These days, TVs are built to be sleek and high definition. Sturdy? Not so much. Today, flat screen TVs are said to last just a few years. Not that we’re complaining — binge-watching our favorite shows on a box TV on the floor just wouldn’t be the same. So, what to do with your flat screen if it does break? We’ve compiled a list of places you can sell your broken TV for cash, and where to recycle it for free if you’re not able to sell it. Keep reading to learn more about your options.
In This Article
What to Know About Recycling and Selling Broken TVs
In the days of big, boxy televisions or “legacy TVs,” you could recycle your broken TV pretty easily and get some cash for doing so. These TVs were relatively easy to take apart. The gold, copper, and glass tubes found in these TVs were highly profitable at the time. If you do still have a legacy TV, you’ll be hard-pressed to get cash for recycling it, as the materials mentioned no longer hold enough value. The task of recycling a flat-screen TV isn’t easy either. Many companies that once recycled them for free no longer accept them. Some companies still accept them, but for a fee. But why?
There are a few factors which make recycling LCD TVs unprofitable. They are difficult to take apart. Most are made with mercury lamps, which can cause mercury poisoning after little exposure. Recycled glass, a key component in TV recycling, has also become less profitable. Companies like Best Buy, who once recycled TVs free of cost, now charge a $25 fee to help cover costs. According to Laura Bishop, Best Buy’s Vice President of Public Affairs & Sustainability, the company has hopes to break even with their recycling program. As of 2016, they had not yet reached that goal.
That said, some individuals and companies are willing to take the risk to either recycle or repair your TV. Keep reading to learn about your options!
Where to Sell Your Broken TV for Cash
Selling your broken TV on eBay is as easy as registering for an account, creating a listing and including specific details about your TV (condition, model, etc.). The site will actually go as far as suggesting an auction price for you, based on similar items for sale. If you don’t believe your TV will go for much, select “local pick up only” so that you don’t have to spend part of your earnings on shipping.
2. Pawn Guru
The Pawn Guru website takes the work out of selling your items to pawn shops. After you list your items for free, Pawn Guru will send you offers from pawn shops near you. From there, you just head to the pawn shop with the best offer, broken TV in hand, and get your cash. Pawn Guru works with several pawn shops in 47 cities. Check to see if they work with pawn shops near you.
Avoid shipping costs and sell your broken TV locally via Craigslist. Post your ad by selecting your city, then “post to classifieds,” then select “for sale by owner,” and then “electronics – by owner.” From there you can fill out a more detailed form, including the make/model of your TV, the condition, etc. Wondering what to price your TV at? Check eBay to see what TVs in similar conditions are going for.
4. Facebook Marketplace
Selling and buying items on Facebook is super simple, especially for those who frequent the app anyway. Just click “Marketplace“, to the left of your news feed, then select “Selling” and click “Selling Something” toward the bottom of the page. From there you can enter specific information such as price, your location, and the condition of your TV. Just add a few photos and you’re ready to post. View your post again later by clicking “Selling” in the top left corner of the Marketplace page.
5. TV Repair Shops
Many TV repair shops will give you cash for your broken TV. It may be worth it to call your local TV repair and ask if they purchase broken TVs. You can also do a quick Google search of “TV repair shops near me” to find a shop near you.
How to Recycle Your TV for Free
None of the options above work for you? Don’t throw your TV in the trash just yet! Doing so has a major effect on our environment and there are a handful of places willing to recycle your TV for free. Many will even pay for you to ship the TV to them.
1. Responsible Recycling Powered by Sony
If Sony made it, they’ll recycle it for free! All you have to do is bring your broken TV to a collection site listed within Sony’s network. You can easily find a recycling location near you. Sony will even pay for shipping if you are more than 25 miles from a collection site and your item weighs less than 25 pounds. Other brands of TVs can be recycled through their program, but it will cost you.
2. Samsung Direct Recycling program
Samsung has declared a commitment to a greener future that doesn’t end with the purchase of their products. Samsung televisions can be recycled at these locations. Although Samsung Direct Recycling program is a free service, local fees may apply. Samsung also has a mailback program for shipping your used TV if you’re far from a recycling location.
3. LG Drop Off Spots
As a part of their conservation efforts LG will recycle LG branded electronics including LG, Zenith, and Goldstar. Just take your broken TV to one of these authorized LG drop-off spots. The company also partners with ERI recycler so that you can mail in your broken TV for recycling through the LG Mailback Program.
4. Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM)
MRM partners with Panasonic, Toshiba, Funai, Hisense, Sharp, TCL, Hitachi, Sanyo, Polaroid and many more brands. This partnership allows you to recycle your broken TVs at various locations near you. They also have a mailback program in partnership with UPS, so you can print a free shipping label and drop your TV off at any UPS drop off location if you can’t get to one of their recycling locations. To learn more about this company visit MRM’s website.
5. Dell Reconnect
Dell partners with Goodwill in Dell Reconnect, which allows you to recycle any brand of electronics at Goodwill stores. Many types of electronics are accepted, but TVs are only accepted at some location. Contact a Goodwill near you to find out if your store will accept your TV.
Options for recycling TVs are slim and getting cash for doing so is even less common but we hope we’ve left you with a few options that will work for you! At the very least, maybe we left you with a little knowledge on the business of recycling TVs. In a world where large landfills just aren’t cutting it, that knowledge is priceless!