How to Sell Your Old Mobile Online

by - Last Updated on June 7, 2017

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably got at least a couple of old mobiles lying around the house. So why not make yourself a bit of cash and get rid of them? Selling your old handsets online can give you a healthy chunk of beer money, as long as you know what you’re doing that is. Not to worry though, we’re here to lead you through the process, so let’s get started!

Hold Up, Do You Really Want to Sell?

First, you do need to seriously consider whether or not you want to sell. And there are a couple of issues to think about here. The first is that it never hurts to have a decent back up phone. You know, just in case yours gets lost or stolen. It’s good practice to keep at least one extra working handset somewhere in your home. Second, if you’ve got mobiles older than say three or four years lying around, then it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to make much cash or even sell them at all, so you might want to save yourself the trouble.

Already got a spare mobile? Got a decent, good condition, working handset that you want to unload? Alrighty then, let’s move on to the next step.

Before You Sell…

Obviously, before you sell you’re going to want to delete all your personal data from your old mobile. You don’t want a stranger getting their hands on your Facebook password and the like. You’ll find a complete guide to wiping your phone in our blog section here, so we’re not going to go into too much detail. At the very least you’ll need to remove your SIM card and SD card if applicable, and factory reset your phone. You’ll also want to give your mobile a good cleaning, so it looks sparkling…

You might also want to consider setting up a new email address just for this so that spam doesn’t go to your regular address, and so that you don’t need to give your real email to strangers. It’s not required, but it might save you a little hassle…

So, Where Do I Sell?

You actually have a fair few choices when it comes to selling your phone. There are websites that buy old mobiles, so there’s one option. However, you’re likely to get more money if you sell your mobile privately (though take into account that you’ll be doing a bit more work too). Yes, you could go with eBay, but eBay is going to take a commission, which is hardly ideal. The option that most people choose is to go with a private sale through a site like CraigsList or Gumtree. This is the easiest way to do things, the one that’s likely to net you the most profit, and the most popular choice, so it’s the option we’re going to concentrate on…

Set a Price

Before you make your listing, you’re going to want to do a bit of research and find out exactly what your phone is worth. There are various ways to go about this. Take a look at other listings for the same model to see what they’re selling for. If your model is still being sold new, take a look at the brand new price too (keep in mind you’ll want to knock off a percentage of that new price, since your model is used). You might also want to get a quote from one of those websites that will buy your old phone for you (and in this case, keep in mind that you’ll want to add a bit to that quote, since these sites are likely to low ball you). And you can always check eBay listings too.

Once you’ve got a decent price in mind, you’ll want to add a few pounds so that there’s room for negotiation. For example, if you’ve decided £100 is a fair price, you might want to list your phone for £120 O.N.O. (Or Nearest Offer). People are more likely to take a look at something where they feel they can negotiate, and most people are likely to want to negotiate anyway, even if you set a fixed price, so it’s in your own best interest to have a little wiggle room.

Write a Listing

Now you need to write a solid listing on the site you’ve chosen for your phone. The actual listing is up to you, but there are a few guidelines that you should try to stick to. Firstly, include a photo or photos if you can, people like to see what they’re buying. Secondly, don’t just state the model name and price, be a little more wordy, since that reassures buyers that you’re a real person (and not a company or spammer). Thirdly, be honest. If the phone has a couple of scratches, say so, and include pics. You’re going to be showing the buyer the phone before they hand over money, so they’re going to see any damage anyway. Better not to waste anyone’s time (including your own) and tell the truth in your ad.

Making a Sale…

Hopefully, you’ll have some responses to your ad, so what happens now? First up, you’ll need to be careful to avoid any scams. Scams change often and we can’t warn you about all of them. But as a general rule avoid mailing the phone to anyone, avoid taking credit, cheque or money orders (or wiring, bank transfer etc.). If the buyer isn’t prepared to meet you in person and hand over cash then turn the sale down.

Pro Tip: NEVER accept a cheque or bank transfer for more than the selling price. This is a very common scam. You get more money, the buyer asks that you transfer the extra money to another account or another person, then the cheque or transfer gets halted as fake and you’re out of pocket!

When it comes to the actual sale itself, you’ll need to meet in a public place, preferably one with plenty of people around. Shopping centres make good choices, as long as it’s during business hours, as do cafes and restaurants and pubs. Don’t go to anyone’s home, and don’t meet somebody in a place where there are no witnesses!

And there you have it. Selling your phone online does take a little extra work, but it can be worth it to get your hands on a little extra cash. Stay safe, make smart decisions, and you could find yourself with a nice cash bonus to spend this weekend.