"How much can I get for my old police scanner?"
We’re asked this as more and more scanner owners upgrade to new digital police scanners. As you're probably aware, these things can get expensive, and it only makes sense to want to flip your radio for profit. After all, what better way to come up with the cash for a newer, shinier scanner? In this article, we’ll walk you through how to get the most money for your old police scanner including:
Is Your Police Scanner Worth Selling?
Some police scanners are worth selling; others - not so much. Below is a 5 minute way to determine if your old police scanner is worth selling.
Step 1 - Determine Your Police Scanners' Value
- Find the SKU or product number of your police scanner.
- Search for the SKU number of your scanner (here, then here) to find a ballpark price.
- Find 3-5 postings for the same, or similar, scanner. Is your scanner in better or worse shape? Maybe you have accessories you'll be adding? Determine a realistic price.
Step 2 - Shipping Cost
If you ship via UPS ground within the lower 48 States this will cost around $15.
Step 3 - Selling Fees
Platform fees (what eBay charges) will be about 10% of the gross sale price (explanation below).
Step 4 - Net Scanner Price
Now that you know the 3 variables you can determine if your scanner is worth selling or not. Sale price, less 10%, less shipping cost = profit.
Is your scanner worth selling? It will take about 2 hours to sell your old police scanner which may include:
- Writing post
- Creating post
- Answering potential customer emails
- Collecting money
Where to Sell Your Police Scanner?
Craigslist may work if you live in a large urban area, however the police scanner market is small and the likelihood of finding someone close to you who wants a used scanner, and is looking on Craigslist at the particular time your scanner is there and is willing to pay your asking price is slim. Craigslist posts are free so it may be a good idea to put up a post for a month and see if you can sell this way. If you do, you'll want to post in the ‘for sale - electronics - by owner’ section.
Radio Reference Classifieds
Radio Reference Classifieds is a place to buy and sell old police scanners, which is used by avid scanner fans; however, in order to put a post up you must have a premium subscription which is $7.50 for 90 days.
eBay is one of the largest eCommerce companies in the world with several benefits for selling used police scanners including:
- Access to a large customer base looking for used items
- Buyers can pay you via credit card
- eBay offers buyer and seller protection
There are also drawbacks to using eBay, most notably that 10% of sale price will go to eBay.
In recent years, the Marketplace feature of Facebook has surpassed Craigslist and eBay as the most commonly used method of selling stuff to strangers. With none of the service fees you might be subjected to on eBay, as well as a built-in means of verifying the identity and potential Creepiness Factor of the the person interested in buying your scanner, why use anything else? And because more and more people are using the service in place of Craigslist, it's easier than ever to find a prospective buyer.
There is no shortage of places to sell things online, but these are the largest marketplaces for selling used police scanners.
How to Create the Best Police Scanner Post
We’ll stick to eBay for how to create a successful post, but these tips apply to any online marketplace. There are several guides on how to create a successful posting but you should include as much information as possible as this will help your items sell quickly and cut down on emails from potential buyers. Each post should include the following:
Describe Your Police Scanner
- The words ‘Police Scanner’
- The more professional the better. Take images of all sides of your old police scanner and be sure to take images of everything you’re selling including cables, a case, antennas in addition to your scanner.
- Your post should have at least 5 images.
- Go to Google Images and search for your police scanner’s SKU number. Download 2-3 professional looking images of how the scanner looked brand new. If you use these photos in your post you must say in your post's text that images X, Y, Z are from the manufacturer and not of the actual scanner you are selling.
- What’s Included
- In addition to the scanner do you have cables, chargers, a case, maybe the original box and set up guide? Where is the scanner programmed for and do you have software on your scanner? Include everything.
- Are there scratches and dents?
- Put shipping fees, if any, in your posting details.
Price Your Police Scanner
There are several opinions on Auction vs Fixed Price but we recommend selling your scanner for a fixed price.
We highly recommend including shipping costs in the price of the police scanner so you can offer free shipping, but eBay has a few handy tools you can use to charge for shipping if you’d like.
Sell Your Police Scanner