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Making money: Cashing in on old gear, and more
Three top pieces of financial advice — from outsmarting debt collectors to improving your interview skills
You might be able to pick up some cash when you're ready for an upgrade.
You might be able to pick up some cash when you're ready for an upgrade. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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ash in on old gear
Have some old electronics lying around? asked Regina Lewis in USA Today. Luckily for you, "there's a thriving secondary market for your old devices." On sites like Gazelle.com, BuyMyTronics.com, NextWorth.com, or Amazon.com, you can get a quote on the value of your old gadgets, and some will buy them for gift cards or cash. If you have a device to unload, remember to back up and "wipe" the data from your device — you don't want to inadvertently send away anything with personal or sensitive information. And there's no point in being anything but honest about the state of your item. "Misrepresenting the condition will likely lead to a notification that it will only be accepted at a lower price." If you're out to sell an iPhone, you'd better act fast. "While used iPhones hold their worth better than many smartphones, iPhones' resale value tends to drop when Apple announces a new version."

Outsmarting debt collectors
A cool head matters when dealing with debt collectors, said Michael Bovee in Credit.com. Collection agencies often work on a contingency basis, so they only make money if they can get you to pay. Agents tend to take an urgent tone because they often have a limited time to track you down and come to terms with you. If you have a debt to settle, you can use this pressure to your advantage. "Time your efforts to resolve accounts with a debt collector using the 'best collected by' expiration date." It usually pays to get in touch around the end of the month, when collectors are scrambling to meet their quotas and might be eager to score a quick settlement.

Improve your interviews
All job hunters are well advised to upgrade their interview skills, said Elaine Pofeldt in Money. More and more hiring managers are interviewing candidates on camera. "If you're asked to meet via Skype, do a dry run" to get yourself camera-ready and check your connection, lighting, and sound. Avoid using dated references or jargon, which can make you seem like you're trying too hard. "Instead, mirror buzzwords the interviewer uses." And have examples ready. Your potential employer will be "placing a premium on productivity," so have examples of your own successful projects at hand. If the job you're angling for is a senior position, expect to go through several interview rounds. "In later meetings, you'll likely be grilled on weaknesses identified earlier," so be ready to "put a positive spin" on things.

Sergio Hernandez is business editor of The Week's print edition. He has previously worked for The DailyProPublica, the Village Voice, and Gawker.

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