Farewells can be hard but that's usually not the case when it comes to phones. Chances are you've just popped your SIM into something new, shiny and markedly more powerful. If that's the case, the question then becomes, "what do you do with your old phone?"
Chances are it'll either sit in a drawer, you can donate it to a friend or an organisation or, ideally, you can sell and make back some moolah.
Luckily the internet exists (hooray!), so there are all manner of ways to sell your stuff easily and safely. Here we take a look at the best places to put your old phone up for sale, pass your gadget onto someone who wants it and hopefully make a bit of cash in the process.
If you have other stuff to sell, check out our tips on where and how to sell it online.
The most obvious place is eBay, but with good reason. The global online marketplace is extremely popular for buying and selling. As long as you have your wits about you, it is the platform that will give you access to the most potential buyers, all from the comfort of your (new) phone or computer.
You can easily set up a user account and from there it’s really just a case of posting a listing for your phone. We'd recommend using the app rather than the desktop version, by the way.
From the app, you can snap pictures, fill in the description and add all the other essential fields with ease. Once your listing is live, you can also more readily monitor your bids and reply to any potential bidder queries too.
eBay's app boasts an all-round excellent app experience. The only downside being the fees eBay will charge you for selling using its platform. Find out about fees here.
Gumtree is an established but less by-the-book selling service compared to eBay. It is similar in the way you categorise and regionalise listings to sell to people in your area but differs as you have to arrange for the buyer to collect.
We’ve had great Gumtree experiences and in big cities, you are likely to find some real bargains. With buying a phone though, you need to be careful; while you will be assured that you’re selling a decent phone that works, you should try to meet in a public place and bring a friend if possible - consider this common sense more than Gumtree-specific etiquette.
Not that every buyer on Gumtree is out to steal from you, but we’ve heard it happen. Just be smart and pay attention to Gumtree's 'Stay Safe' suggestions.
Envirofone is another environmentally friendly way to get rid of an older device, as it will either be resold in the UK, refurbished for a developing country or recycled if it's beyond repair.
Prices are competitive and you can get 10 percent more if you're willing to sell it for 'Envirocash' - essentially proprietary currency to spend in the Envirofone shop, where the company sells some of its refurbished devices.
Don't let the name fool you, nowadays Music Magpie buys and sells everything from smartphones to Lego.
This service draws you in with the attraction of an immediate quote for your device. Simply visit the site and type in the model of phone you want to sell. You then select a couple of things like the storage capacity and physical condition and that's it!
It offers pretty decent prices, even on smartphones that are a few years old – a good condition unlocked 32GB iPhone 7 will get you £108 right now, even if you don’t have the charger or box. That’s pretty good.
Just visit the site and type in the phone you want to sell to get started.
You're probably more likely to think of O2 as a place to buy a phone rather than sell one but actually the network's O2 Recycle scheme is a great way to make some money off an old phone and get that warm fuzzy feeling from doing something good for the planet.
You don't have to be on O2 to use the service and it accepts a wide range of handsets, with very competitive prices. O2 also offers the promise that if you find a better price advertised elsewhere for your phone within seven days of placing an order with O2 Recycle, it could match it - so that's not quite a guarantee, but there's room for hope at least. Read more about its price match promise here.
Because devices are recycled, O2 will still buy a faulty device, but may pay you less for it, as fewer of the parts will be salvageable.
As well as condition and functionality, one other factor that affects the rate O2 will be willing to pay is carrier lock. The best rates seem to come from O2 locked or unlocked handsets but other carriers yield the same payout too - just check with your specific phone ahead of time to make sure you're getting the most money from your sale.
You can both sell and buy phones on Mazuma, which says it "re-homes" 150,000 phones a month, on average.
To use the service, simply look up your phone model and indicate its condition to get an instant quote. You can then choose how you would like to get paid – either by cheque or direct debit. Next, request a free sales pack or print off your own and post your phone using the options the service provides.
Mazuma pays the seller on the same day it receives the phone, after checking everything is in order.
Sellphone 24 Handtec
Another option is Sellphone 24 Handtec. It works similarly to Mazuma, where you can look up your device, specify its condition and then get a direct quote. You'll then mail your phone in (for free) and get paid within 24 hours, straight to your bank account or via Paypal.
You can trade-in your old phone via Carphone Warehouse to get a cash value paid to your bank via BACS or use it as credit towards a new phone.
Phones as old as the iPhone 4 still qualify for cashback – it'll only nab you £7 but that's better than throwing it away.
Apple Trade In
Apple's Trade In scheme lets you trade in your phone and promises to recycle it responsibly.
However, the catch here is you won't get paid in cash. Instead, you'll get an Apple Store Gift Card. A cursory look at various handsets suggests that iOS devices with similar specs will usually yield a higher payout than their Android compatriots.
Even if your phone isn't eligible for credit you can take it to Apple GiveBack for them to recycle for free.
It’s a slight faff to set up, but signing up as an Amazon Seller will get you a global buying audience.
Once you’re on the platform, your listings can appear on very popular search terms, particularly if you’re looking to sell an iPhone or other sought after handsets. The system is not quite as polished as eBay’s but it’s a decent alternative.
Facebook’s Marketplace is a location-based place to buy and sell stuff, including phones. You can post items very easily, almost like a Facebook status in fact, and the system is simple to get the hang of.
You can set which locations you’d like your items to display but bear in mind that it’s quite like Gumtree in that pick-up upon purchase is usually necessary for your buyer. Again, remember to be cautious about who you sell to and any transactions you make, both online and in person.
Now a staple of the British high street, CeX has been around for about ten years and is a good place to sell your phone. You can buy or sell devices online but it’s actually often easiest to sell your phone in-store.
You can swap your old phone for cash or for in-store credit, the latter being worth more. You can sell online, similarly to Music Magpie, by sending it off, but you’ll get cold, hard cash simply by popping into a store. There’s probably one near you too.