Recycling old phones for cash won't make you rich, but it could be a decent side hustle for the right person.
Or maybe you've just got an old phone or two sitting in drawer you'd like to get rid of...
I remember as a kid, my uncle’s yard was overrun with mountains of junk car parts and old broken-down vehicles. They were everywhere… I can even remember an engine block in his kitchen.
He used to say, “It’s all junk until someone needs it…” and sure enough, people needed it. Money changed hands and at that age, my uncle was the closest thing to an entrepreneur I knew.
But your buy and sell side hustle doesn’t have to mean a kitchen cluttered with car parts. Among the many items you can recycle for cash… cell phones and other devices provide a simple and quick turnaround.
Here are 21 places you can recycle old phones for cash…
The biggest brand in online-retail offers gift cards when you trade in your electronics such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, gaming gear etc. Amazon Trade-In is great for the everyday shopper who already has an Amazon account, but not necessarily for the buyer-seller entrepreneur.
Best Buy Trade-In
Similar to Amazon… The Best Buy Trade-In program offers gift cards for used gadgets. Payments are made 7-9 days after they receive and evaluate the condition of your device. Great if you only have a few electronics to trade, but if buying and selling is your side hustle, a dedicated reseller or marketplace would be a better option.
Known for offering fair prices and quick turnarounds, BuybackBoss pays by check. They specialize Apple and Samsung phones, as well as iPads. Online tracking is also available.
The highest offers will come from marketplaces like Craigslist, however… it’ll take a little more time and effort. Most buyers on Craiglist are looking for plug and play devices in good condition. Other resellers may be interested in your damaged and broken electronics, but the offers will be low since they’ll need to repair them and sell at a profit.
Depending on the device and condition, Ebay may be your best bet for high offers… however, it’s a competitive marketplace and turnaround won’t be immediate.
Flipsy is a favorite among sellers because you can look up average prices and conditions across multiple sites. Specializing in Apple and Android phones and tablets… payments are made in cash or store credit and you can quickly assess your device using their What’s My Phone Worth app.
The vending machine of phone buyers, ecoATM provides kiosks that’ll take your phone and pay immediately. The disadvantage here (other than locating a kiosk) is that the value offered will likely be less than dedicated buyer/seller websites. It’s best to do your research and get some quotes ahead of time.
Trade-in/sell your cell phones, tablets, smart watches and even request a quote for devices not listed on their site. Some reviews I read said that EK Buyers offers some of the highest payouts and quickest turnarounds.
The Facebook Marketplace
Like Craigslist, Facebook's Marketplace is best suited for ready-to-use devices in good condition. Selling on Facebook will usually take longer, and you may end up driving around town to meet up with potential buyers, but you’re skipping the middle man and going directly to the end user. Your potential profits will be much higher.
Gadget Gone is a highly rated reseller based out of the US. They will quote on your used phones, tablets, smart watches, game consoles and Macbooks. If you're satisfied with the quote you've been given, you can print a pre-paid shipping label, ship your device and get paid through PayPal, mailed check or Amazon e-gift card.
A popular reseller with fair offers and fast payments (according to reviews). Gazelle takes cell phones, tablets and Apple laptops.
Get Orchard is a Toronto based company with current reviews from both buyers and sellers being 95+ percent positive. They only deal cell phones though, so if you have additional devices you’ll need to find another buyer.
GizMogul pays by check or PayPal and $1 from every transaction goes to help build schools around the world. For the most part, reviews are really good and they currently have a [5 Star Rating] on Trust Pilot.
With Glyde, you only get paid when your product sells. This may lead to higher offers since Glyde is not carrying the risk of non-sales, but turnaround will likely be longer than with direct buyers. Reviews are mixed. Sellers are generally happy with Glyde, but buyers not so much. Payments are made by check, bank transfer, or Bitcoin 3 days after delivery (to your buyer).
Joe’s is a home-based gadget repair service with exceptionally good reviews. Located in the Pacific Northwest, they buy used cell phones, laptops and tablets.
The Mobility Marketplace
Based out of Texas, the Mobility Marketplace pays by check, wireless bill credit, or store credit. They are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and currently have an A+ rating.
SellaGadget buys old phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, cameras, smart watches and even your robot vacuums. They pay by check, PayPal, Chase QuickPay or Amazon gift card. They’ll even take your broken and damaged electronics.
Similar to Ebay, Swappa is a platform where you buy and sell directly with other users. Payments are transferred through PayPal, and you can sell just about any device you can think of… from cell phones and tablets to Nest thermostats, voice assistants, and VR headsets.
A buyer/seller marketplace, uSell is a site where you can unload your cell phones, tablets, game consoles and even gift cards you'll never use. They provide online order tracking and payments are made via check or PayPal within 5 days of your buyer receiving their device.
There’s not much buzz online about YouRenew, but they’ve been around since 2008. They provide immediate offers and pay by check. They also have online tracking and might be worth getting a quote to compare with other resellers.
If you have any other recommendations, please don’t hesitate to share in the comments below…