What’s Your Old Cell Phone Worth? Liquidate Before You Upgrade

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Whether you upgrade your cell phone regularly or infrequently, you may eventually find yourself with a collection of old cell phones with which you don’t know what to do. In the past, older cell phones were thought to be of little or no value, and so were discarded – or stashed away in a drawer somewhere – when a new model was procured. Today, however, there are numerous places to trade in your old mobile phone for cash or credit.

The amount you can get back for your phone will vary upon the brand, the model, its age, condition and the company through which you trade it in. iPhones, due to their initial cost and popularity, enjoy the highest trade-in values. Unless you paid a pretty penny for your phone in the first place – or unless it’s nearly brand new, though – don’t expect hundreds of dollars for your trade in, no matter what the ads say. High or low, trade-in amounts vary among companies, as does the form of the payout. Consult several services to discover the one that will give you the most desirable combination of trade-in value and payout type. For instance, one company may offer you more for your phone than another but only offer that amount in store credit when you would rather receive cash.

Where can you trade in your phone and in what form can you receive payout?

Some common places to consult when trading in your old cell phone are:

  • Your Cell Phone Carrier – receive credit on the purchase of a new device
  • Best Buy – receive a Best Buy gift card
  • Target – receive a Target electronics gift card
  • Wal-Mart – trade-in value is determined at a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club, then applied to the purchase of a new phone with a two-year contract or a prepaid plan
  • Amazon – receive Amazon gift card credit
  • Gazelle.com – receive your choice of an Amazon gift card or payment by PayPal or check

You’ll discover a multitude of easy-to-use services to trade-in your used mobile phone by searching the Internet. Simply provide the brand and model of your phone and its condition to discover what you can recoup on trade-in, how to receive it and the type(s) of payout available. If you conduct the transaction online, you’ll need to mail the phone, usually free of charge, to the trade-in service.

In addition to potentially putting a few bucks back into your pocket, responsibly recycling electronics – rather than simply tossing them in the trash – is an important environmental consideration. Toxic chemicals, including arsenic, cadmium, mercury and bromiated flame retardants are contained within electronics such as mobile phones and, when dumped into landfills instead of being properly disposed of, can contaminate the groundwater.

A critical personal safety note: You’ll want to make certain that your device is completely wiped of your personal information before trading it in. Consult the Federal Trade Commission’s Disposing of Your Mobile Device to be certain your private information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands via your recycled device. It’s the careless handling of such personal information that can lead to identity theft.

No matter the trade-in value you receive, whatever you get is better than the nothing you get from a phone you simply set aside or discard. Considering the cost of a new phone can be many hundreds of dollars, getting something – anything – back for your old one can help offset your cell phone expense.

How much is your old mobile phone worth?

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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