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Upgrade Your (Anything) on eBay

Are you missing out on having more for less?


Upgrade Your (Anything) on eBay

eBay changes the game by letting you have the latest and greatest while paying only the difference in price.

Photo: Miszaqq / Dreamstime
So the holiday season is over, your birthday hasn't arrived yet, and tax returns are coming soon. The mobile phone market is undergoing all kinds of innovation, those quick little netbooks are so much faster than your five-year-old laptop, and your car just hit the 150k mark.

It's time to upgrade!

There's no doubt that we live in an upgrade-mad society. Just about everything these days gets upgraded, from consumer electronics gadgets to home entertainment to transportation to furniture and appliances. You don't upgrade? Maybe it's time you did!

There are, of course, standard ways to upgrade a few things in your life, like your mobile phone (every couple of years, by standing in line at a mobile phone store) and your car (by haggling for days with car dealers). But why stop there? eBay lets you upgrade everything in your life, including these things.

How to Upgrade on eBay

There is a very simple three-step process for upgrading anything in your life on eBay. So simple, in fact, that it hardly needs spelling out:
  1. Log on to eBay.

  2. Buy the latest and greatest version of the thing you want to upgrade.

  3. Sell the old one and recoup a sizable portion of the cost of #1 above.

Actually, it also works the other way around:

  1. Log on to eBay.

  2. Sell the item to be upgraded to earn a little cash.

  3. Buy the latest and greatest version of the thing you want to upgrade, paying only the difference between the two out-of-pocket, rather than the full cost.

Why to Upgrade on eBay

There are lots of reasons to upgrade the goods in your life on eBay, including:
  • It makes the latest and greatest affordable enough to be within reach.

  • It helps you maintain the values of your assets, rather than letting them depreciate to zero as they age.

  • You can upgrade to used goods or goods in any price range or at any age, which is generally not possible when you upgrade in retail settings.

  • Even if you can pay full price, selling your old item on eBay gives it new life, keeping landfills emptier longer and helping someone else to afford an upgrade, too.

  • You get to avoid salespeople, contract renewals, and other upgrade and trade-in hassles.

  • You get the widest selection on earth and a feedback rating system, which you don't get with many other online venues.

  • You can often insure or buy extended warranties for used upgrades through avenues like SquareTrade, another difference.

What to Upgrade on eBay

Just about anything, actually. Here are some of the items that are most commonly upgraded on eBay to great success:
  • Mobile phones. These are much cheaper on eBay, and can be often be bought unlocked, without a contract, and/or used, including old favorite models. Don't like your current smartphone? Sell it and get a different model for a fraction of the outlay, without having to wait for upgrade eligibility or resign a contract. GSM (SIM card) users can search for either "unlocked" phones or phones that match their carrier, and simply insert the old SIM to use the new phone. Non-GSM users must buy a phone to match their carrier, and will have to call their carrier and supply an IMEI number to enable the replacement phone.

  • Computer systems. Computer feeling slow, but money is tight? eBay is jam-packed with laptop and desktop computers that are only a year or two old but that are selling for a small fraction of their original retail price. Even better, there's a strong market for almost all used computers on eBay. List your old one and upgrade to a newer, faster machine, without breaking the bank. Remember to save all your data to a flash drive, first, so you can copy it to your new machine!

  • Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and RVs. Like computers and phones, just about any old vehicle will sell on eBay, and eBay gives you a huge selection of vehicles nationwide to choose from as upgrades. Pick the make, model, color, mileage, features, and price you want, and buy with confidence thanks to eBay's Carfax availability and vehicle protection program.

  • Home entertainment. Think game systems, PVRs, DVRs, and TiVos, television sets (as long as they're not too old and you're upgrading to gain size or features), stereo equipment, and other similar goods.

  • Photography and camera equipment. Want more megapixels without paying the big bucks? Sell your old still or video camera on eBay and then go for a recent model.

  • Furniture and housewares. There's a surprisingly strong market on eBay for furniture. Of course, it's often easiest to specify a local sale or local pickup when selling larger items, and it's important to watch for shipping terms when buying them.

Do I Really Need an Upgrade?

Probably not. You could just use your current (anything) until it's all used up, run it into the ground and then shell out full price for a new one.

But why do that if you take a look at current eBay prices and realize that you could go from 5 megapixels to 10 for a net outlay of $50, or replace that phone you're not quite crazy about for a net outlay of $75.00, rather than the $300 that the mobile phone store wants if you don't wait for your upgrade period?

In a lot of ways, upgrading on eBay is a state of mind. eBay makes it possible to have the latest and greatest, without wastefully throwing last year's version away, without being a multi-millionaire, and without the attached strings of leases or contracts. All you need is a willingness to buy and sell a little more often.

eBay traders that have realized this often find themselves looking around the house, asking: "Now... what can I upgrade this week?"

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