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BW Businessworld

Sense And Saleability

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At the pace at which new tablets, smartphones and laptops are being launched, it's no surprise that that this year's shiny new gadget can make the one you picked up last year seem so…horrendously obsolete! You and I don't have an endless budget for tech purchases, do we? However, you can offset the cost of a new acquisition by selling your old gadgets — you'd be surprised how many folks are looking out for a good deal on used gadgets! Here are some of my favorite tips to keep in mind when selling old gadgets.

Data, begone!: Consider the data that's been (or currently resides) on the gadget. Sensitive information like photos, passwords, bank accounts etc. have a nasty way of landing up in the wrong hands, and you don't have to be a programming wizard to extract this data from even a formatted hard disk. So whether it's a smartphone or a laptop, some simple precautions are in order. With a laptop/desktop, I'd recommend a tool like Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) utility, which overwrites each block on your hard drive several times so that it is impossible for data recovery software to restore this data at a later date. What's more, it can create a bootable CD with which you can start your computer, and securely wipe the hard drive. Phones are simpler to deal with, with Android and iOS devices (and most others, for that matter) coming with a factory data reset option. In Android devices, it's usually to be found under Settings -> Privacy, and in iOS devices, under Settings -> General -> Reset. Also remember, if you're selling a memory card with a camera, you should wipe out the memory card as well, and Roadkil's DataWipe utility comes highly recommended for the job.

Prime it up for Sale: It may seem obvious, but cleaning up the device and removing years of dirt with some non-abrasive cleaning fluids can do wonders for the resale value and buyer confidence! In addition, if some spring cleaning is required to find the documentation, invoices (for warranty) and spare cables/chargers, do it. If you've bought accessories for the device over the years and you cannot repurpose them with the new device you're eyeing, adding them to the bargain helps as well.

Make the Sale: Your extended social network, the folks on Facebook and Twitter, are the first place I'd go to — they already know you and you've established some degree of trust already. The next best bets are a slew of websites such as eBay, Quickr, craigslist, OLX and the buy/sell forums on popular tech sites such as Erodov, TechEnclave, IndianVideoGamer. In either case, make sure your post is as descriptive as possible. Rather than just link to a product specs page, include the model number, color, condition and the reason for sale. The more details you provide up front, the fewer emails you will get asking for obvious details. Also, include at least 2-3 good photos of the device, clearly highlighting any case of wear and tear. And finally, set a price by looking at what others are asking for similar products in similar conditions on these sites, that's usually a good indicator of what folks are willing to pay. Of course, it helps if you're aware of the product release cycle — if you sell your gadget right before a new version is released, you should be able to get the best price before your gadget is outdated.

A Good Show
I've been a big fan of the Western Digital (WD) TV series of media players for a while now - they're built well, sport a great user interface and look good in your home entertainment setup. The third generation WD TV Live builds on those attributes, while showing off a few tricks of its own. The remote, for instance, is finally full-sized and doesn't feel flimsy anymore. Unlike the pricier WD TV Live Hub, this product does not include any built-in storage, but you do get two USB 2.0 ports, so you can easily connect a portable drive or a USB keyboard to simplify the initial setup (entering Wi-Fi and network user IDs and passwords, for instance). Plus, there's built-in Wi-Fi so streaming movies from your phone or PC via DLNA is a breeze. The only real drawback I noticed was that it occasionally slowed down when previewing folders with a large number of media files.
Price: Rs. 7,900


QuickLook: Tata Photon Max
Pros: Good indoor connectivity, speedy 6.2 Mbps connectivity in 16 cities across 10 states (incl. Kolkata)
Cons: Roam outside high-speed cities and speeds drop by a factor of half, if not more. Limited flexibility in tariff plans.

Price: Rs 1,999/-

technocool at kanwar dot net
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