Kindles have an incredible lifespan. My six year old Paperwhite is still going strong. You’re pretty likely to still have a working Kindle if you upgrade to a newer model, so here’s what you need to do before selling or giving away your old one.
Deregister It From Your Account
Your Kindle is connected seamlessly to your Amazon account. You almost never need to enter your password or confirm your credit card details to buy a book. This is great when you’re the only person using your Kindle, but if you’re planning to give it to someone else, you don’t want them to have free reign on your bank account.
On the Kindle, go to Menu > Settings.
Next, head to My Account > Deregister Device.
In the confirmation window that pops up, tap “Deregister” again and the Kindle will be disconnected from your Amazon account.
Now it’s ready for someone else to set up.
Reset the Kindle (Optional)
This step is technically optional, but it’s a good idea to reset your Kindle to its factory settings before selling it or giving it away. The new owner will be able to start from a totally blank slate.
Go to Menu > Settings.
On the Settings page, tap the Menu button again, and then select the “Reset” option.
In the confirmation window, tap “Yes” and the Kindle will take a few minutes to restart and reset. Once it’s finished, the Kindle will be like it was on the day you got it.
Clean the Kindle
Let’s be honest, people are filthy, filthy creatures. Any personal device you’ve had for more than a few weeks is smothered in bacteria. Something like a Kindle that you’ve had for years and used everywhere in your house is practically a petri dish. Before giving away or selling your Kindle, do the decent thing and give it a good cleaning.
Since Kindles are almost all screen, grab some screen cleaning wipes and give your Kindle a good wipe down. Don’t use household cleaning products or rubbing alcohol, as they could damage the device. It’s much the same process as cleaning your phone (which you should also be doing).
Selling or Giving Away Your Kindle
With your Kindle clean on the inside and out, it’s time to get it in the hands of another loving owner. There are lots of options for where you can sell your Kindle, but one of the old reliables like Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, or Swappa is going to give you the best results.
Unfortunately, since Kindles are pretty cheap to begin with, you probably aren’t going to get a lot of money for an older, used model. A brand new Kindle Paperwhite retails for $119.99 on Amazon. Someone is listing one for $105 on Swappa but the most recent sale was for $85. Used, older, or cheaper Kindles are going to sell for less.
Personally, I prefer to hand my old Kindles on to someone I know who loves to read, but doesn’t have one yet. Books have always been my favorite gifts and a Kindle is the closest digital equivalent.
If you’re passing your Kindle on to a family member, you should set up Amazon Household. This way you both keep your own Amazon accounts but you’re able to share any Kindle purchases either of you make. There are also children’s profiles available, so you can control what your kids are able to read; you don’t want them left with unfettered access to Amazon’s copious amount of bad literotica.
Kindles, since they’re so simple, can easily last for years. Most people I know end upgrading their Kindle before it breaks just to get the latest features. This makes them perfect for giving away or selling.