How To Sell Used Cell Phones: Sell Your Old Phone

Learn What You Can Do with Old Mobile Phones

Photo of man with cellphone

So you are totally excited about your new cell phone. It's got all the bells and whistles, the newest technology on the market. It makes your old cell look like a Western Union telegraph machine. Now here is your question: what to do with the old phone? You could always give it to someone you know or donate it to a charity, but the best option may be getting some cash for it.  

Here is how to sell a used cell phone.

  1. Know your phone. Make sure you know the make and the model of your phone. If you don't know off the top of your head, look under the battery. If you lift out your battery, there should be a sticker with some info that will include the manufacturer and the model number. It also helps to know what network your phone was using. This you probably will know by heart because you've written them a check every month since you've owned the phone.

    Assess the condition of the phone. Do you have scratches or other cosmetic blemishes? Is the screen scratched or cloudy, making viewing difficult? Is the battery good and holding a charge for an acceptable amount of time? When you plug the charger into the phone, do you need to fiddle with it to get it to start charging?

    If it is in great condition then you can sell your old phone as 'great,' but if there are any problems, you should disclose this to any potential buyer. Check under "Recent Calls," then "Call Times" and find the "Lifetime." This will give you the total number of minutes the phone has been used.

  2. Sell old mobile phones to an Internet store. There is a multitude of places on the net that are very interested in buying your used cell phone. You'll get lowballed by these places, but they will take it off your hands. The newer your phone, the better. The better your phone, the better. If you have a Razr in great condition, you'll fetch about $60 for it. If you have a three year old Motorola 720, you'll probably get about $2. So features and age both come into the selling/buying price.,, and are just some of many places that will buy your phone. Do a Google search for "sell used cell phone" and shop around. You will find almost all of the places that buy used cells to be comparable to each other.
  3. Sell on eBay. If you put your used phones on eBay you can probably get a little more than the web stores will offer you but, as always with eBay, you never know. You can always set a reserve if you know you want "x" amount of dollars for it.
  4. Craigslist. This is the best place, in my opinion, to sell used cell phones (and anything else for that matter). It's local and lots of people read it religiously looking for deals or just looking. You can put it up for best offer or a price you think is fair.
  5. Local want ads. There are always some local publications that have free or low-cost classified ad space. They can be found at supermarkets or newsstands locally. Look for the posting info in the back pages. This might not be the best option but it is an option.

That's about it! Now all people need to do is buy and activate those used phones. If your cell is old, you should be happy with whatever you get for it, even if it's a ham sandwich. If it is newer and has sought-after features such as a camera, web access and mp3 playback capabilities, then you can expect a lot more.


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