Ways to sell your old smartphone stop it gathering dust. Options such as selling privately, trading in and using specialist online sellers for a quick and easy sale.

How to turn your abandoned handset into money quickly and easily

It’s easy to forget all about your old phone when the time comes to start using a shiny new one, but rather than put it in a drawer to sit there for months or even years why not make some money out of it? There are ways – one in particular very quick – of turning your unwanted phone, or phones if you’ve collected a few over the years, into cash.

Local advertising

Online selling websites such as Gumtree can be popular amongst buyers as they can search for an item they’re looking for locally. It’s easier for them to travel a short distance to look at a phone than trek miles or rely on photos and descriptions on sites like Ebay.

It’s easier for the seller too, especially of it’s an older phone that’s not worth much; the costs of listing and actually selling it on say eBay and sending it to its new owner would make selling this way uneconomical.

Selling to specialist online buyers

Perhaps the quickest and easiest way of all; there are specialist companies who make it very simple, quick and easy to sell your phone online. You could move your old phone on and have the money in your account in a matter of a couple of days from start to finish.

The procedure is completed in a handful of easy steps:

  • Visit their website and find your phone model
  • Discover immediately with an online valuation what they’d pay for a model like yours
  • Make contact via their website and arrange to send your phone in (they’ll send you a suitable mailer or you can print off a mailing label from their website at home and send it in using your own packaging if you’d like to speed the process up further)
  • The online mobile buyer will transfer funds into your bank account within hours of receiving your phone

That’s it.

If they don’t feel your phone is worth what they offered on their website upon physically inspecting it, you can either accept the revised valuation or have your phone back. Reduced valuations shouldn’t be an issue if you notify them of any damage when prompted to do so on the website when first applying.

Also, they’ll usually buy relatively old handsets. For example, some companies will buy iPhones dating back to the 4 that originally appeared in 2010, so your old phone could still make some money.

Selling on eBay

Only really worth considering if your phone has appreciable value and is therefore a relatively recent model since you’ll incur some selling costs such as listing, selling fees and carriage costs.

There’s also the possible annoyance of someone pulling out of the transaction having agreed to buy so causing hold-ups as you have to relist it or, if your phone doesn’t sell, you could be delayed in either purchasing your next phone or be left out of pocket for a while until you find a buyer.

Trading in

Some outlets such as Apple stores and resellers provide a trade in scheme although this only applies if you’re part exchanging for a new iPhone.

As with online sellers, you can get a price for your iPhone or certain other phone whether Android, Windows or Blackberry via the Apple or reseller’s website; they should honour their valuation when you visit the store to complete the purchase of your new iPhone.

Some multi-platform mobile phone retailers offer a trade in scheme against all phones they offer whether Android, Apple, Windows and so on.

In general terms the trading in avenue tends to lead to the lowest price for your handset and may not offer many advantages bearing in mind selling online to a specialist mobile buyer is so quick and easy.   

Make money

Even making a small amount of money is better than leaving your old phone to take up space in a bottom drawer, so a little effort such as selling online is well worthwhile. If your handset is too old to be considered then it’s still worth getting rid; someone may be interested, but if not then donating it to a charity for recycling is worthwhile.