The Ultimate Guide To Cell Phone Recycling

If you are looking to sell your old cell phone to get cash, then this is your ultimate hand book to help you. This guide will make sure you get the most money for your cell phone and find the best place to sell it. If you want to sell your phone online, or find alternative ways to trade in your phone for cash, we will break down all your options.

What is a cell phone recycler?

Recyclers will offer you money for your old cell phone, all you have to do is post it to them. After you have sent it in, they’ll test it, check the phone’s condition and make payment for it by check or bank transfer. Once the cells have been tested, they may be shipped and sold for reuse abroad or around the US. If the phone is in great condition the company could flog it on eBay. If the gadget is unusable, it could be broken down and sold for parts, or disposed of in a way which is environmentally-friendly.

How much is my old cell phone worth?

The amount of cash you get for your old cell phone depends on how old it is, which model it is, what condition it is in and even which carrier you’re with. New phones will be the most valuable, with some phones selling for over $400. Working out how much your old cell is worth is simple; all you need to do is go online and use a comparison site like GadgetValuer to see how much each recycler will pay you for your cell phone.

The when, where and how

When should I trade-in my cell phone?

Many trade-in services will allow you to freeze the offer you’ve been given for your cell. It’s worth thinking about checking prices up to a month before a new handset is released. For example, when a new iPhone is released, the older models will plummet in value. If you freeze the prices of your old iPhone before the big release, you can maintain top prices and still sell your phone when you’re ready for a new one.

Where can I get the best prices?

Price comparison sites will quickly compare all the prices from recyclers, so you can select the best deal to get the most cash for your phone. All you have to do is select which phone you have, the condition it is in, and in most cases which carrier you are with. Many websites will also rank each phone recycler depending on feedback, to help you decide where to sell your cell phone.

Can I get cash for my broken cell phone?

Selling broken phones, tablets and iPads

Just because your cell is damaged, doesn’t mean you’ll get no money for it. Your cell is seen as broken if it isn’t fully functioning. This could mean:

  • Power problems: Your broken phone does not power up or charge.
  • Cracked phone display: If you have a cracked or broken screen you can still sell your cell.
  • Cracked phone frame: If the rear frame or glass is smashed, cracked or bent.
  • Broken buttons: You have a broken phone if buttons are missing or no longer working.
  • Network problems: Failed test calls or issues with Bluetooth, WiFi or GPS.
  • Software issues: Any issues which prevent full phone functionality.
  • Hardware issues: Broken cell phone problems including issues with microphones, speakers and charging and headphone ports.

Recyclers will not buy back all phones. If a phone has a blacklisted IEMI number because it was lost or stolen, then the recycler won’t buy it. They are also unable to processed handsets which have been barred from a network, are water damaged, are snapped into two, or cell phones which are fakes.

For a full guide on recycling broken phones read our blog post on sister-site CompareMyMobile here.

How else can I sell my phone?

Other options:

  • Selling your cell directly online

Sites like eBay, Amazon and Craigslist are a good option when it comes to getting rid of your phone. While this route involves more hassle, it could bag you more cash for your old phone. You can price up your old cell phone by browsing the sites to see how much similar items sell for. One thing to bear in mind is that if you use the ‘auction’ function on eBay, you might not get the price you wanted for your cell.

  • Carrier trade-in

If you would rather deal with humans than a computer, you can always pop to your nearest carrier store to see if they offer a trade in deal. Some allow you to swap in your old phone as part of a deal with your new upgrade. You can check out the trade in services AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon offer below:

If you simply want to recycle your phone quickly and easily, Eco ATM is your best option. Eco ATM is an automated kiosk which collects old cell phones and other gadgets and gives you instant cash on the spot, depending on the state of the phone. You are unlikely to get as much money for your cell this way, but it is certainly a quick fix. Check the Eco ATM website to find your nearest kiosk.

  • Charity

If you’re feeling like you want to give something back, there are a number of charity organizations which will accept your cell phone. Cell Phones For Soldiers uses the phones to provide cost-free communication to active military and veterans, while Hope Phones sells your cell for cash to help advance healthcare in 16 different countries. See what is out there and donate your phone.

  • Recycling

Throwing away your cell phone is harmful for the environment, due to the toxic chemicals which could get into ground water. Mail In Mobile and YouRenew both accept any and all cell phones regardless of their state.

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