For many of us, there are few possessions that we hold more dearly than our cell phones. It’s something that you often have with you 24/7, and you can even become dependent on them. There comes a time, however, when you and your cell phone need to part ways. Perhaps you have received a received a new phone, you broke it and can no longer use it, or you’ve simply grown tired of being always tethered and want to sever the connection. Whatever the reason for not wanting your cell phone, there are several different things that you can do with it to avoid having it collect dust at the bottom of a junk drawer.
1. Recycle it.
Most phone stores and electronics stores will take back used electronics, including cell phones, for recycling. Because of all the different metals and other harmful compounds found within electrical components, throwing your electronics in the trash is not considered a safe thing to do, so avoid doing so.
A quick web search should reveal local places for you to drop off your unwanted cell phone.
2. Sell it for parts.
There are plenty of sites that will take your broken and unwanted phones and actually give you some money for it! They use these phones for the parts inside of them to build and repair phones for reselling. Sure, they won’t give you near the amount that you paid for it, but you’ll end up with $20 and one less broken phone to worry about.
A lot of these sites will allow you to input some information so that they can give you a quote, then they will even send you shipping materials so that all you need to do is package it up and send it on its way. This method is very easy and can result is some quick cash.
3. Repurpose it.
If you have a relatively new smartphone that still works, there are numerous things that you can do to repurpose it. A quick search around the web could give you countless ideas to turn that phone into something useful. If you are a creative person or someone that likes to tinker around with small projects, this may be an excellent option for you! Some things that you could do include:
- Mount it in your car as a media player to keep those backseat passengers occupied.
- Use it as a dedicated remote to control one of the multi-connected devices in your home.
- Use it as an mp3 player when you are running or at the gym.
- Connect it to some speakers and leave it as your music receiver (especially useful if the phone has an FM receiver).
- Turn it into a security camera (a free app called IP Webcam can allow you to do this easily).
- And anything else your imagination can dream up!
4. Keep it as a spare.
Although this defeats the purpose of actually finding a use for your old phone, it may be worthwhile to keep your old phone as a backup: this is especially the case if you are accident prone or likely to misplace or lose your new phone.
You will probably only need to have one backup phone though; any more than one and you should look into putting your spare spare-phone to another good use.
5. Sell it.
This one may seem obvious, but if you are looking to get some money for your phone you can use one of several free services to try and sell your phone.
Websites such as Kijiji and Craigslist are full of phones that people are selling locally, or you can use a site like eBay to try and sell it to someone anywhere around the world. Keep in mind that cell phones are plentiful on these sites, so you will most likely need to lower your monetary expectations if you want to sell it quickly and with little hassle.
Be careful when selling to friends or family members. Awkward situations may arise if the price is not what both parties were expecting or if the device breaks or doesn’t work as well as they were expecting. If you are hoping to make a profit on your phone, you should likely consider consulting someone outside of your immediate family.
6. Give it to a family member.
If you have a family member that could make use of it, consider giving it to a friend or family member that could really use it. It can be a fun and useful tool for a child, but make sure that you make the appropriate modifications to ensure that they cannot access the unsavory parts of the Internet or applications that are not appropriate.
When giving your phone to a child be sure to wipe all account details that could give your child access to the play store. It is too easy for someone to install applications that cost money or contain viruses or other malware.
7. Donate it.
If you are feeling charitable, you can donate your unwanted cell phones to one of many organizations that put these phones into the hands of people around the world that really need them. Some organizations are:
Rainforest Connection: This not-for-profit organization actually take your phones and use the camera technology to monitor and protect remote sections of forests!
Phones for your Charity: They accept any old cell phone and try to refurbish them so that they can sell them or reuse them anywhere in the world. They give you a dollar amount that you can then donate to a charity of your choosing.
Hope Phones: An organization that recycles old phones to help fund healthcare programs in impoverished regions around the world.
Whatever you decide to do with your cell phone, keep in mind that anything is better than letting it deteriorate at the bottom of your junk drawer until it is useless and worthless. Before sending your phone away or giving it to someone else, always be sure that you have wiped any personal data from your phone. Sometimes we forgot how much our phones actually know about us and in the wrong hands, this information could be very damaging. Wipe your phone and get ready to pass it along to its next potential owner!