Ask LH: What Can I Do With My Old Plasma TV?

Hey Lifehacker, I’m moving to a new house in a month and plan on upgrading my TV. I’m currently still using my big, heavy, power-hungry Panasonic Plasma (funded with my Kevin 07 $900!) So I’m wondering: what does everyone do with their old big-screen TVs?

It’s surely not worth trying to sell, I don’t want to move it to the new house and putting it out on the kerb seems like a waste as some punk will probably just smash it. Any ideas? Thanks, Plasmas Passed

Plasma TV picture from Shutterstock

Dear PP,

I wouldn’t give up on selling it just yet. Despite providing better overall picture quality, Plasma TVs have been completely supplanted by LED panels. It has subsequently become very difficult to buy a Plasma TV, even though there are plenty of consumers who vastly prefer the technology. (It’s a similar situation to what happened during the VHS/Betamax wars, with the inferior format vanquishing the AV enthusiast’s favourite.)

In other words, you should be able to find a willing buyer who craves those pristine Plasma blacks. Try putting a listing on Gumtree or eBay — you might be surprised by the level of interest it attracts, especially if you sell it for a pittance. $50 is better than nothing, right?

If you have a Facebook account, another option worth considering is your local “Garage Sale” page. While the potential audience on these sites is much smaller, all members will be based locally and capable of picking up the TV from your house. This is important, as it eliminates the issue of delivery costs.

Alternatively, you could always try donating the TV to a local, needy organisation; be it a nursing home, community college or church group. You’ll probably have to deliver the unit yourself, but at least you’ll score some good karma out of it.

Failing that, your best bet is to have it recycled. The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme exists for this very purpose: it’s a free service funded by the electronics industry. Head to the Recycling Near You website to find your nearest drop-off zone.

If any readers have additional ideas, let PP know in the comments section below.


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