I can think of 9 different cell phones that I have owned over the years. Granted, that may not seem like a lot to many of you who may get a new phone every 6 months or every year, but that’s how many phones I have bought/sold/traded in since 1996. Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, there really wasn’t much of a market for used cell phones because the internet wasn’t as huge as it is today, so anyone who got rid of their phone usually just tossed it in the trash or recycled it if their community offered it. But today is a different story; there are cell phone recycling bins in almost every electronics store for phones which cannot be resold, and there are plenty of online avenues for making back some of your money on your purchase. This is especially true for smart phones like the iPhone, Blackberries and Android phones. These phones can have some incredibly high resale values, as was my experience selling my 1st generation iPhone. I sold it on eBay for more than I bought it for in the first place. Someone wanted an unlocked/out of contract iPhone to use either on ATT or T-Mobile, so they paid a pretty hefty amount for it – over $200. Considering I paid $199 for it in the first place, I would say I definitely got my money’s worth with that phone. I then rolled that money into my (then new) 3GS iPhone, saving me over $200 on that purchase. That was quite a score!
Besides eBay or Craigslist, which are the two most popular online classifieds, there are a bunch of options for selling your slightly used cell phone. Here are a few you may want to check out:
While websites offering you money for your cell phone might be the easiest way to sell your item, they probably won’t make you the most money. I still think eBay is the best place to sell items like this because when I look through what is for sale, I see what others are willing to pay for unlocked cell phones. It is often more than a new one would cost, meaning that the seller can usually make back all, if not more, than the money they originally spent.
For lower-end cell phones (i.e. not smart phones) that aren’t really worth too much cash anymore, the best thing to do when you are done with them is to donate them or properly recycle them. While your local Staples, Best Buy, or phone retailer usually has recycling bins you can drop your phone into, here are a few more options for you to look into:
- Cell Phones For Soldiers
- Recycle My Cell Phone
- Phones For Life (Senior Centers can use them for emergency phones)
- The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Recycling For Charities
Whatever you do, do not just toss your old cell phone into the trash. There are many toxic chemicals and parts that can leach into the ground over time, contaminating our water and food. Be sure to properly recycle and/or sell your phone so that either you can make some money back, help out someone in need, or at a minimum keep dangerous chemicals out of the environment.