The average British household has around £600 worth of old or unused technology lying around the house, according to resale site musicMagpie.
Most mobile handsets and laptops last for between two and five years, and many of us stick our old models in a drawer when we upgrade to a new one. In fact, musicMagpie says that around 40% of Brits hang onto their old technology, despite the fact that our previous models are unlikely ever to see the light of day again.
However, with living costs continuing to rise, many of us would appreciate a little spare cash, and in some cases your old tech could be worth hundreds of pounds.
Here’s a round-up of how you can sell old electronics and maximise the amount of cash you’ll get.
What electronics can you sell?
In theory, you can sell pretty much any old tech although certain items are unlikely to be worth the time and effort. For example, newer mobile handsets are likely to make considerably more than older models, so if your device is more than 10 years old, you might find it’s not worth selling it.
Items that tend to be easier to sell include:
- Mobile phones
- Wearable technology, like smart watches or fitness trackers
- Games consoles
Depending on where you choose to sell your items, some places might buy the accessories that go with your electronics too, such as plugs and cables.
Where can you sell phones?
There are a huge number of websites that will buy old phones.
Here are some of the most popular places:
Mozuma Mobile is one of the best-known sites for selling old mobile handsets, but it also buys a range of other electronics, including tablets, watches, Macs, laptops and gaming consoles. The site accepts both working and faulty phones, but if your device is really old, you might find you’re unable to sell it.
There aren’t any fees to pay when selling a device with Mozuma Mobile and the price you’re quoted is the price you’ll receive, provided your item meets the site criteria. If Mozuma Mobile can’t commit to the initial quote, they’ll send your device back free of charge.
You’ll receive a quote online, and you can then send your item using a free service (via Royal Mail). Once your device is received, it’ll be checked over and if you’re happy to proceed with the sale, payment can be made immediately.
The site also has a handy data delete tool that walks you through how to remove your personal data from your device before you sell it.
Mozuma mobile has a rating of 4.1 on Trustpilot from over 134,000 reviews, so the service is a popular choice.
Envirofone is another online resale service that buys mobiles, tablets, wearable devices and gaming controllers. It also accepts damaged phones, and if your device isn’t worth anything, you’ll be offered a recycling service, to avoid your old handset going to landfill. One of Envirofone’s aims is to extend the life of electronic devices, making sure to reuse, refurbish or recycle them wherever possible.
When selling an item to Envirofone, you’ll be given an estimated price based on the model’s market value. Once you’ve sent your device to them, its condition will be checked and the price and adjusted accordingly, so the initial quote you receive might not be exactly what you’re paid.
If you’re happy with the price you’re offered and agree to the sale, you’ll be paid. If you aren’t happy, your item will be sent back to you free of charge. Depending on how you’ve chosen to be paid, you could get your money on the same day you agree to the sale.
You can choose to receive your money directly into your bank account, or via an envirocash voucher which can be used to buy refurbished phones on their site. Alternatively, you may choose to donate the money to charity through Envirocharity.
SellMyMobile is a mobile recycling comparison site where you can see how much you can sell your old phones, tablets, smartwatches or laptops for, and which resale option offers the best price.
You search your phone’s make and model on the site and compare offers from a range of electronics resale services.
SellMyMobile won’t pay you for your device, as you’ll receive cash from the resale site you choose, and the amount you get depends on which one you use.
Where can you sell electronics?
You’ll probably find a shop on your local highstreet that will buy old electronics, but there are plenty of online choices too.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular places to sell electronics:
CeX can be found on many UK highstreets and specialises in buying and selling second-hand technology including gaming consoles, phones, tablets, wearable tech, health and beauty gadgets, cameras, music tech, accessories, cables, plugs and more.
CeX also buys faulty phones, so if you’ve got a handset that no longer works, you might still be able to get something for it.
You can sell items online or in store. You’ll be given the option of selling your items for cash or in return for a CeX voucher. You’ll usually earn more if you choose a voucher, but it can only be spent in CeX stores, so this option is only a good idea if you’re planning to make a purchase there.
eBay is one of the largest resale platforms, so if you’ve got electronics in any type of working condition, even if it’s a broken TV, you may find a buyer on the site.
You have the option to auction your items, which allows buyers to bid on them, or to use the ‘Buy it now’ function where you can set the final price yourself.
It’s free to list up to 1,000 items a month on eBay, but once you sell something, you’ll be charged a final value fee, plus a fixed charge of 30p per order (one order is classed as any number of items bought by the same buyer at checkout with the same shipment method). The final value fee is 12.8% of your completed sale price, which includes postage, taxes and any other fees.
Depending on what you’re selling, fees for selling on eBay could be considerable, so do the sums to see if it’s worth paying these or whether you should consider other resale options.
musicMagpie buys a huge range of old electrical items and tech. You can sell anything from mobile phones, laptops, kindles, watches, speakers, CDs, DVDs, Games and books all at the same time.
To sell items with musicMagpie, you can either use the website or download its app to search and sell your items. The price that you’re quoted when you look to sell your items is the price you’ll be paid, and if musicMagpie can’t meet that price, it’ll send your items back free of charge.
Rather than having to send individual parcels with your items, you can pack all of them into the same box and send this in for free. You’ll be paid on the same day that your items are processed, either by bank transfer or into a PayPal account if you have one. You can also choose to donate the money to charity.
How much money can you make from selling electronics?
The amount of money you can make will depend on the make, model and condition of the device(s) you have to sell. The most popular brands, such as iPhones, tend to sell for higher prices than others, with newer models typically selling for the most money.
For example, an iPhone 14 (released in 2022) in good condition could sell for up to £500, whereas an iPhone 7 (released in 2016) might make between £15 and £30 and older models may not be worth much at all.
If you can’t see your device on the site you’re looking to sell on, it may be that your particular make and model isn’t sold there. If that’s the case, it’s worth searching on the biggest resale sites such as eBay, which sells a vast range of items.
How to prepare your electronics for sale
Before you send your electronics to a resale site, or hand them over in-store, you’ll want to make sure you clear them of any personal information.
If you can, it’s worth backing up your item and unpairing any devices from it, whether it’s a phone, laptop or tablet. This will make sure you don’t unwittingly lose any of your data.
Once you’ve backed up your device, make sure to remove any sim cards or memory cards. You can then do a factory reset, which will return your device to its original settings and erase all your data from the phone. The process will vary depending on the make and model, and if you’re unsure how to do it you can search online for a guide on how to do a factory reset for your specific device.
While selling old electronics is unlikely to earn you life-changing sums of money, it’s worth doing, even if just to prevent the items from ending up in landfill.
If you’re thinking about having a clear out elsewhere, have a look at our articles How to make money from your clutter, How to make money from your old books and records, and Where can I sell my old CDs and DVDs?
If this has given you some motivation to have a clear out on a larger scale, our article 5 tips for downsizing your belongings offers advice on how to approach this.
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