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Make Money

Sell old mobile phones for the best price

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Recycling old mobiles for cash is easy. Compare the best places to sell your mobile phone and get the most money.

three smartphones on a green background

Credit: Sichon, Taweepat, Praew stock – Shutterstock

There's only one way to prevent robots from taking over: stop hoarding your old mobile phones by recycling them in exchange for cash. Obviously.

If you're looking to sell your old phone for the best price, follow our top tips to make as much money as possible from it.

A bit of trivia: "There are more mobiles in the world than people". True or False? Answer at the end!

Looking for a new mobile phone contract? Our guide can help you find a phone-omenal deal.

Best mobile phone recycling companies

Compare the mobile recycling schemes below to get the best deal:

  1. giffgaff Recycle

    Giffgaff logo

    When selling your mobile phone to giffgaff, it will either be refurbished or recycled.

    They have a pretty quick payment system, where you'll be paid within 48 hours of them processing the phone (after receiving it). However, it could take up to five business days for you to see the money in your account depending on the payment method.

    Visit giffgaff Recycle »


  2. Mazuma

    mazuma mobile logo

    On Mazuma, you can sell your old phones, tablets, smartwatches, laptops, Macs and gaming consoles. After you sell them, Mazuma will send them to one of their reuse partners where they are recycled or refurbished.

    When you sell an old phone to Mazuma, they'll pay you on the same day they receive your phone, as long as it arrives before 2pm on Monday – Friday, excluding public holidays.

    Visit Mazuma »


  3. EE Recycle

    EE logo

    EE Recycle offers pretty good prices for fully-working items, without any cosmetic damage. You can sell phones in any condition, but you may not get the price you're hoping for.

    If they think the condition is not as good as you said, they'll readjust the offered amount. If you decide to turn down the new quote, they'll return your phone for free.

    Visit EE Recycle »


  4. Envirofone

    envirofone logo

    On Envirofone's website, you can sell your old phone, and buy new and refurbished mobile phones.

    A big perk of selling your phone to them is that you can get a 12% extra bonus which you can put towards a new phone or tablet from their shop.

    Envirofone also accepts damaged phones. If your phone's a little worse for wear, you could consider selling to them.

    Visit Envirofone »


  5. musicMagpie

    musicmagpie logo

    Selling your phone to musicMagpie is a fast process, and they offer some competitive prices. So, if you need cash quickly, selling your phone to them could be a good option.

    After finding your phone's model on their site, you can select 'Excellent', 'Good' or 'Poor' for the device's condition and receive a quote instantly.

    If you're happy with the offer, you can then send them your phone for free. As long as the condition fits your description, you'll receive the payment on the same day the mobile arrives.

    But if musicMagpie disagrees with the condition and lowers the offer price, you'd then have up to 21 days to accept the new amount. If you decline the offer, you can have the phone returned for free.

    Visit musicMagpie »


  6. O2 Recycle

    O2 logo

    O2 Recycle is another scheme that accepts damaged or faulty phones. It may be a good option if your phone has seen better days.

    When selling your old phone to O2, you'll receive payment within three to five working days.

    Visit O2 Recycle »


  7. SellMyMobile logo

    On SellMyMobile, you can compare as many phone recycling sites as possible in one place. It's a good place to look for a general overview of prices and the value of your mobile phone model. But check each phone recycling site as well to be sure of the price.

    The best part of the comparison site is that if you find a better deal elsewhere within 24 hours of placing an order to sell your phone through them, they'll refund you the difference.

    Visit SellMyMobile »


It's not just mobiles you can recycle for cash. Many of these sites also pay you for other tech devices including old laptops, Kindles, iPads and tablets.

How phone recycling works

pile of old mobile phones

Credit: Billion Photos – Shutterstock

Hoping to recycle your old mobile for money? There are dozens of phone recycling services waiting to offer you cash in exchange for old devices. Plus, it's super easy to do.

Since they all operate in a similar way, it comes down to comparing the quoted prices.

Most companies will send you a postage-paid pack for your phone to be sent off. They will then inspect the device to ensure it matches the details and conditions you provided online.

If it does, you should receive the quoted price. However, if the recycling company isn't happy with the phone's condition, they'll likely take some money off your payment.

Depending on the condition, your phone will then either be resold, exported abroad or broken down into parts for recycling.

What's my mobile phone worth?

To get the most money for recycling an old mobile handset, you will need to sell a phone which is still in good condition and a relatively recent model.

For example, if (for some reason) you wanted to recycle an Apple iPhone 15 (128GB) in excellent condition, musicMagpie has quoted £420*. In comparison, the same type of phone in poor condition could get you £126*.

Meanwhile, a Samsung Galaxy S22 (128GB) in excellent condition is quoted as £190 by musicMagpie. However, older models won't earn you as much.

Bear in mind that it's still worth looking into how much you could get even if your phone's slightly damaged and outdated. Selling it for just a few quid would be worth it if it's otherwise going to collect dust on your shelf. And it's much better for the environment to save it from going to waste.

You can find out how much you could get for recycling a phone by heading to each website listed above. Just enter your device's details (make, model and condition) and note down the guide price for comparison.

Hopefully, the tips in this guide will help you find the best price for your old handset.

* Prices correct at the time of writing.

Our guide to buying refurbished phones has everything you need to know, including the best sites and deals.

11 tips for recycling mobiles for cash

Person holding phone with recycle symbol

Credit: Narith Thongphasuk – Shutterstock

These are the best ways to make money from old phones when recycling them:

  1. Always compare companies before offloading your phone – prices can vary massively.
  2. You'll often get a better price if your phone isn't tied to a network. It can be worth unlocking your phone first (usually free).
  3. Give your phone a clean with a soft, dry cloth. It's not worth spending money repairing dents and scratches.
  4. Some phone recycling companies may offer a higher price if you take payment in gift cards rather than cash.
  5. The price quoted isn't always what you'll get as it's based on condition. If you're unhappy with the final price, either challenge them or ask for your phone back.
  6. Do you have a damaged phone? You could potentially beat quoted prices by selling it for spare parts to private buyers.
  7. If you want a new phone, some networks offer trade-ins for your old one. Check if the trade-in value beats the cash you could get for selling.
  8. Remove your SIM card, copy and wipe your data, and reset to factory settings before selling your phone.
  9. If your best offer is ridiculously low, you don't have to sell. Keep your old phone as a spare for travelling or consider recycling it through a local charity shop.
  10. Don't forget to cancel any mobile phone insurance when you sell the handset.
  11. Keep the original boxes and accessories for new gadgets. They can add to the value!

Selling your phone to private buyers

Sending your phone to a recycling company or site is generally quick and easy. However, if you have the patience to maximise the cash, it's often best to find a buyer yourself (especially if it's a smartphone holding decent value).

The companies above make their profit by selling devices on, so it makes sense that you can earn more by selling to buyers directly.

Our Digital Marketing Manager, Lauren Nash, has sold her old phones privately in the past:

lauren nashI've always sold my old phones on eBay and Facebook Marketplace as I've found I can earn a bit more money than recycling them with companies.

The last phone I sold was an iPhone 8 Plus for £200. The new phone I bought in its place was a refurbished 'great condition' iPhone 11 Pro from musicMagpie.

I managed to utilise a Black Friday sale with them through eBay and stacked a code on top, meaning that I bought it for just £370. All in all, it meant that I could upgrade my iPhone for a net cost of £170!

To keep more money in your pocket, sell directly using one of the methods below.

Best places to sell mobile phones

To make as much money from selling your old mobile as possible, try selling it privately through these options:

  1. eBay – Large market, but check the fees and boost your chances with our eBay selling tips
  2. Facebook Marketplace – Free listings and, again, we have Facebook selling tips
  3. Gumtree – Free listings
  4. Friends and family.

6 top tips to sell your phone quickly

  1. Include lots of good-quality photos of your phone in your seller ad
  2. Be totally honest about the phone's condition and what's included
  3. If sending your phone by post, ensure it's well-padded and use a signed-for delivery service (add the P&P costs to your listing)
  4. For local sales, arrange to meet the buyer in a safe public place
  5. Avoid 'wanted' adverts online – there is a risk of being scammed
  6. Digital banking apps allow you to get paid without sharing bank details.
Answer to trivia: It's official – there are now more mobile devices in the world than people.

Looking for some extra ways to make some cash? Here is a list of things you can sell right now!

Owen Burek


Owen is the founder of Save the Student, the leading student money website he started in 2007. He's passionate about educating young people about personal finance and ways to make extra money. Owen has appeared on BBC News and writes for major publications including The Guardian, Entrepreneur and HuffPost.
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