What to Do with Your Old Mobile

by Brandon Ackroyd - , Last Updated on May 4, 2015, How To Guides

So, you’ve got that shiny new mobile phone? It’s pretty exciting, right? You’ve only got one problem now: what to do with that faithful old smart phone that you’re left with. If you’ve got old mobiles hanging around the house, you might be wondering what’s the best thing to do with them. Today, we’re taking a look at what your options are to deal with old mobile phones. Read on and you might even make a bit of cash!

Keep It!

Your first option is to simply keep your old phone, and there is a pretty good reason that you might consider doing this. Phones break, they get lost, they get stolen. Having a back up phone isn’t a bad plan. Should something happen to your new mobile, you’ve got another device to use. Plus, if you’ve got kids, you’ve got an old phone that you can hand over to them without having to worry about them breaking or losing it.

One word of warning though. If you’re keeping your old mobile you might want to consider taking it to your operator and having it unlocked. All UK operators will do this- though it might cost you a few pounds. Unlocking will mean that the phone can then be used on any operator’s network- handy if you happen to switch operators. This only applies to phones bought through operators themselves, those bought elsewhere should already be unlocked.

Get Rid of It!

Your other option is obviously to get rid of your old phone, and we’ll talk about how to do that in a moment. First though, you’ll need to think about security. Mobiles these days tend to contain a lot of personal data, from bank account info to phone numbers, and simply pressing delete isn’t always enough to erase all traces of your data. If you’re thinking about letting your mobile out of your hands (even if that means throwing it away) you need to ensure that there’s no personal data at all on your device.

How do you do this? It’s pretty easy. Simply do a factory reset of your phone and you should be fine. You’ll probably find a factory reset option in your settings menu- if not check your phone manual. And do make sure that the option is “factory reset” and not just “reset.” This will return your phone to the settings it had when it left the manufacturer and will erase anything you’ve added completely.

Sell, Sell, Sell

So, you’ve decided to get rid of some clutter? Your first consideration should be selling that old phone. This is a particularly good idea if your phone is a relatively new model or a big name brand. Upgraded from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6? Or from the Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy S5? Then the obvious solution is to sell your old model. The newer the model you’re trying to sell, the more money you’re going to make.

Where to sell? Personal selling is probably your best bet to make the most cash. And when it comes to selling person to person, eBay is the most hassle free way, though you could try Craig’s List too. You’ll find that there are high street stores that also buy used mobiles, generally mobile repair stores, and this is also an option, though you’ll make less money this way than selling your phone yourself.

If you’re thinking about selling then do make sure that you do so safely. Seller protection offered through eBay should ensure that you get your cash, for example. If you’re selling to anyone else, then get a receipt that’s signed by both of you to prove that the transaction took place (you can write it yourself, nothing formal is necessary).

Be Green and Recycle

You can also recycle your phone. You might have noticed websites that offer cash for old phones, and for the most part these sites are on the up and up. They will take nearly any kind of phone, though obviously the older models get less cash, and some even take models that no longer work or have cosmetic issues like cracked screens. These sites break down phones and either take spare or replacement parts from them or sell on the metal that they get.

The up side of recycling is that you get rid of your phone with no hassle at all. The down side is that you’ll make less money than you would if you went ahead and sold your old mobile. If recycling is your choice then check out consumer reviews of the website you’re thinking about using before agreeing to anything, and make sure that the company is reliable.

Bin It

Your final choice is to bin your phone, and you might want to do this if you have a very old model that has no market value. However, you can’t just toss your phone into the nearest dustbin. As with all electronics you’ll need to dispose of your phone properly.

There are two choices here. The first is to go to your local tip, where there’ll almost certainly be a special area for electronic goods. The second is to head to a mobile operator shop (it doesn’t really matter which one) and ask them to dispose of the mobile for you. Most will be happy to do so and won’t charge you anything for the service.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping a spare mobile phone around the house, but many of us these days have more than one hand set hanging around, so you might want to consider getting rid of the older ones. You could make yourself a little pocket change this way, but once again, do make sure that all that personal data has been erased. If you choose to bin your phone, then ensure that it’s disposed of properly. On the bright side, once your old mobile is out of the house, you’ll have more space for lots of accessories for your new smart phone.