Some of the best things to do with an old Smartphone

If you have been wondering “What should I do with my old Smartphone?” then this article is most definitely for you. This post contains a list of options to consider.

Keep it

Many people don’t consider the idea of being without a phone stressful, or have not really thought about it before, but when you’re having phone problems you quickly realize how much you depend on your mobile phone. Many people don’t have landlines or home phones any more either. Why pay an extra bill when you have a cell phone to use wherever and whenever you want? What happens if your cell phone breaks, gets lost, or stolen though? Your stranded without a phone, is what you are. You can’t even call warranty or insurance to file a claim. That’s why I always recommend that you have a spare phone or some type of backup just in case you’re primary phone malfunctions, breaks, or gets lost or stolen.

Use it as an Emergency phone – If you already have a spare phone tucked into a drawer as a backup at home then what about your car? You can charge your old phone to full, turn it off, and then put it, and its charger, in your vehicle to dial 911 in the event of an emergency.  All phones are required to be able to dial 911. You don’t even need to have active service on the device. So an old phone is actually perfect as an emergency phone for your vehicle.

Pass it on

Does your kid or spouse want a phone? Don’t spend a bunch of money or get locked into a contract to get them a new one. Simply give them your old one, get them a SIM card, and their good to go. They can even use your phone to a certain extent without a wireless carrier! If they want they can use the smartphone as a mobile computer at home or anywhere that offers access to WiFi (Wireless internet). They can stream movies from Netflix, watch videos from YouTube, look up info for school work, follow recipes when cooking, listen to music, use it as an alarm clock, a gaming device, or even take pictures (great for family events).

Selling your mobile phone

If you took really good care of your phone, invested in a good case, and nothing is wrong with your unit then sell it! You would be surprised how many people are in need of a good phone used or not. Even broken phones have value for parts or material but we’ll get to that further down the page.

Sell it to a friend– chances are you have a friend who wouldn’t mind having a different phone or a phone in general for that matter. Ask around in your social circles and see if any friends, colleagues or family want to buy your phone for a good price. They win, you win.

eBay – don’t forget one of the best auction sites online. Head on over to eBay and see what your phone is going for. If it’s a reasonable amount, setup an account if you need one, and auction off your unit. Remember, when it comes to new gadgets, especially phones, it seems like every month they come out with a brand new device that makes the ones before it feel more and more obsolete. If you want to sell your phone for top dollar, then the longer you wait, the less money you’re likely to get out of it. So don’t hesitate go and check out eBay right now, then come back to see your other options.

Craigslist – the all powerful simplicity of craigslist, perfect for connecting with others in your community and bartering, trading, selling, or buying from people you can actually meet in person! It’s hard to beat a face to face interaction. The buyer gets to see the condition of the device, check for liquid and physical damage, and see how well the phone works and if they’ll like it. The seller gets to go over the condition of the phone, show them the quality of the unit, and of course usually get paid in cash. No shipping fees, lost in the mail, shady buyers or sellers, just simplicity. The navigation on the site is nice and simple too, really built for everyone even someone who might not be so computer literate.

This is also a decent place to get rid of broken phone. If your phones got a cracked screen, has stopped responding, shows a white screen, or the speakers just gone out, then it’s still very salvageable. I know of a local college student who posts on Craigslist to buy broken iPhones and iPods on one page, then offers services in iPhone and iPod repairs on another. She cannibalizes the broken devices for most of the parts, buys the other parts from sites like this, and then charges a very reasonable fee for labor and the parts purchased or recycled. Her customers on both ends are always very happy and she’s making a decent income on the side.

Note: if you’re having issues with your screen or speakers, this website has some extremely affordable parts. Just because you’re mobile phone has a cracked screen doesn’t mean the whole device needs to be replaced. Just replace the defective or damaged part and save yourself a ton of time and money.

Usell – if you want to remove a lot of the hassle of selling your phone then check out online sites whose main purpose is to purchase used phones. pretty much streamlines the whole process, even searching for the best deals online for you. Go check them out; you can get an instant quote from multiple websites and it shows you the best one that offers the most for your phone, including customer reviews, you can get a quote in less than 30 seconds! Oh yeah, and don’t forget free shipping. It doesn’t get much easier.

Local Phone Shop – if you know of a phone repair shop in your area take your phone into them and see what kind of an offer you can get. Don’t be afraid to barter. If someone comes in with a phone that cannot be repaired they can sell them the one that they just bought from you. Or even use your old phone for parts. A phones touch screen, display, speaker, microphone, battery, charger, data cable, back plates, cases, etc can add up.

Pawnshop– if you need cash today and Craigslist had no bites and there is no repair shops in your area then you could take it into a local pawn shop. Not my preferred option in the least, but if you’re in a pinch and need some quick cash it is an option. My experiences with pawnshops have never been that great, simply because they want to make as much profit as they can and you can either take it or leave it. Definitely not the best option as far as getting your values worth from the phone but I thought I would just bring it up as a potential solution to some quick cash.

Donate to charity

Making a charitable donation can make a difference for someone else, and there is a great many ways that you can donate your phone. There are so many different ways to donate I hardly know where to even begin. Doing a Google search will show you over 13 Million hits when searching for a charity to donate your phone too. Which one you choose is really up to you. Some might be more desirable for you than others.

The main differences that I have found that you might want to consider when choosing an organization is possible tax deductions offered and possibly even the shipping of the device(s) to the charity. Many of the charities online don’t pay for the shipping, some do, so keep that in mind as well.


Save the planet one phone at a time. If you have a cell phone that is too old or too damaged to be refurbished reused or donated then it should be recycled. Don’t throw your old phone or its battery away they are actually pretty bad for the environment containing many toxins and poisons. Think of all the materials that go into phones. A mobile phones circuit board usually contains toxins like arsenic, cadmium, antimony, beryllium, lead, nickel, copper and zinc. The lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries also contain heavy metals like copper, zinc, cobalt etc.

It’s also really easy to recycle your mobile phone and battery these days. Many stores like RadioShack, Staples, Best Buy, or even one of the retail stores owned by your service provider should be able to help you recycle your device. If you decide to recycle your mobile phone and accessories go to and do a search for the closest recycling location in your area, it’s that simple.

Thank you for reading

I hope you enjoyed the article and trust that it gave you some good ideas on what you can do with your old phone. Don’t hesitate to search the site for other articles about your mobile phone. Chances are good you might learn something interesting you didn’t know before.

Also, if you have any other ideas or suggestions on what to do with old cell phones then leave a comment below and I’ll try and add it to the list. I look forward to reading them.

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