Sell your Cell Phone
Turn your cell phone into cash...Interesting notion right? Many of us have an older version iPhone or Android just lying around, collecting dust. Why not turn your old devices into cash! These five cellular sales sites provide a user-friendly platform for mobile phone recycling that can put cash in your pocket.
We looked at each organization and judged it on ease of use, site navigation, and a number of other factors. You'll see that some of these are dedicated to handling old electronics and disposing them while others focus more on swapping and selling them.
Whatever aspect you're interested in, you'll likely find a company that suits your needs. Let's break down the top five places for mobile phone recycling.
Cell Phone Recycling: What to Consider
Look for a company that offers these components:
- Quick processing time
- Eco-friendly procedures
- Affordable and/or free shipping
- Upfront quotes
If you're not in it for the money, there are other valuable reasons to recycle your phone. Help fight waste which poisons the earth by recycling your phones with environmentally conscious organizations. You can also donate your phones to those in need, like families who can't afford a phone but need one in case of emergencies.
SellCell Cell Phone Recycling Review
- Easy to use and navigate
- Compare deals right there on the website
- Quick process
- FAQs section
- Shows most popular and most valuable sales on front page
- Comparison site only, does not handle sales
- Shipping isn't always free
- FAQs section is a little limited
Look no further if you're in search of a well known comparison site to sell your phone to. How does $300 for your iPhone 4S sound? Well, with SellCell you may be able to score just that. The process is incredibly easy-enter the phone model in the search bar (ex: Samsung Galaxy III), compare offers, pick your deal, then ship it off! The best part is that some providers even take broken phones.
Right on the front page, you can see some of the top deals currently going on. At one point, an Apple iPad 4 sold for over $400. The website is easy to navigate and it's all pretty straightforward. There is a lot of good that comes from using SellCell. First off, they are well known and the top rated cell phone recycling organization on the net. Although they are mainly a comparison site, they're still at the top of our list. As noted, the SellCell website is very user-friendly and makes the process completely painless, we haven't found anything easier. Plus, if you just want to dispose of your phone, they provide an eco-friendly way to do so. We rated SellCell as the top provider because of how helpful the service is in finding the deal you want in moments.
Verdict - Great
SellCell is one of the most well-known sites for selling and recycling mobile phones. It has an easy site navigation, allows you to compare deals directly, delivers quick processing, as well as all the other features we noted above. It's clear that they deserve to be our highest rated cell phone recycling site.
Cellular Recycler Cell Phone Recycling Review
- Easy to use and navigate
- Important links easily retrieved
- FAQs section
- Pay $1-175 a phone; not the best buyback
- Limited FAQs sections
Cellular Recycler partners up with organizations to gather used phones and then send them back to their headquarters. Businesses, schools, and consumers can log onto the site and sell their phone(s) by filling out an online label, printing it out, and placing it on a package. You can get reimbursed for your phone exchange, functioning or broken. Plus, Cellular Recycler is environmentally friendly and recycles your phone according to government regulations.
How it all works is pretty simple. After filling out the form and shipping your device, Cellular Recycler inspects the phone and checks its working condition to see if it can be reused and/or even refurbished. If so, they send you the quoted amount. If not, they safely recycle it. If you're interested in preserving the planet, then you may also decide to work with Cellular Recycler by setting up an e-waste recycling bin in your area.
The website is user-friendly and is informative. Right on the front page you can learn about how Cellular Recycler works, where to go if you want to recycle your cell phone firsthand, and how to make money with this business. If you want to learn more about cell phone recycling and the process, you can visit the FAQs section. Their site isn't flashy, but it's simple and gets the point across, which is essentially, what matters.
Verdict - Very Good
Cellular Recycler isn't our number one choice if you're looking to get a big ticket buyback but they're definitely the place to go to get rid of your old mobile phones responsibly. We couldn't find many customer reviews on them so these ratings are purely based on the website and services provided.
Simply Sellular Cell Phone Recycling Review
- Easy site navigation
- Three step process
- Accepts phones, devices, and accessories
- Receive check in two weeks time
- Helpful scale of device conditions
- Could use a FAQs section or help resources
- Too detailed about phone model
Another company dedicated to helping the environment, Simply Sellular will recycle your old cell phone, or give it to those less fortunate. So not only do you get paid for your cell phone exchange, in as little as two weeks, but you're in essence donating it to someone who really needs it. It's all done in 3 simple steps: Find your phone by manufacturer and model (Ex: HTC Android), order a prepaid envelope, and then use said envelope to send the phone off.
All the right information is on the front page, even the first step. A list of manufacturers is on the front page, you click the manufacturer on your phone, and away you go. At the top of the website, you can see how many phones you're selling and how much you'll be getting for them. If you look at the tabs at the top, you can read about the different conditions a phone may be in if you desire payment. This is helpful to know for you and the company, as to not waste any time. Simply Sellular accepts phones, devices, and accessories. You may be able to tell that Simply Sellular is very easy to use, as it should be. No one wants to stress about recycling cell phones, they just want to follow the steps and send it off. Once you pick your phone and the condition, you'll get a quote for your old phone. If it all checks out when Simply Sellular receives the phone, you get a check in the mail about two weeks later.
Verdict - Very Good
Simply Sellular, as the name states, makes it feasible to recycle your cell phones. As always, there will be customers with bad experiences and there will be those with great experiences. Because of this, we mainly looked at the site and its services for our review but based on what we found, we think the rating is appropriate.
BuyMyTronics Cell Phone Recycling Review
- User-friendly interface and navigation
- Option to drop off at a GameStop instead of shipping
- On the spot price quotes for your device
- Wide range of categories
- FAQs section
- Varying reviews and customer complaints
- No shipping box provided
BuyMyTonics, a Denver-based electronics site, is different from the rest when it comes to cell phone recycling. They don't just limit their service to phone trades but recycle cell phones, camcorders, tablets/pads, eBook readers, game consoles, mp3 players, and much more. Plus, they were recently bought by GameStop so you have the option to trade in your old phone directly at a participating store. Kill two birds with one stone, save the environment and take home a little extra cash.
If you don't have a GameStop in your area, you can ship it to BuyMyTronics via postal service. However, a shipping box is not provided, which is a bit counter-productive to someone trying to make money. Overall, BuyMyTronics has a website that is very easy to use. As previously noted, they work with trades in many electronics categories and they give you a quote for your item online and again after a hands-on review. You have a choice to accept or can reject it, but you will have to pay for return of the item. You can learn about these specifics in their FAQs section. There seems to be varying reviews on BuyMyTronics but on average, most customers seem content and satisfied apart from the few unpleasant experiences posted.
Verdict - Very Good
BuyMyTronics comes highly recommended. They're owned by a leader in the gaming industry and overall have quite a few appealing features as a recycling and electronics site. There were some poor reviews regarding their service which were a bit concerning, but they were offset by the positive remarks.
Pace Butler Cell Phone Recycling Review
- Buy AND Sell
- Easy to use and navigate
- Print out own shipping label
- Established since the 1980's
- Speedy and efficient service
- Buying is a little more difficult than selling
- No knowledge of actual phone cost/price
- Mixed customer reviews
Pace Butler is a little different from the rest; it's a corporation that works in the market of buying old phones. They go back as far as the late 1980's and have a tried-and-true history. They even have a blog all about recycling cell phones. The process is super fast; print out a shipping label, box it up, and send it off. Pace Butler will figure out the rest and send you a check in as little as two business days. Also, before you send in your phone, Pace Butler can walk you through how to erase your data from a number of phone models, to offer additional peace of mind.
Aside from just selling and recycling your phone you also have the option to buy used devices from Pace Butler's inventory. More information on buying used electronics is available on the website.
Pace Butler has a website design that is very easy to navigate, and they provide you with a shipping label form right on the front page. For those of you looking to make money when recycling cell phones, you may be in luck, since that is Pace Butler's main objective. They don't list the prices of old phones anywhere on their site, and this may be a bit frustrating for those of us that want numbers. They do, however, have a list of estimated prices so you can know what to expect pending your phone's condition.
After reading customer reviews, the ruling on Pace Butler is a little unbalanced. Some would say Pace Butler is a very respectable company that provides great business and customer service. Whereas others may be displeased with the experience. Many customers were left unhappy on Reseller Ratings. We can't verify whether or not this is a common experience, but as noted, there are good reviews and bad reviews, so we've chalked things up based what we know and what we've found.
Verdict - Good
Pace Butler is all around a great website for selling your phones. Although they don't tell you how much you're getting for them, they do a great job of making sure you know everything about their process and how you can make it easier for them and you.
There are so many places you can trade in your phone for cash, and with it being so easy why not give it a try. Have you tried mobile phone recycling before? Let us know in the comments below.
Cell Phone Recycling FAQs
What should I do with my cell phone before I sell it?
If you're currently using the device you plan to sell, the first step is to terminate the device's service plan. Next, clear the device's memory of contract, numbers, photos, and any other sensitive information. The easiest way to do this is to perform a hard factory reset. You can find the instructions to perform this function by referring to the phone's user manual or contacting the manufacturer. Another possibility is to check under memory/data settings for a "clear memory" option. Finally, remove your SIM card (what gives the phone its unique identity) and dispose of it in the same way you would discard a credit card or bank statement. On older phone models, the SIM card can be found by checking underneath the battery from back panel. Newer models like Apple iPhones use mini, nano, or standard SIM card formats depending on which model. Don't assume that any of the cell phone recycling companies will perform these steps on your behalf. It's your responsibility to remove any information you don't want readily available to a third party.
What happens to my cell phone after I ship it?
When you send your cell phone to one of the companies it will go through one of three redistribution processes depending on its make and condition. The first mode of distribution is 'reuse'. This means your phone is sold to other consumers through retail channels like eBay or Amazon. These resale methods sometimes include international markets so your second hand phone could end up in third world country in the hands of someone who's never had access to a mobile phone in their lifetime. The second process, 'refurbishment', means your cell phone will be disassembled and sold for its parts or directly to a refurbishing company.
If the wireless device is at the end of its life meaning the circuit board is out of date or can't be refurbished, then recycling is a last resort. Local and national processing facilities adhere to environmental standards and accreditation requirements. The materials found in recycled cell phones can be made into alternative materials including jewelry, automotive parts, and of course other electronics. In the event that you don't decide to recycle your cell phone with one of these companies, be sure to find an alternative recycling center. It's important that you don't mix your e-waste with your household's trash. Not only is against the law but it introduces toxin substances (lead, beryllium, nickel, arsenic) into the environment which could pose greater threats down the road. Also, remember to clear any sensitive information you may have stored on the device. This includes names, number, passwords, and data history. There's no guaranteeing where your device will end up so just to be safe perform a factory restore before shipping it off!
How should I pack my cell phone for shipping?
Ensure that you're cell phone is not damaged during transit by including bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and wrapping paper. If possible, place the device your intend to recycle in the packaging that it originally came in. A second option is to have it professionally packaged at a UPS or FedEx near you. Enquire with your specific cell phone recycler retailer as to which mode they prefer. BuyMyTronics.com for example will actually send you a USPS Priority return box. Then all you have to do is put your gadgets in the box and send it through the post office.
How do I assess the condition of my cell phone?
By most company's standards, the following scale is used to determine a phone's condition and likewise, the payment you may receive for cell phone recycling.
Excellent: Phone is in perfect condition both cosmetically and functionally. All components of the device work and there's no water damage.
- No water damage
- No missing buttons
- No noticeable scratches/dents
Good: The device functions perfectly but there are some minor cosmetic flaws (scratches). No major buttons are missing.
Fair: The device is functioning but shows significant wear and tear (scratches, dents, blemishes).
Poor: A phone in poor condition has quite apparent cosmetic damages and may be impaired functionally. It may have a cracked display, water damage, or issues powering up.