Cash in on your old mobile

Published by Emma Lunn on 13 May 2010.
Last updated on 05 June 2013

Mobile phones

A raft of mobile phone recycling websites have sprung up over the past couple of years. These include,, and

The sites basically all work in the same way; you enter the make and model of your phone and the site gives you a price. If you accept it you send off your handset and the company sends you a cheque for the amount.

However, research by, a website which compares mobile recycling sites, says consumers risk losing out on as much as £114 a phone by not researching where to sell first.

The site says the average value of an old mobile phone has risen to a new high of £75, but some handsets fetch much more. Recycling an Apple iPhone5 16GB, for example, could earn you almost £290.

Sellmymobile compared the prices offered by different sites for a selection of popular handsets and found some big discrepancies.

For example, (money for your phone) would offer £207 for a Samsung Galaxy SIII i9300, but offers just £160 (or £177 if you opt for Argos vouchers).

Similarly, a 64GB iPhone 5 will get you £308 at cashmyfone compared to £260 at fonehub.

Colin White, MD for commented: "In today's tough economic climate, some extra cash can make all the difference. So it's surprising that we are literally sitting on a potential goldmine stashed away in boxes at home. There are so many companies willing to pay good money for consumers looking to recycle their old phone, and they all offer tips and advice if you are unsure about how to send it off, or how to wipe old data from your phone."

How do the various sites work? keeps customers informed about how their order is progressing; they get an email when the phone is received, when it’s been tested and when payment has been sent. It also gives customers the option of receiving a cheque or having the money paid directly into their bank account. works in much the same way. You won't get money for some handsets, but phones that can be reused will be refurbished and exported to developing countries. In other cases phones are broken down for parts which are reused. Where neither is possible, phones are disposed of in a way that follows current legislation about electrical waste. recycles more than just mobile phones; you can use the site to recycle mp3 players, cameras and games consoles too. But don’t expect too much – an Xbox 360 console would only fetch around £38.

However the site gives users the option of receiving their money in vouchers for Debenhams or Argos, as well as in cash. You get slightly more money if you opt for vouchers.

If you’re not impressed by the prices offered by recycling sites, you might want to put your phone up for auction on You can set a reserve price so you get a minimum amount for your phone and then invite people to bid for the item. How much you’ll get for it depends on how the bidding goes but popular smart phones such as the iPhone 5 often go for over £500.

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