A laptop can be sold for cash by going through a recycling website that gives an offer based on the condition of your item, or by selling it directly to a buyer through a website such as eBay. The first option offers guaranteed, fast cash, whereas the second option potentially may yield more money from the used laptop.
There are many reputable electronics recycling websites that buy electronics for a set price. For example, some malls have kiosks that provide this service. The biggest disadvantage to this option is that these programs do not pay much for used laptops, especially if the laptop is outdated or not in like-new condition with all accessories.
Selling a laptop directly to a buyer allows control over how much the laptop can be sold for, and by using an auction format, even get more money than initially desired can be made. The biggest downside of this option is that it can be a slow sell unless the laptop is sold for a fixed price that is lower than its actual value. However, even this low price may be more than what a recycling program would offer. Selling directly to a buyer does raise risks of having to deal with a return, a customer complaint or fraud.