years after they bought it. This is simply not true. TVs have become so cheap that there just isn’t a huge market for used TVs these days, especially if they weren’t that expensive to begin with.
While there are exceptions, here are some general rules:
It’s probably worth something if:
- It’s a top TV from the last five years or so
- It is an OLED TV, perhaps with the exception of the first models
- It is larger than 65 inches
- It’s a CRT (in very specific situations, see below)
It probably isn’t worth much if:
- It was a cheap, or even mid-range LCD
- It is 10 or more years old
- It is
- It’s an early smart TV (if streaming apps still don’t work)
- It’s an old tube (CRT) TV
It’s definitely not worth it if:
- It’s a rear projection TV
- It’s a CRT RPTV (heed this tip: get up on your knees, not your back)
- It doesn’t have HDMI
Now there are exceptions to these rules. You might be able to find a collector for your £500 RCA console TV. Maybe some archeologist major is doing a project on early flat-screen TVs and finds that your mint Fujitsu is a prime candidate for their dissertation.
TVs with windowsthey are not useless, but they have less use. Maybe they don’t play nice with modern or .
There is a specific situation where a CRT can cost something. Hardcore retro gamers prefer playing early video game consoles on CRTs, and these are becoming increasingly difficult to find for obvious reasons. They’re not just looking for a CRT, though, and if you have one of those huge ones from any era, it might be more trouble than it’s worth getting it out of the house. And forget about sending one.
If the CRT has component (red, green, blue, plus two for audio), or even S-Video inputs, this is promising. If it doesn’t have at least composite (yellow, plus red and white for audio), it probably won’t sell much.
In addition to covering TV and other imaging technologies, Geoff does photographic tours of great museums and sites around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, epic 10,000 mile road trips and more. Check out Tech Treks for all his trips and adventures.
He wrote a bestselling science fiction novel about submarines the size of a city, along with a sequel. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and his YouTube channel.