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How to Trade-In Your Windows 8 Laptop 



Windows 8 laptops, like all laptops don’t last forever. Overtime battery issues can sap your laptop of its once long-lasting running time. More often, new apps and games make upgrading to a new laptop essential. Here’s how to trade-in that old Windows 8 laptop for cash towards a new machine, other electronics and more.

Why Trade-In Your Laptop

There’s never been a more dangerous time to own a laptop. Now more than ever, the idea of a laptop, this thing that plugs into wall sometimes and  allows users to get work done and browse the internet is in flux. Just months after buying a new laptop users can find themselves smitten by new Windows 8 machines that cross the divide between laptop and device with touchscreens and keyboards that transform.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook vs. MacBook Air angle 2

Even recent Windows 8 laptops like Dell’s XPS 13 have upgraded versions with touch that make upgrading for a better Windows 8 experience essential.

So what are users to do when they find themselves stuck with a reasonably new Windows 8 machine while wanting to upgrade to a newer Windows 8 device with all the new bells and whistles? Trade-in that machine, of course.

Trading in that old laptop will allow you to clear the way for a new machine that does what you want. Think of the trade-in as recycling, only in many cases you’re able to take some money and apply it towards your new purchase.

Understanding Trade-Ins

Trading in Windows 8 laptops, or really any device for that matter is all about getting the right value for your money. More specifically, it’s about recouping as much money as you can out of the machine you’re getting rid. There are two categories of things working for you and against you.

The things that are working against all come down to hardware. If you’re unhappy with your machine and looking to upgrade than it’s likely that the laptop lacks the features of more modern laptops or has something wrong with it. Operational defects like missing keys and broken screens come into play here. So too do missing essentials like a power cable. The more of these negative issues your device has the less you’ll get for it from certain trade-in services.

Only the specifications your laptop came with are working in your favor. The more you paid for the laptop initially, the better chance you stand of making more money on the trade-in. That’s because more expensive laptops will take longer to completely depreciate to $0.

Where to Trade in Your Laptop

Before you begin preparing your Windows 8 laptop for a trade-in or even looking at a device to replace it, you’ll need to find a dealer or service willing to offer you an amount of money or credit that you’re comfortable with.

One of the most popular trade-in services for just about everything these days is an online retailer you’ve most certainly already heard of: Amazon.

Amazon XPS 13 Trade-In

The Amazon Trade-In Store allows users to look at the value of their laptop before sending it off. This way they can decide if the trade is worth making. Simply type in the name of your device and you’ll get a rough trade-in estimate almost instantly. Once you’ve logged in Amazon will provide you with three estimates based on the condition of your Windows 8 laptop. For example, the company offered GottaBeMobile around $44 for the Dell XPS 13, a laptop that debuted in 2012. Once you’ve packed it up and sent it to Amazon using the free label, Amazon will assess the condition of your device and apply a gift card to your account for that same amount.

XPS 13 TigerDirect

TigerDirect’s service operates in mostly the same way. Users go to the store’s trade-in website and search for their Windows 8 laptop. Instead of adding it to the cart, users are asked a few questions about their device, mainly if it comes with a power cable and what version of their particular laptop they have. TigerDirect will take devices that are in working or not in working order. That being said, the gift card you get in exchange will be worth a lot less if the device isn’t working.

Best Buy XPS 13 Trade-In

Finally, there’s Best Buy. Unlike the Amazon and TigerDirect, Best Buy will let users trade-in their devices for credit in their stores. The same questions are asked here like does the device work and how is its battery performance. For that same Dell XPS 13 Best Buy offered $88.

Regardless of whatever company or service you go with there are some universal gotchas. The trade-in value is going to be the biggest one. Usually, Windows devices don’t hold trade-in value as well as their Apple counterparts. Second, you’ll need to have the power cord for the best deal.

Preparing Your Windows 8 Laptop for Trade-in

Preparing your Windows 8 laptop for a trade-in deal is easier than it’s ever been. Thanks to two recovery tools that every Windows 8 device includes: Reset.

Windows 8 users can reset their device back to factory settings with just the push of a button. The entire process wipes essential information clean and puts the device back into a decent state without a password. Before doing so, just make sure that you’ve copied all of your important files to a flash drive or other storage solution.

Read: 5 Best Ways to Back Up Windows 8 Files and Photos

To reset your Windows 8 laptop before trade-in or sale put your mouse cursor in the top right corner of your screen to open the Charms Bar.

Click on Settings.

How to Reset Your Windows 8.1 Laptop, Desktop, Tablet or 2-in 1 (2)

Click on Change PC Settings.

How to Reset Your Windows 8.1 Laptop, Desktop, Tablet or 2-in 1 (3)

Click on Update & Recovery.

How to Reset Your Windows 8.1 Laptop, Desktop, Tablet or 2-in 1 (4)


Click on Recovery.

How to Reset Your Windows 8.1 Laptop, Desktop, Tablet or 2-in 1 (5)

Click on the Get Started button underneath Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows.

How to Reset Your Windows 8.1 Laptop, Desktop, Tablet or 2-in 1 (6)

Now just wait for the reset process to finish.

Good luck with your system trade-in! Remember to keep looking around for the best deals, and to not settle for the first cheap deal that comes your way from these three services. Trade-ins are great way to make money on your old Windows 8 laptop but there are others ways too. You may find that online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist will get you better results.




  1. Trent Larson

    07/05/2014 at 1:17 pm

    Upgrading a notebook to get touch for easier access for modern apps adds very little value. Not worth the expense. Usage stats for modern apps on notebooks is extremely low. Everything on the recent 8.1 and 8.1 update one bring back functionality for desktop apps. MS will soon bring back the start menu which brings it closer to windows 7 functionality. Surface RT tablets did not get updated this go around. Wonder why? Its a dead horse and consumers show little interest in it. The momentum continues to hide modern from the desktop with each MS update. Millions have already installed third party tools to speed up the process. My favorite is start is now which actually uses windows seven code that is still in windows 8 to bring back the start menu. Yes, it is in fact exactly like the start menu in 7 being its the same MS code. More importantly, it turns off the top right hot corner which is great being windows would slide out the hot corner by mistake when I would only be turning off a app (hitting the X) which occupies the same space as the hot corner. Talk about frustrating! Epic design failure by MS.

    The reason modern apps are crap is the weak full screen API’s that devs hate. What we get are lousy looking apps with poor functionality which are generally worse then their desktop counterparts. Even MS’s own Skype modern app is absolutely pathetic compared to the desktop version. The snapping feature is a total step backwards compared to the traditional floating windows. MS will address some of this in Threshold but why bother? The API’s are crippling for devs. Its never going to be accepted by desktop users and windows RT has already bombed catastrophically. Same says for windows phone in North America although it does have a bit more penetration in the EU. But that’s not enough to save that platform either being Android continues to be more flexible making it easier for Android devs to make apps that people actually want and are willing to pay for. The install base destroys window phone users.

    No, now is the worst time to trade in or buy another windows 8 machine. At least wait for the next update for windows being it will provide a free upgrade path to windows 9, which by the way will make it easier then ever to not have a touch screen. IMO, after windows 9 MS will probably abandon modern completely being the interest to code for it will all but disappear.

    MS has avoided putting the start menu back this long for this exact reason being people will never see it, use it, or care about it. Now that they caved in and will put it back, its the final nail in the coffin for modern. Its only a matter of time now.

  2. windowsosx

    07/06/2014 at 8:18 am

    Ridiculous black and white statement in a world of increasing hues and shades. If you have a touch screen you probably use some modern apps. Not to say you don’t also use the desktop, you do or otherwise there would be little point in going windows rather than android, but just because the platform went too far on the seesaw and requires balance doesn’t mean modern is dead nor does it matter. on the contrary a happy middleground would be ideal for desktop and tablet users alike. And the touch screen not being worth it…. depends. For me it sure is. I laugh at people who think their Macs are the awesome sauce when they still use a mouse. May as well be using Ms dos imho but that’s the point. The right os is what’s right for you, that’s the whole point of making a computer personal. Tired of all this finger in the wind one size fits all conversations. how about we all get happy that osx win 7 and win 8 are viable alternatives catering to us in ever increasingly personal ways depending on our needs and preferences. I look forward to more experimentation and choice and applaud Microsoft for taking a chance with changing the paradigm. And btw win phone could be -5% market share and id still think its the best phone I’ve ever owned having tried literally all the flagship devices.

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