Easy Money: Electronics

How you can turn old cameras, cell phones and computers into hundreds in cold cash.
3:00 | 10/26/12

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Transcript for Easy Money: Electronics
You know, it might be time you thought about re-evaluating what you keep in that junk closet. Turns out, if you have an old digital camera, ipod or computer lying around, it may be worth a lot more money than you think. Abc's sharyn alfonsi brings us the quickest way to turn old electronics into serious cash, for our series, "easy money." Mary and steve have a cash flow problem. They've got two growing daughters. When you sleep, where do your feet go? They're touching. Reporter: And not enough money to buy beds that will fit them. What do you want instead of these beds? Bunk beds! Reporter: They're short $700. But they're about to find the cash they need hidden in plain sight. Hi! I'm sharyn! Hi, mary. Nice to meet you. Reporter: Nice to meet you. Mary is a blogger and steve works in individual yog if i. So, they've accumulated tons of old tech. This is jessica dolcourt. She's a blogger that writes about turning tech trash into hard cash. Jessica says most family can find hidden dollars in those old electronics. Things that are in high demand now and things that turn over. Cameras. Phones. Laptops. Reporter: What do you have? Give us an idea. Like, three old iphones, i think. I have an ipod, I have a -- i haven't touched it since I got my ipod. Cameras. Oh, my gosh. Reporter: Hard to throw that stuff away because you spent a lot of money. And I feel like maybe I'll use it for something some day. But it's been, you know, a year or two or three. Reporter: So, we went hunting. Iphone 4? Reporter: Yeah. You can get a little bit for this. Yeah. Hand it over. You can get a couple of bucks for the, too. This is better than nothing. Reporter: Who, how do you turn it into gold? Jessica offered a few tips. Number one, everything's worth something. Even if it's broken. What about this? Believe it or not, you can still get a couple of bucks for that. Reporter: Broken screen? They'll take broken screens. Reporter: Well, almost everything is worth something. One of those old scanners. I would personally recycle it. Done. Reporter: Not an antique or anything now? When did you buy this? Reporter: Tip two, sell big stuff. Computers and cameras, online. We check out the dozens of websites that will give you an instant offer, like gazelle.Com. No action, no waiting. The lapstop? Calculating -- 300 bucks. Whoa. Reporter: And we get $265 for the camera. We just made $565. Less than 200 to get the bunk beds. So, we get that stuff off in the mail and take the old cell phones and the girls off to the mall. Yep, the mall. Tip number three, there's money near the food court. This is called an eco atm. A self-serve robotic atm that gives cash on the spot for old mobile devices. Mary got to work. First, let's do cell phone. Reporter: The machine identifies what kind of phone you have and what it's worth. First, the old iphone. That's awesome. Reporter: On average, most of us replace our cell phones every 18 months. So, it is estimated there are more than 278 million idle cell phones in america. We find out that even this broken old phone is worth something. What? Oh, yeah. Reporter:37! There are current it will about 150 ECO-ATMs AROUND THE COUNTRY. 15 mutes after mary started scanning her old phones, the big payout. One, two, three -- $193! Reporter: But we wondered, where did all those phones go? E CO-ATMs HEADQUARTERS. We call this a sort and forward proc Reporter: Here, the phones are reassessed and resold. It's called e-cycling. What happens to all this stuff? 75% of everything that we get finds a life as a cell phone. About 25% is going to get smelted for the gold and platinum that's in the device. Reporter: Who is buying this stuff? A lot of different refurbishers. They fix them up and sell them to the sprints and verizons. Reporter: Altogether, the family made $758. More than their goal. And enough to get these. What is it? Bunk beds! Reporter: A good day for the family that led to a great night for the girls. I'm sharyn alfonsi for "nightline" in san diego.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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