Mobile phones are expensive these days. Chances are that your old phone’s still worth something. There are loads of options for what to do with your old mobile, depending on whether it’s still working and how recent a model it is.
Should you sell it to a mobile recycling company or try your luck on eBay? Give it to a friend or family member or donate it to charity? Here's our guide to getting the most out of your old mobile.
How much is my phone worth?
This depends on all kinds of things. Obviously the make and model are the most important factors, but whether your phone's in full working order is also key. The price might also vary depending on whether your phone's unlocked or brand new
There are plenty of websites that will check different companies and tell you how much you can expect to get for your phone. To compare this price with a private sale, find a phone as similar as possible to yours on a site like eBay. But remember that you're not guaranteed a sale with auction sites, and it's probably a bit more of a hassle than using the dedicated phone recycling companies.
What if my phone's damaged?
Most phone recycling sites will give you two prices; one for a working phone and one for a damaged one. The damaged price is usually significantly lower. So, depending on what's wrong with your phone, it might be worth getting it repaired before selling it
What do I need to do before sending it?
1) Make sure you've saved any personal data, like photos, music and videos, onto your new phone or an external hard drive.
2) Wipe your phone of all data, including your photos, contacts and music.
3) To make sure there are no problematic security codes remaining, go to your settings and opt to reset factory settings.
4) Remove your SIM card.
Ready to go?
Once your phone's ready for recycling, just post it off and wait for your payment. Most recycling companies offer free postage and will send you a bag to package it, but if your phone's worth a lot, you should consider sending it by registered delivery. You can usually choose how you want to be paid, and options include cheque, bank transfer or PayPal.
What happens to my phone?
The vast majority of phones that are sent off for recycling are refurbished and reused, often in developing countries. If a phone is beyond repair, it's broken down and any usable parts are sold. For example, nickel in the phone's battery can be made into stainless steel for saucepans!
What are my other options?
If your phone's not worth much, but it's still working, selling it to a recycling company might not be the best option. You could sell it (or give it) to a friend or family member. You could keep it as a spare in case you lose or break your new mobile. You could donate it to charity. But even if you don't stand to make any cash, it's worth recycling your phone rather than throwing it away, because it's friendlier to the environment.
That's it, you're done
So, recycling your mobile isn't the most exciting job in the world, but it's pretty straightforward. And more importantly, it gets you one step closer to that shiny new phone you've got your eye on. So find out what your phone's worth, get it ready for recycling, send it off and wait for your money to roll in.