Selling old mobile phones for the best price
Exchanging old mobiles for cash is easy! Our 5-minute guide compares the best recycling companies and shares how to get the best price.
It’s official – there are now more mobile devices in the world than people. And the number of mobile phones is growing faster than we are. 😮
Obviously there's only one way to beat the inevitable takeover by our robot masters: don't hoard your old mobiles – get them recycled in exchange for money!
Read on to see how much cash you may be sitting on, following our 11 tips to maximise the pay-off.
What's on this page?
How phone recycling works
There are dozens of phone recycling services waiting to offer you cash in exchange for old devices.
They all operate in a similar way, so really it comes down to comparing the quoted prices (and the chances of you getting that).
Go to each website listed below, enter the device's details (make, model and condition) and note down the guide price.
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 condition you provided online.
If it does, you should receive the quoted price, otherwise expect them to 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.
11 tips for recycling mobiles for cash
- Always compare companies before offloading your phone – prices can vary massively (see below)!
- You'll get a better price if your phone isn't tied to a network. It can be worth unlocking your phone first (usually free).
- Give your phone a clean with a soft, dry cloth. It's not worth spending money repairing dents and scratches.
- Some phone recycling companies may offer a higher price if you take payment in gift cards rather than cash.
- The price quoted isn't always what you'll get - it's based on condition. If you're unhappy with the final price, either challenge them or ask for your phone back.
- Damaged phone? You could beat quoted prices by selling it for spare parts to private buyers.
- If you're wanting a new phone, some networks offer trade-ins for your old one. First check the trade-in value beats the cash you could get for selling!
- Remove your SIM card, copy and wipe your data, and reset to factory settings before you say adios to your old amigo.
- If your best offer is ridiculously low, you don't have to sell. Keep your oldie as a spare for travelling, future museum item or consider recycling it through a local charity shop.
- Don't forget to cancel any mobile phone insurance after you sell the handset...
- Keep the original boxes and accessories for new gadgets. They can add to the value when it comes to getting rid!
Best mobile phone recycling companies
Selling your phone to private buyers
Sending your phone off to a recycling company or site is generally quick and easy, but if you have the patience to really maximise the cash it's best finding a buyer yourself (especially if it's a smartphone holding decent value).
The companies make their profit by selling devices on, sometimes for up to three times as much for iPhone and Samsung. To keep that money in your pocket, sell direct using one of the methods below.
Best places to sell phones
- eBay - biggest market but check fees. Boost your chances with our eBay selling tips
- Facebook Marketplace - Free listings
- Gumtree - Free listings
- Friends and family
- Twitter - Use the right hashtags and include a photo!
Tips to sell your phone quickly
- Include lots of quality photos of your phone
- Be totally honest about the phone's condition and what's included
- If mailing, ensure it's well padded and use a signed-for delivery service (add the P&P costs to your listing)
- For local sales, arrange to meet in a safe public place
- Avoid 'wanted' adverts online, there is a risk of being scammed
- Digital banking apps allow you to be paid without sharing bank details.
Next read: 29 things you can sell right now!