Can you get money for old hard drives?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can get money for old hard drives by selling them online or recycling them. There are several websites like Decluttr, Gazelle, and EcoATM that will buy old electronics including hard drives. You can also bring old hard drives to Best Buy or Staples for recycling and potentially get a gift card. The amount of money you’ll get depends on the make, model, capacity and condition of the hard drive. More recent, higher capacity hard drives in good condition will get the most money.

What options are there for selling an old hard drive?

Here are some of the main options for selling an old hard drive:

Sell online

There are many online sites that will buy your used electronics including hard drives. Some popular options include:

– Decluttr – This site makes it easy to get a quick price quote. Just enter the make and model of your hard drive. They provide free shipping labels and pay via direct deposit or PayPal once they receive your item.

– Gazelle – Like Decluttr, you can get a price quote on Gazelle’s website. They pay via check, PayPal or gift card.

– eBay – You can potentially get higher prices selling directly on eBay rather than taking wholesale prices from buyback sites. However, it takes more time and effort.

– Amazon Trade-In – Amazon offers trade-in value for electronics including hard drives. You’ll get an Amazon gift card based on the appraised value.

– Other electronics buyback sites – Sites like It’s Worth More, Buy Back World and Next Worth will also buy old hard drives. Shop around for the best price.

Recycling kiosks

Many major retailers like Best Buy and Staples have in-store recycling programs where you can bring old electronics. For each hard drive you drop off, you’ll receive a gift card amount based on the value. This is a quick and convenient option.


You can donate old hard drives to charity organizations like Goodwill. While you won’t get cash, you can get a tax deduction for the appraised value. Make sure to wipe your data before donating a used hard drive.

Sell locally

You may be able to get cash for your old hard drive using local options like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp. However, it can be time consuming to arrange local sales. Safety is also a concern when meeting strangers.

What factors determine how much money you can get for a used hard drive?

There are several key factors that impact how much money you can get for recycling or selling a used hard drive:

Age of the hard drive

Newer hard drives are worth much more than older models, since they have faster speeds and higher capacity. For example, a 2TB hard drive from 2005 may only get $5, while a 2TB drive from 2020 could get $20 or more. Vintage hard drives may have collectible value.

Brand name

Major brands like Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba generally offer higher resale value than generic or lesser known brands.


Higher capacity hard drives can store more data, so they are worth more. For instance, a 4TB drive yields more money than a 500GB drive.


Hard drives that are in flawless physical condition and come with original packaging will get the highest prices. Units with visible damage or problems usually have little to no value.

Data wiping

For security reasons, buyers usually expect used hard drives to be wiped using professional data destruction software. This ensures no personal data remains on the drive. Wiped drives command higher prices.


Mainstream 3.5″ or 2.5″ hard drives designed for desktop or laptop computers generally have the widest appeal and value. Drives meant for specialty equipment may have limited markets.

How much money can you expect to get?

The payout amount for a used hard drive can range widely:

– Very old, low capacity drives may only get $1-5.

– Functional working drives from the last 5-10 years are typically worth anywhere from $10-50 depending on size, brand and condition.

– Higher capacity drives (2TB to 4TB) tend to sell for $20 to $100 if they are not too old and are wiped.

– Top of the line brand new unopened drives can resell for close to 50% or more off retail pricing.

– Extremely large data center hard drives (10TB+) can still sell for several hundred dollars even when used.

– Sold locally, you may get slightly more money compared to wholesale buyer sites.

– If you have rare or collectible vintage hard drives from the 1970s-1990s, they may have high value to hobbyists.

Are there any risks associated with selling your old hard drives?

There are some risks to consider when reselling or recycling old hard drives:

Data security

There is always a data security risk when giving your hard drive to a stranger or recycling service. Ensure no sensitive information remains through multiple wipes or physical destruction.


Scams do sometimes happen with online hard drive buyers. Only use reputable sites, and avoid offers that seem too good to be true.

Physical damage

Your hard drive could potentially suffer physical damage during shipping or handling by the buyer. Proper packaging minimizes this risk.

Unexpected fees

Some buyers may claim the drive is damaged or not as described and lower the payout. Read their fine print carefully.

Reputational damage

If your data is compromised by the buyer, it could cause embarrassment or reputational damage. Prevent this by wiping drives properly before selling.


Selling or recycling used hard drives can be a great way to make some extra cash while also keeping e-waste out of landfills. Current generation drives in good condition often sell for $25 to $100+ to online buyers and recyclers. Just remember to securely wipe your data before sending off your drive. With a little time and effort, those old hard drives sitting in your drawer can easily be turned into money.

Hard Drive Age Capacity Condition Estimated Value
6 months old 4TB Like new $80
3 years old 2TB Good $45
8 years old 500GB Fair $15
12 years old 80GB Poor $5

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