Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sell your Cell..or is it....Cell your Sell?

Cell For Cash
Anyway, my point...what do you do with your old cell phones? I was cleaning out the unfinished part of my basement the other day and stumbled upon an old cell phone. The kids were in their glory...carrying it around, talking to their friends ( all pretending, of course ). My daugher, even had to keep it in her purse.

And, I know I have been to other parents homes and have seen their kids carrying old cell phones, too. But, really...besides using as a toy....what do we do with these things.

Throwing them away is not a great option. First, I can't imagine it is very good for the environment to have these things sitting around! Second, you can make money for yourselves or others off of these things.....and what is better than that? I made $21 last year selling my cell phone.

First, there are a couple of good sites that I have used before and I want to recommend them to you.

  1. Cell for Cash - This is a site that pays you for your cell phone. So, if you just got a new one or discontined service and have an extra phone sitting around, click on his site to see if he will buy it from you. If not, he also has the option to donate it through his site. Another free donation from your household. Make sure to track it, as I have heard it is a tax deductible donation. You may want to double check on that.
  2. The Funding Factory Recycling Program - I like this site for a few reasons. First, they not only recycle old cell phones, but also printer cartridges! This site is geared towards groups. So, if you help on PTO, Cub Scouts, Church, can collect and turn in to earn products for your organization! It is a great fundraising opportunity.
  3. eBay! - If neither of these other 2 methods are right for you, you can alway sell it on eBay. I would do a search on your phone make and model to see if they have been selling on eBay before you list it and pay the fees. If it is selling, go for it. You might make a little bit!
  4. Craigslist - And, don't forget Craigslist. My original pink Razr got water spilled on it, so it quit working. I did not want to have to shell out all that extra moneyI bought my pink Razr off of this site for a deep discount! So, it is a great place to list for free and see if anyone will pay you a bit for it.

My cell phone plan lets us get new phones every 2 years ( since that is our contract life ). The reason? They want to keep you in a contract!! So, they will send you new free phones if you agree to extend the current deal for another 2 years! This is not a bad offer, IF...and only were going to be staying with them anyway. I go through Verizon, so if you aren't with them, you might want to call them to see if they will work the same type of offer out for you.

Also, I haven't tried this yet ( although I will when your contracts are up this year ), but don't forget to try the "I'm thinking about leaving" approach to see if they will lower your cell phone bill a bit before you sign that new contract. You can reference my saving money on cable/satellite or phone/internet posts to get the details on how I got those bills lowered.

And, in closing...before signing ANY cell phone contract ( even when you think you have found the best deal ) check to make sure they don't have a discount through your employer.

When we were getting read to get our new phones last year, we almost signed the contract. Then, I was checking out their website when I saw a button for Employee Discounts. Sure enough, it asked to type your business email in there and if you qualified...they would send you an email and you would order the phone plan that way. My husband qualified. We almost spent $20 more a month for the same service ( this is where I see the opportunity for you to have some negotiating power in regards to getting your billed lowered ). So, make sure to check with the carrier you choose to see if they have discounts...or check around to see which carrier does have your companies discount.


Andrea said...

Hey Carrie,

Were you cleaning up that side of the basement to start stocking all your loot (and beans)...I just got a giggle knowing that you were busting our of your pantry - I remember that pic and that's something to be proud of!

Kyle said...

Nice tips! My wife and I take the batteries out and give our old cell phones to our kids to play with. But they only need one, so I am going to keep this post in mind for future reference. Thanks Carrie.

Chief Family Officer said...

I've taken to keeping my most recent old cell as a backup in case something happens to my current phone. If my current phone becomes unusable, I can reactivate my old one and not have to buy a new one (or renew my contract in order to get a new phone).

Carrie @ said...

CFO...that is a good idea as well, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Guys, it's time we stood together and took action! I got sick of feeding my money to telecom giants and decided to go with a telecom startup that's revolutionizing the space: Ciao Telecom. Ciao actually cares about their customers, and operates with low margins to give their users the best prices. We're talking $55 for an unlimited, month-by-month plan... I got a great deal and feel great about supporting a company that bends over backwards to make their customers happy.

WE HAVE A CHOICE! Stop giving your money away to companies you hate. I really believe in Ciao, and don't you ultimately want your dollars going towards a company that you trust and love? They have a great deal going on right now; check them out: