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What Should I Do with My Old Phone?


January 31, 2019

Is it time for a phone upgrade? Whether your old smartphone stopped working or you just want the latest model, buying a new phone is exciting. But, it can leave you wondering about what to do with an old phone that works perfectly fine. Before it gets lost in the depths of your junk drawer, explore these five creative ways to put your old phone to good use.

1. Activate it with a new number

If your old phone still works, you can keep it as a backup or emergency phone. You can also hand it down to a child, parent, or other family member. Most carriers offer bring your own device cell phone plans for a small fee, and many also offer competitive family plans for multiple devices.

Xfinity Internet customers can activate most iPhones on the Xfinity Mobile network — two data options allow you to pay by the gig or go unlimited, based on your data needs. The BYOP (bring your own phone) option allows you to switch your current device to an Xfinity Mobile plan.

2. Trade it in

Most older phones have some trade-in value, so you may want to trade in your old phone for a new one. Companies determine trade-in eligibility based on make, model, and the phone’s condition. Visit your carrier’s website or store to see if you can trade in your phone, and find out how much your old phone is worth — just remember to back up any important data before trading it in.

Xfinity Mobile uses Assurant as their trade-in partner. If your phone is eligible for trade-in, an Xfinity Mobile agent will send your phone to Assurant for processing. Then, you will receive a check in the mail for the value of your old phone within 30 days.

3. Donate it to charity

If your old phone is still in working condition and you’d like to put it to good use, consider donating it to charity. Contact your local shelter to see if they accept old mobile phones, or donate it to an organization that uses recycled phones to assist those in need. Here are two organizations you might consider:

  • Cell Phones for Soldiers repurposes used phones to help people who are serving in the military.
  • Secure the Call uses your old phone as a 911 service for people who can’t otherwise afford a cell phone.

When you donate old phones, just make sure you have a model that meets that organization’s specifications. Many organizations accept all makes and models, but it’s best to ask just in case.

4. Sell it

You may be able to turn your old phone into cash. If your phone is in good condition, you can sell it personally or use a service to sell it for you. If you prefer to do the work yourself and keep the cash, consider listing your old phone on a site like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. Research your options and decide where to sell your old phone based on convenience and price.

5. Recycle it

If your device is damaged beyond repair or too old to resell, don’t toss it in the trash — recycle your old phone. For every 1 million cell phones that are recycled, we can recover 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium. Search for a trustworthy program that recycles electronics — many have local drop-off locations or will allow you to mail your device in with a pre-paid shipping label.

The average cell phone user buys a new cell phone every couple of years, so you likely have an old phone (or two) collecting dust and taking up space. Donating old cell phones is a great way to contribute to a worthy organization, and selling your old phone may help fund your new phone purchase. Whatever you choose, give your old phone a new lease on life with one of these options.

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