Make Money Recycling Old Phones

old phone


Make Money Recycling Old Phones

In this digital age, things that used to be time-consuming to do are now made easier. You can shop, transfer money, or send voice messages in just a few clicks. You can also communicate through social media applications like Facebook, or entertain yourself by watching videos on Youtube or Tiktok. Furthermore, because of the pandemic, people are forced to adapt — work and school meetings are now conducted via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

All these tasks require the use of gadgets like laptops, tablets, or mobile phones, the most convenient device to use. People, especially the younger generation, tend to be updated on these new mobile phones. You can see them set alarms to watch the latest phone launches or line up outside phone stores. It is common knowledge, however, that cellphones can get very expensive.

Because of this, when there are new phones released on the market, people tend to sell their old working phones to cover some of the cost of buying a new one. However, not everyone knows how exactly phone recycling works.

How Phone Recycling Works

phone recycle

If you are looking to recycle your old phones, there are different ways to do it. The most common ones are refurbishing and reselling your working mobile phones, as well as selling the raw parts of your old mobile phones. Sometimes people combine the two by making one working phone out of several old ones. It all depends on the condition of your old phone.

Here are some tips to make the most money out of selling your old phones:

Always Do Your Research

Before selling your phone, research its current estimated value to make sure you can charge just enough for your old phone, depending on its condition. Also research on companies whose business is buying and recycling old phones, or ask private individuals who may be interested in doing so. This is to make sure you will not be deceived, and that you can get the most money out of your old phone.

Always Include the Box and Accessories

Whenever you buy new gadgets, do not throw the box away. Also try using protective covering for the charger, earphones, and other phone accessories to keep them in pristine condition. When you sell them, you will get more money if the accessories are complete and the box is not damaged. 

Delete Your Personal Data

Remember to delete your phone information and saved passwords, remove your SIM card, and reset your phone to factory settings before recycling it. This not only benefits you by keeping your privacy; it also makes sure that the buyer will be able to use the phone.

Some iPhones do not work if there is an existing Apple ID that is logged in. The same is true for Android users; you have to sign out of your Google account. Otherwise, the new user will not be able to activate it. And in that case, chances are the buyer will return the phone and you can no longer sell it.

Consider Trade-In Options

trade in

Apple has an Apple Trade-In program that allows you to trade your old phone for an Apple Gift Card if your phone is eligible, or a free recycling option if your phone is not eligible. You can also buy a new phone for cheaper when you trade in your old phone, depending on the estimated trade-in value. Whatever the condition of your phone, you can go to Apple to get something good out of your old phone.

Do Not Spend For Repairs

Before selling your phone, just wipe your phone using a clean, dry cloth. Do not attempt to have your phone repaired for scratches and dents. More often than not, recycling companies or private individuals who are looking to buy your phone will know that you had the phone repaired. They will pay a lower price for that, so it is best to leave your old phone as it is.

Have Your Phone Sim Unlocked

Most companies and private individuals charge lower for phones with network locked SIM because it limits their carrier options. To increase the market value of your phone, make sure to have it unlocked before selling it.

Check the Condition of Your Phone

To know what you should do with your phone before recycling it, know its condition first. If your phone is old but working, sell it. But if your phone is damaged beyond repair, consider just selling raw, spare parts to private individuals to get the most value out of your old phone.

Also, do a system check if you have not used your old phone for several months. Check for drained battery or a needed system update. Before selling, try using the phone for a couple of days and see if you encounter any issues while using it.

Market Your Phone On Various Platforms

To increase the chances of selling your phone faster and for a good price point, upload photos and videos showing it clearly. Be transparent on the condition of your phone so that the buyer knows what to expect from your phone. Also, try selling your phone on various platforms to have a chance of having someone buy it for a good price.

Where to Sell Your Old Phones

online shopping

There are various platforms you can sell your phone on, depending on your preference.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a good place to start selling your phone because most people are now on Facebook. You can upload photos and videos of your old phone, provide a short description, set the price, and post it on the Marketplace. However, you have to be careful because there is no guarantee that you will not be scammed. It is best to sell your phone to people within your area so you can meet up somewhere public and get the money directly.


Twitter is also a good place to sell your phone because a lot of people are on Twitter. However, to increase your chances of selling to the right people, make sure to set your account in public, upload photos, and use proper hashtags.


Gazelle is the most commonly known mobile phone trade-in marketplace in the United States. It provides for an easy streamlined listing process that allows you to put your product in the market in a matter of minutes. Gazelle accepts several mobile phone brands, as well as tablets and desktop computers.


Decluttr is a direct-buyer marketplace that promises to pay the first price offered for gadgets that pass their inspection requirement. They accept phones from several phone brands, as well as Kindle readers, video games, Blu-Ray discs, and LEGO products. Decluttr pays you the day after you accept their final offer.

Other places to sell mobile phones include eBay, Amazon, Swappa, uSell, Best Buy, Gumtree, and to your friends and family.

In sum, you can still make money out of your old phone by recycling or selling it. However, to get the best price point, always do your research. You have to make sure you maintain your phone in tiptop condition and preserve both its aesthetics and its functionality. Doing that will allow you to sell your old phone for a higher price, and can cover some of the costs of buying a new phone.



C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.