Christmas is a bit of a bank account-burner for all concerned, but things can get particularly nasty when those dear to you demand the latest in technology. By the time you have sorted all your distant cousins and great great uncles with iPhone 4’s there isn’t much left to spend on yourself.
All is not lost however, the powers of the interweb provide us with many means to generate a bit of extra Christmas cash. Consider this; some of you could be sitting on anything up to £768 in old mobile handsets, according to a survey carried out by website sellmymobile.com.
But mobile recycling websites aren’t the only available option to phone-hoarders, nor are they always the best value for money. Well established trading sites like eBay and Gumtree can fetch a hefty price for a decent handset, with ‘last-seasons’ smartphones faring particularly well.
Careful though, as trading in technology across both eBay and Gumtree can lead to some unfortunate events. Much of the financial reward of selling a handset goes out the window when the person you meet via Gumtree runs off down the street with the phone you intended to sell him.
eBay too has its drawbacks; firstly it isn’t free to sell things, the website will take 10 percent of the money you make, up to a total of £40. Secondly, and perhaps one of the most irritating things possible online is someone winning an eBay auction and then refusing to pay up. Worse still is when they demand you accept payment from a more than suspicious looking bank account or international transfer.
Is it all really worth the risk? Take an 16GB iPhone 3GS as an example, while I was writing this it sold for £270 on eBay, which equates to less than £230 once fees are paid. Many of the same handsets were on offer on Gumtree at £250, a pittance more than mobile recycling sites offer, minus the risk.
Compared to the age old web selling techniques of eBay and Gumtree, mobile phone recycling sites are a relatively new phenomenon. Despite this there already seems to be an unbelievable amount of them. Best of the bunch are mobilephonexchange.co.uk, who were offering £219 on a 16GB iPhone 3GS. Or sellmymobile.com who managed to top this with an average price of £240.
For the real scrooge in you, recycling gives you the added bonus of not having to provide you charger or accessories, something that can generate a few extra pennies when sold on eBay.
The only other real option available to those keen to shift their old mobiles is using a high street retailer. Carphone Warehouse is advertising the 16GB 3GS with a trade-in value of around £200. Similarly Phones 4U, working in partnership with money4urmobile.com will fill grant you £205 christmas money for the 16GB 3GS.
If you do decide to go through with it and clear out your old handset collection, then make absolutely sure you do these two things: restore your handset to factory settings and remove the sim card. This stops any suspect purchaser from getting hold of your personal details, or worse still running up a huge bill on the sim you forgot to take out.