Thursday, 30 January 2014

How to make money on your old Mobile Phones

Are your old mobile phones sitting in a draw unused? Did you know they could be a source of cash? There are close to 80 Million discarded phones sitting unused in the UK. So we've put together a step by step guide for getting cash back for your phone.

Old Mobile Phone Buying Companies

These are companies that will take your old phone and give you cash in exchange. They are usually very fast, web based companies and will let you know their valuation for your handset by filling in a questionnaire on their website. If you're happy with their offer, they will send you a jiffy bag so you can post it to them for free. Their offers are usually better than any trade in on the high street or second hand electronics shop.

What phones can you get cash for?

It needs to be in decent working condition, have no more than mild cosmetic damage, a working battery and can be switched on.

If the phone is in pretty good condition but has say a faulty battery, see how much you would get for a fully working model and it might be worth replace the battery to get that amount.

You don't need to send the charge, but they will recycle it for you if you do.

What else do you need to know?

These companies don't accept responsibility for non-delivery, this is an important point if the phone is valuable you should make sure its delivery is insured. This can be done by sending it 'Recorded Signed-For' delivery, the amount it costs depends on the weight and value of the item you are sending.

When sending the phone off, make sure it's charged, switched off and has the Sim and Memory card removed. Also make sure you have turned off security settings and any other features which could hamper its testing. It is also essential to wipe all your private data and to reset the phone to factory settings.

Around 20% of phones get rejected at the testing stage. If your phone is rejected you will be offered a reduced fee, which you could then either accept or request that your phone is returned.

What about Damaged Phones?

The very least that these companies will do is recycle your phone, but it is still worth checking how much they will offer you. However, the price you receive will be a lot less (10-50% of the working price).

What Damage Effects the value?

You will get less money if the casing is damaged, it is pin lock or doesn't power up.

If the phone is physically broken, unresponsive, water damaged or has a cracked screen, mean you will probably get nothing at all.

What other options are their?

A phone buying company isn't the only option, they are the easiest and most convenient, but not necessarily the most profitable.


In the 21st century everyone should be aware of the benefits of eBay, opening up the opportunity to sell your second hand (or new) items around the globe. There is a thriving market for old handsets, if it is listed effectively and honestly you could earn up to 30% more than using a phone buyer site.

This does take a bit more effort than just sending it off to a phone buying site, so balance out the extra time you will spend doing it with the guaranteed money from a phone buying company.

Check how much your handset has been going for on eBay and that should give you a rough indication of its worth and whether you want to proceed.

Selling it to a Friend

Another relatively stress free alternative is to sell the phone to a friend, around 10% on top of what you would get from a phone reseller is usually the best practice.

You Don't Need a New Phone

With the constant advances in technology and pressure to upgrade from your phone provider, it is worth remembering that you don't have to have a new phone. You can get your phone unlocked from its network legally and then you're free to use any contract or package you wish. Don't forget to shop around for the best deal.

Charity Deals

There are a lot of schemes that will collect your phone and donate a cut of the cash you would've received to charity. To be brutally honest, if you're earmarking your cash for charity the best option is to cash the phone in yourself and donate the whole amount to the charity of your choice. If you use Gift Aid as well, it can reclaim its tax back.

Trade Ins 

If you're after a new phone, speak to the company you're getting the new one from (this mainly applies to high street retailers) they may be able to give you a good price for your old phone, even if the recycling companies aren't willing to.

What do the recycling companies do with the phones?

Once the phones are tested, if they're in good working condition they're sold abroad in Africa, South America and the Far east. Some of them will probably even be resold on eBay if they're particularly high value, so please be aware that you should be able to get more money for these yourself. 

If your is phone of a lower class then it'll be broken down and sold as components. If it is broken or completely worthless, these companies will dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way.

It is important to remember though, that you cannot just discard your phone in the rubbish, there are various parts of the phone that can be bad for the environment. So it is essential that it is disposed of in a safe way.

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