If you’re like most web workers, you’ve got a stack of obsolete hardware in a closet somewhere. Now TechForward, a relatively new company, wants to take your future junk off your hands – and pay you for it. Their concept is relatively simple – when you buy a new computer (or other bit of high tech), you also pay for a “Guraranteed Buyback” plan from TechForward. At any time over the next two years, you can ship the hardware to them (they provide shipping materials). They send you a check, and then resell or recycle the components you no longer need.
The numbers are reasonably attractive (especially compared to just adding to the closet junkheap). For example, you might pay $19 for a buyback plan on a Dell laptop, with reimbursement ranging from $370 down to $200 depending on when you give it up. Fine print? Some, but not too much – to get the full buyback amount, you need to keep the hardware in good condition and send it back with manuals and media. And of course there’s not yet any track record to guarantee that Tech Forward will still be in business for two years. But as a bet, it’s reasonably attractive for the web worker who knows they’re going to upgrade frequently.