I don’t like to change much. I get used to the way that my phone feels and how it operates. I love having a phone that I can use one-handed and I get used to where all the icons are. I’m a creature of habit and like everything to be just where I expect it to be.
However, despite me still (yes, still) having a secret desire to go back to my old LG G3 (I loved that thing), technology goes through an inevitable evolutionary cycle. Phones have to be updated in order to compete. They need to attract new customers and those upgrading. If nothing moved on, nobody would ever buy another phone unless their existing one broke.
So you have to move on and to do that you’ll need to decide what to do with the handset you’ve carried around and cared for over the last few years. So, it’s a simple question that you have to ask yourself really. “What should I do with my old phone?” And for that, I’ll give you some ideas that you may want to consider before you buy a new one.
Sell it online
No doubt, the most practical thing you can do with your old phone is simply sell it online through secondhand online platforms like Schpok or eBay. Not only will you be able to get rid of your old phone, but you can also profit from the sale — that is if you’ve taken care of it and you get a good price for it.
In addition to the more generic online marketplaces, it’s worth trying platforms that specifically cater to selling or trading in second-hand phones. Here’s a list of a few good places online for that:
BankMyCell is where you can trade in your old phone for instant cash. The site has a price-comparison feature which lets you compare your phone with other phones of equal or near-equal specs. This then makes it easier for you to determine the best price. Once you’ve done that, you receive a package kit you can use to ship your phone free of charge. Send it off, have your device checked, and you’ll receive cash in no time. The best part in all this is that you will be able to get a great trade-in value for your phone, depending on what condition it’s in.
US supermarket chain Target has a trade-in programme where you can trade in your old phone or pretty much any type of electronics for a gift card. This can then be used to purchase a new phone or something else. Of course, whatever you choose to do, try to ensure that your phone is still in good condition. A tool on the trade-in website help you determine your price, but it goes without saying that the better your phone looks, the higher the price.
Gazelle is also a great online platform for selling your old phone. It’s a convenient and quick way for resellers to make a transaction without having to find buyers. All you need to do is to select the model and brand of your phone as well as the carrier or network. Once through, you can then get an offer for your phone. After you have accepted an offer, you can proceed to have it shipped out and you will be paid either through PayPal or gift card.
In the UK, sites including MusicMagpie, MazumaMobile, SellMyMobile, Envirophone, and WeBuyAnyPhone are all worth checking out. You can — just like car insurance — compare the prices of these “phone recyclers” to get yourself the best deal. If you’ve kept the box and the peripherals, or you’ve had your handset in a case and it’s relatively unscathed, you’ll no doubt get a better price. Also, remember that the bigger brands will tend to get you more money too.
Give it away
If you think your phone is still working fine, you can hand it down to someone you know. I’ve done this in the past and it’s great to see someone else getting use out of a phone. This option is great for safety reasons or if a child is getting their first ever phone and you secretly know that it’ll get dropped or damaged at some point anyway. Likewise, if you ever smash the screen on your phone, it’s good to have your old phone “on standby”!
Aside from family members and friends, you can also donate your phone to someone else who may need it. In the US you can try sites like Cellphones for Soldiers and send phones to those who really need a phone.
Use it for a project
We can use old smartphones as internet radios, servers, VoIP devices or CCTV cameras. It’s relatively easy to do and you can get everything you need from Google Play or instructions via YouTube and the Internet. I connected an old phone to a Bluetooth speaker to create a kitchen radio — it takes minutes and it’s great to get a bit of added life out of a smartphone.
If you have an Android phone, you can modify it into a wireless trackpad for your laptop. You can also turn your old phone into a remote controller for your television and other electronic devices and appliances.
Surrender it to a recycling plant
If your phone has seen better days, you still don’t necessarily have to throw it in the bin. We’re all trying to be eco-friendly now, so don’t just let it end up in landfill. Gorilla glass manufacturer Corning has a sustainability programme where they take in scrap glass and turn it into a substance called cullet. This fine powder will also be used in other Corning products, hence maintaining sustainability.
Even if you just get pennies for your phone, it’s best to recycle it at a local store or online and know that it’s going to be destroyed or dismantled safely.