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|Buy Used Electronics|
|Sell Used Electronics|
|Sell Damaged Electronics|
We all want the latest smartphone when it hits the market but what do we do with our used cell phones?
Why not make some money off your used cell phone or electronics? It not only makes you money but it keeps our landfills “cleaner” by putting the parts to good use or reselling them.
- Why Recycle?
- How Much Electronic Waste Is There?
- Where To Recycle?
- How To Prep Device
- How Your Device is Recycled
- Our Personal Experience
- Other Ways To Recycle
Electronics are filling our landfills, causing our planet immense harm. If you don’t recycle your electronics properly and in a safe way you are causing our environment to become more polluted. Electronics can emit hazardous pollutants, too. All of this, paired with the opportunity to recycle electronics for cash, provides great justification for doing the right thing.
In 2009 alone, discarded electronics, including TVs, computers, printers, and cell phones, totaled about 2.37 million tons! That’s more than 2 million tons that could’ve been recycled. Recycle cell phones and other electronics to help keep our planet healthy!
Before we share the best companies, we wanted to point out that you should be sure to get a quote from all of them because one may give you a better offer than the other!
And just to backup our pro tip, we’ve run a sample phone through each quote system to give you an idea of how they work: a factory unlocked iPhone 6S Plus, 64GB, space gray color. (Note the pricing changes frequently so this info may be outdated. However, we wanted to show for comparison sake).
Note that the values are not necessarily indicative of a general trend – marketplace bids vary by device and time – so if you run the same phone you might get completely different quotes. If you’d like, share your findings in the comments, we’d love to hear whom you went with!
Where’s The Best Place to Recycle My Electronics?
Here are our top picks (in no particular order).
In addition to selling your used electronics for cash, you can also buy certified pre-owned phones and tablets for a discount.
Worried that the device you purchase may not have all of its features working? Don’t worry! Gazelle has a 30+ Point Inspection that insures that all the features are fully functional, the touchscreen is intact and set to factory default settings. And they’ll even give you more than quoted if they find it’s in better condition than you thought!
You can also sell iPods and Mac computers through Gazelle.
How Did Our Sample Phone Do?
Gazelle came out on top with an offer of $260, which was $40 higher than our 2nd best offer (uSell).
You can sell more than just your phone on NextWorth. Other electronics you can sell for cash include wearables, laptops, tablets, iPods, games, portable audio and action cameras.
NextWorth partners with 1,500 stores so you may be able to take your electronic device to the store and get paid on the spot. Visit the website to find a Next Worth partner location near you.
How Did Our Sample Phone Do?
NextWorth came up way short with our sample phone, clocking in at a poor $160. Notice, however, that Nextworth asks a lot more questions regarding the phone’s condition than the competition does.
uSell is the only company in this article that will purchase a damaged device. So, even if your iPhone’s screen is cracked or it won’t power on, you can still make money on it. This is why we chose them as the best company to buy your damaged device.
We found no major cons with uSell but we do wonder what they do with all of the products they purchase since they don’t sell them back to customers. They also buy iPads, textbooks, consoles, gift cards and more!
How Did Our Sample Phone Do?
uSell actually came in a solid second with our sample phone, ringing in at $220.
The providers more or less cover this when you checkout, but it can’t hurt to mention it here given how important it is to a) protect your privacy and data and b) make the sales process more efficient and ensure that you actually get paid what you were quoted.
This example is from Gazelle, but all the providers mention the two most important things:
- Turn off “Find my iPhone” – this is another type of “lock” that can hold up the sale of your phone
- Deactivate your service – make sure you’re all paid up and out of contract before you sell. If you’re selling a “factory unlocked” phone, make sure you unlocked it with your carrier (ie. AT&T), as they used to be “carrier locked” when you were in contract, meaning they won’t work with another carrier’s SIM card. If you are selling an iPhone, you’ll also need to unlock with Apple.
We also advocate, for privacy purposes, that you fully delete your phone (on iPhone’s go into Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings). Important: make sure you’ve backed up your data first! And remove your SIM card before mailing (that may contain personal data as well, and besides, it can’t be re-used).
Lastly, for Android phones, make sure you delete your Google account (Settings > Accounts > Google > More > Remove Account). Before shipping, it’s probably not a bad idea to take photos of your device for documentation purposes (in case damage occurs during shipment). Got questions? Hit us in the comments below.
Want to know how electronics are recycled? Check out this short video about the process behind recycling electronics.
We personally tested out an electronic recycling service with an iPhone that had pretty severe water damage. Within a matter of seconds we got instant quotes from multiple companies and within in a few days and a few easy steps the phone was shipped off (free of charge).
It took a little over a week to receive the funds, but well worth it considering the damaged phone was worthless to use.
In addition to everyday products you probably already reuse or recycle (see our handy list of recycle codes), you might try tossing your food scraps into a compost bin or donating your car to a charity.
Do you feel you got a good return on the sale of your electronic device?