Should You Sell Used Hard Drives?

Should You Sell Used Hard Drives?

Do you have old, used hard drives lying around, and not sure what to do with them?

Selling them for extra money may seem like a daunting task. However, what if the consumer is able to retrieve sensitive data previously stored on the hard drive?

You might be surprised to learn that according to recent CompariTech research, 59% of used hard drives purchased in the US and UK contain data from previous owners.

So, Is selling your hard drives really safe? Should we just destroy the hard drives instead?

You have come to the right place.

In this article, we will discuss how safe it is to sell hard drives that you have used, whether the destruction is good for your situation, and how you can safely erase stored data to make sure it is not recyclable.

Selling Or Not Selling Your Hard Drives

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: do you really need to sell your hard drives?

Database is the most valuable asset in the 21st century, so would it not be better to continue to use or reuse old drives than to sell, or worse, destroy?

Few important things to consider:

1. Increase the ROI of the drive

It is natural for digital equipment, including hard drives, to lower the price, while at the same time, sooner or later you will need to upgrade these drives to those with new technologies and / or larger storage facilities.

Therefore, to increase the Return on Investment (ROI) of these driving methods, time is of the essence. You may want to sell older hard drives when the price is high, but at the same time, the price of replacement drives should be slightly lower so that they are not too expensive.

Finding the right time is important so that the hard drive can create enough that it has a very low cost, and 2-3 years is usually a good time for many hard drives.

2. Plan for the future

What is a short-term and long-term system hard drive? Can the upgrade benefit you right now (both in terms of performance and / or ROI)?

There may be situations where leaving the hard drive as it is will be the best investment, and there may be cases where you will not make much profit by selling the drive and destroying the drive may be the best option.

3. Sensitive data

Does the hard drive store any sensitive and / or controlled data? In that case, you should plan for the destruction of secure data before you sell the drive, or you will be in danger of legal consequences and / or reputation damage.

Secure data removal may translate into additional costs (if you do not do it yourself), and may reduce the profitability of selling your hard drive.

How To Sell Used Hard Drives: Step By Step

If after considering all three of the above factors you still intend to sell your hard drive, here is a step-by-step guide to get your used drives sold safely and quickly:

Step 1: Get the details of your drive

The first thing you need to do is find out what your hard drive is so that you can fully access it.

If you sell more than one hard drive, you can create a spreadsheet for this purpose, and make a list of the following details:

Type (SSD, HDD, NVME, etc.)
Model or serial type
Storage Size
Type of connector
Also, take pictures of hard drive status, which can help you find buyers.

The most important thing to consider in this step is honesty. If your hard drive is physically scratched, report it and take pictures of imperfections where possible.

Step 2: Prevent data clearing

If the hard drive does not have sensitive or manageable data, you may not need to take additional steps to safely erase your data. However, keep in mind that your privacy is at stake, so it is always best to erase your hard drives before selling / disposing of them.

First, check to see if your hard drive is a traditional HDD with a hard disk drive, or a solid-state drive (SSD).

If you are an HDD and are using a Windows computer, we would recommend that you use a free DBAN drive erase safely. Alternatively, you can use Windows ’built-in Disk Manager and format the HDD (not the fastest format) three times.

If you are using a Mac, you can use the macOS ’Disk Utility, located in the‘ Utilities ’folder (press Apple + Shift + U), select drive, and then click‘ Erase ’. Wipe the drive three times to make sure.

For SSDs, however, things can be much more complicated. Usually your SSD manufacturer (i.e., SanDisk, Samsung, Corsair, etc.) has their own disk management software to help you safely erase the SSD. However, if you are unable to find such software (or do not know the manufacturer of your SSD), you can use tools like Gparted (for free) to do the job.

Keep in mind, though, that if you sell to an ITAD specialized company, such as Big Data Supply Inc., you can use their debugging service to ensure the destruction of the most secure hard drive data, and you can also obtain a Data Destruction Certificate. of your driving.

A Data Destruction Certificate may be a legal requirement for your industry if your drive contains controlled data, so keep this in mind if you are in a regulated industry (medical care, banking, etc.)

Step 3: Identify potential buyers

In fact, you have two main options for selling your hard drive: finding your customers, or through a specialized ITAD company.

You can find your private buyers or list your hard drive in markets like eBay or Amazon. The big advantage here is that you can set your own prices and have more freedom to sell your drives, but you have to do all the work yourself (including secure data removal).

If you sell with an ITAD specialty company like Big Data Supply Inc., however, the company will probably handle everything including secure data removal, and although you may not be able to set your own prices, you will find a fair market price based on your drive status.

Step 4: Packing

Once you have found a buyer, you now need to pack and ship your used hard drives. It is important to pack the hard drive properly, or you could end up damaging your drive and losing money. If you are selling multiple hard drives, be sure to include a packaging list for each package.

Also, it is best to invest insurance in your packages, even after the hard drives have been properly packed.


When done right, selling your used hard drives for extra money can help you increase the ROI of each device.

If you safely erase the used hard drive before you sell it, it means it is 100% secure to sell the drive, but there is also the option to sell your used hard drive to bulk companies that will securely transfer your data.

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