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How to get rid of an old phone after Christmas

pile-of-broken-mobile-phones Did you get a new smartphone from Santa this year? Yes? In that case, you’ve probably got your old handset hanging about, unused and gazing up at you with a tear in its eye.


Don’t give in to its guilt trips, we say: get rid of that phone once and for all by sending it off to a brand new home. Here’s everything you need to do to say goodbye to an old mobile.


1. Transfer everything over to your new phone


Get all your apps, media, pictures, files, music, and so on onto your new phone. Sometimes you can do this with the phones’ software – the Move To iOS app is wonderful, and you can transfer everything from one Samsung phone to another using NFC, for instance.


In other cases, you’ll have to utilise cloud software, SD cards, and USB cables to get things moved across.


When it comes to apps, simply sign back into the App Store or Google Play Store, and anything you’ve paid for will still be available for you. (Though sadly this may not be the case if you’re switching between Android and iOS phones.) Just be sure to grab all your login info beforehand.


2. Take out your old SIM card and SD card


Make sure everything of yours is gone from the old phone, including your SD card. You don’t want your photos to end up in the hands of a stranger…


3. Do a factory reset


Once you’re absolutely sure you’ve fetched everything from your phone, perform a factory reset. This’ll delete everything from the hard drive, and restore it to factory settings as though it’s brand new – making it ready to hand over to another owner. It ensures that no one will get their hands on your files and personal data.


You can do this from your phone’s settings – see the full instructions for Android phones here, and instructions for iPhones here.


4. Judge what state it’s in


Is it good as new? Completely broken and unusable? Just a bit scuffed? Phones in different states of repair will bring in different amounts of cash – and it can get rather messy and complicated if you get it wrong the first time around.


Generally, phones being sold on for recycling only need to be categorised as ‘working’, ‘broken’, or ‘new’, which makes life much easier.


– New means it has never been used – perhaps taken out of its packaging and switched on at most

– Working means it’s, well, working as normal

– Broken means it doesn’t work, has a crack in the screen, is physically falling apart, or is otherwise difficult to use – see our blog for more info


5. Choose where to send it


Now that your phone’s ready to go out into the world, you’ll need to decide exactly what you want to do with it.


You could:


– Sell it, either to a friend or using a site like eBay

– Donate it to a charity – Oxfam, for instance, accept old mobile phones

– Recycle it, and earn some cash for doing so – often the same amount you’d get for selling it


If you go the recycling route, search for your phone here on SellMyMobile and compare all the available offers. For some handsets, you could get up to a few hundred pounds – an iPhone 7 can go for £530, for example. When you find an offer you like the look of, click through to the site and follow the instructions.


6. Send it off


We recommend posting your phone by special delivery – even if you’re sending it to a company with a freepost address. With recorded delivery, you can be absolutely certain that it got delivered.


7. Enjoy your newfound wealth


Holla holla get dolla. This is the point where the buyer will check your phone over and send you your money. So it’s time to cash your cheque (or check your bank statement, or PayPal, or whatever) and enjoy your bank account’s nice new balance.


Or if you decided to donate your phone to charity, enjoy your metaphorical, moral wealth – which is ultimately more valuable, even if it won’t get you much in the January sales.


How to tell if your phone is faulty or functional

Broken phone

Eventually, everything breaks. That may sound rather depressing – especially this close to the hooray-times of Christmas – but when it comes to tech, it’s true all the same.


If you have a mobile phone for a long time, the chances are that it will develop a problem. The screen may crack, or the battery life may drop to minutes instead of hours. Perhaps the buttons stop working or the speakers no longer… speak.


If your phone’s going kaput, it’s not the end of the world though – you can still sell it. You’ll get less that you would for a fully functional phone, but it can still work out as a big chunk of change.


That said, it’s not always clear to people what constitutes a damaged or faulty phone, versus a phone in working order. So with that in mind, here are some things to check before you send your handset away, based on the tests that recyclers will perform.


Can you turn it on and off again?


It may go without saying (and sound like a line from the IT Crowd), but your phone needs to actually turn on for it to be considered ‘working’. If it won’t turn on at all, try plugging it in to make sure it hasn’t run out of charge.


Is the screen broken or bleeding?


Obviously, if the screen has a noticeable crack in it, you can’t sell it on as a fully-functional phone. You also need to make sure the screen isn’t bleeding. This is when you have coloured lines or sections of the screen that don’t go away, and is usually a sign that the phone has suffered some physical damage.


Is there any major damage?


Small scratches and other blemishes are inevitable when you have a phone. As long as they don’t interfere with any functionality, they won’t reduce the value of your phone when you sell it. Major damage, on the other hand, will drop what it’s worth. Examples of that include cracks in the casing or water damage.


Do the speakers and the microphone work?


Problems with the speaker and microphone can be subtle, but you should check they both function properly – they will be tested when you sell your handset.  Make sure you check that your phone can register your voice through the microphone and that you can hear sound at the correct volume through the speakers.


Is the battery working properly?


Your phone’s battery life will inevitably decline the older it is, but it should still provide a good few hours’ charge. If you’re getting less than a day out of your phone though (with light to moderate use), then it’s probably past it. In that case, your phone is faulty and should be sold as such.


Is the aerial working?


A phone needs a functioning aerial in order to work. If you can’t make a reliable call on your handset, you can’t call it ‘working’. You can still sell it, of course, but you’ll get significantly less than a fully operational device.


Do some research before sending your phone out


The above checks are pretty standard across all recyclers, but the precise classifications for broken and working phones varies from company to company.


Once you’ve selected a buyer on, we’ll send you over to their site to complete the transaction. This is your cue to scan through the terms and conditions to get a clear sense of the state of operation your phone is in.


Then, send it off and collect the cash you expect.


5 things we miss in old mobiles… and 5 things we don’t

phonestack Mobile phones have come a long way since the humble Nokia 3310. They’re flatter, they’ve got HD screens, and you can do pretty much anything you could possibly want to do with them. In most ways, they’re infinitely better than the old bricks we used to stuff in our pockets – but you know what, there’s a few things we miss about the obsolete little gadgets.


We miss…


…how indestructible they were


Once, back in the noughties, I witnessed someone hurl his mobile across four lanes of traffic, walk to the other side to retrieve it, then use it to call a taxi.


In contrast, I couldn’t drop my last mobile onto my bed from more than 30cm in the air because the back would pop off. They just don’t make ‘em like they used to.


…how long the battery lasted


Remember when your phone could go several days before it needed charging? Given that most of us now need to make a dash for the plug socket every evening, our old brick phones suddenly look at lot more appealing.




Candy Crush who? Flappy what? For those of us who owned a Nokia back in the day, nothing can beat the classic Snake games. Sure, you can download Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto to your phone these days, but there was something quite wonderful – not to mention addictive – about the four-buttoned charm of Snake. nokia-3310

…flipping and twisting and sliding


Mobile phones have kind of all settled on a single shape at this point: a flat and uninteresting slab form factor. But back when the tech was still young, we had all kinds of shapes to play around with – from flip phones, to twisty mobiles, to slideable ones like the LG Chocolate.


…getting to disconnect


It’s nice being able use your phone to get directions, look up train times, or read about Serbia’s raspberry export industry whenever and wherever you like, but every now and then it’s nice to just disconnect. And that can be difficult when the entire internet is in your pocket begging for attention.


In the 2G days, switching off for a bit was far easier. You were essentially separated from the internet, so it wasn’t there to distract you – and to disconnect from the world entirely, all you really had to do was step outside of a major city where there wasn’t any signal.


So our old phones were rather nice in a way – but then again there are some things about them that we’re glad to see the back of…


We don’t miss…


…every phone having a different charging port


Finding a spare charging cable used to be its own special kind of hell. The port was different on every single brand of phone, making buying a new cable or borrowing someone else’s charger far too complicated.


These days, it’s way, way easier to figure out – your phone will either have a USB or a lightning port. Boom, done.


…the measly storage space


My first phone could hold 16 text messages. Call records were limited to 10. When you look its specs up on GSMArena, under the memory section it just says “no”.


In a world where our phones can have up to 256GB of internal memory, and space for up to a 2TB microSD card… I don’t think any of us miss the teeny tiny storage space that mobiles used to have.

shocked woman looking at phone


…WAP browsers


Today, we do more web browsing on our smartphones than we do on our computers – which is easy to do, given how smoothly websites work on mobile browsers. On early mobiles, however, it was a different story.


WAP browsers could access the internet over 2G – 2G! – which meant it took about two minutes and half your pay-as-you-go credit just to load a page. Looking something up online was slower and more expensive than a Southern Rail train.


…polyphonic ringtones


I think we’re all very, very glad that phone speakers have got less tinny and horrific as time has gone on. And now our smartphones are more like little computers, we can copy across our favourite music files to use as ringtones – rather than spending £1.99 on a crummy MIDI file that sort of sounded like a song in the charts at the moment.


…trying to type with the numeric keyboard


Was there anything more frustrating than writing a text on a keyboard that only has nine keys? Even T9 – the software that worked out what word you wanted from just one press of each key – didn’t help a whole lot… though it was still probably more accurate than the iPhone’s autocorrect.


Need to make some fast cash? You don’t have to make it a loan

20 pound notes


Life is expensive. As you get older, your responsibilities and bills tend to inflate like an angry balloon – it’s no wonder so many of us are hurting for cash. And while there are options available for getting money quickly, not all of them are particularly desirable.


Payday loans, for example, offer immediate cash, but often come with more strings attached than the entire cast of Team America – like extortionate interest rates, and terms that strongly favour the lender to name but two.


For some people, they’re a valid option, but they’re not the sort of thing that should be entered into lightly. And certainly not without thinking about your other options first – like turning some of your unused technology into real money.


Science, innit


We’d wager that a lot of people still have old mobiles knocking around in a drawer or cupboard somewhere in the house. That’s not a gamble that comes from gut instinct – it’s based on research.


Earlier this year, we conducted a study that revealed the average Brit has more than two phones lying around unused at home. Drilling down, we can see that a quarter of 45-55 year olds are holding onto four or more mobiles.


Pretty shocking stuff, right? Here’s something even more eye-opening: we found that Brits were collectively holding onto a massive £13.27 billions-worth of old handsets. £13.27 billion!


They may not be the sprightly, super-phones they once were, but those handsets are still worth money. In fact, they may well be worth much more than you think.


Let’s say you have an old iPhone 6 lying around, for example. That could be worth as much as £265. Or an aging Samsung Galaxy S5 could get you £105.




Money in a hurry


In short, many of us are currently sitting on technology that’s worth real money, and selling it is considerably less risky than resorting to a loan. There’s no interest or hidden terms to worry about – the only thing to lose is a battered old phone you’re not even using.


It’s pretty quick and easy too.  Most companies will walk you through what you need to do to send your phone to them, or send you a pre-addressed envelope so all you have to do is take it to the post office. What’s more, many companies that buy your phone, such as envirofone or RPC Recycle, will pay the money into your bank account on the same day that they receive the handset.




Why stop there?


Although we tend to focus on selling your mobile – I mean, it’s right there in our name – there’s probably more detritus round the home that might be worth selling. Some services like Music Magpie don’t just take your handset – they’ll also take old electronics like games consoles, your DVDs, music CDs, games and even books.


Individually, none of these items will bring in the big bucks like a phone can, but cumulatively, you can make quite a lot by selling the stuff you don’t want anymore. Plus you get to clear out a few years’ worth of accumulated clutter – and that can be intensely satisfying.


When they go loan, we go iPhone


All of us could use a few extra quid – as we said right at the start, life is expensive. But mobile phones are expensive too, and they retain value longer than you might think. Leaving your old ones abandoned – even if they’re creaky and clapped out – is leaving money on the table.


That’s money with nothing to repay. Money that you can get in mere days, and money many of us could really use.



Top 8 Tips to Protect Your Phone in Summer


Top 8 Tips to Protect Your Phone in Summer


It’s Summer and that means time to pack our suitcases ready for our holiday in search for some sun, sea and sand. Summer also marks the start of outdoor adventure and activity such as musical festivals, biking and running. One thing for sure is we we can’t be without our phones and tablets during the summer as we use these devices to capture our memories, as a means of staying connected and as a tool to read or watch a film around the pool. Unfortunately as the weather heats up so do our devices and the summer marks the time for an increase in mishaps and issues with our phones and tablets if we don’t protect them or use them correctly. SellMyMobile always want you to get the best value for your devices and avoid unnecessary damage and costs, so read our Tips to look after your devices in the summer months.


Keep your Phone & Tablet Cool!

As the weather heats up so do our phones & tablets.  As the sangria kicks in we have all been guilty of leaving our devices lying on an outside table in the sun while we enter our air-conditioned villa.  As we cool down our devices run the serious risk of overheating and causing some big issues both inside and outside of the device. One of the biggest issues is that if the LCD layer underneath the glass heats up, the liquid crystal can expand causing pressure on the glass in your device, causing it to pop and crack and your LCD to bleed. The only way to rectify this will then be with a screen replacement. 




Probably the most common issue when your phone or tablet is left in the sun is the battery inside your device actually swells up and enlarges.  Not only will this mean that a new battery will need to be replaced the enlargement of the battery can force the front and back of the phone to crack and lift, which again can mean a repair is required or the device will be classed as broken when it is sold. 





iPhone and iPads have developed a very useful alert when the device overheats, which gives you an indication to leave it to cool down. The advice from the SellMyMobile Team is just keep your devices out of the sun and in the shade. 


iPhone needs to cool down before use


There are other very common circumstances where people leave their devices unwittingly causing issues.  A common occasion is where a device is left in a car glovebox or on a leather seat and it starts to overheat.  Typically a user then gets into the car and ramps up the air-conditioning. If the device is cooled down too quickly a layer of condensation can form behind the screen, potentially leading to some water damage.  Our advice is simple, don’t subject your device to excesses in temperature.


Do not take your Device to the Beach!

Every device has openings such as charging ports, jacks and speakers.  If you take your device to the beach tiny grains of sand can enter these gaps and cause havoc on the inside of your phone.  The team here have seen sand inside charging ports and inevitably a repair is needed and in extreme situations if sand is left too long it can cause a bubbling or blistering effect to the battery, stoping it from working effectively.  Our advise is take an old phone to the beach to avoid scuffs, scratches and internal trapping of sand.  If however you can’t live without your device whilst on the beach pop it in a good closed case that prevents the ingression of sand. 



Keep Your Device Away From the Sea

It’s common sense that dropping your phone in the sea is going to be problematic. This common sense doesn’t seem to prevail with reporting that tens of thousands of holiday makers return from holiday with a pool or sea drenched device.  The pool selfie may seem a good idea at the time but even the smallest amount of water in your phone can be very destructive.  Sea water contains salt and this is a highly corrosive element inside your devices and causes the phone to be damaged at a very quick rate.  Chlorine in beach pools also contains chemicals which can also be very problematic and speed up the corrosion process. In non technical terms a liquid damaged device can mean damage on screens, batteries, ports and in the worst case scenarios the motherboard of the phone.  When you come to sell your phone this will significantly devalue the device.


The advice is simple don’t take your phones or tablets anywhere near the sea or pool.  If you can’t leave it behind then buy a completely waterproof case.




Is Your Phone Really 100% Waterproof?

We love all the recent developments and launches of waterproof phones however for the holiday goer it is sensible to check how waterproof these devices really are before you jump into the sea or pool? It’s clear actually that some devices are just splash proof rather than waterproof and would not withstand a swim in the sea.  Many phone manufacturers also quote that the device is waterproof for 30 minutes at a 1.5m water depth, although the bottom of most deep swimming pools are a bit deeper.  We just ask that you check your manufacturer’s specifications before you are disappointed.




Enjoy the Great Outdoors With Caution

It’s summer, time to shape up and enjoy some outdoor activities. At the peak of summer there is an increase in the number of hikers, bikers, runners and campers. Just be careful when running or biking that you strap your phone on to you so that it doesn’t meet the pavement.  Also dry your hands before handling your phone as sweaty hands can cause liquid to ingress via the home button and behind the screen causing some corrosion and liquid damage.  Secure your phone with a running band and simply dry your hands before responding to the WhatsApp message. 



Take Safety Precautions with Your Device at a Festival

We all love a hearing our favourite band at a festival but there are a number of potential hazards that you should be aware of before your £500 phone is lost or broken. There are a high number of reported thefts and lost phones at festivals and there are simple measures that can be taken to avoid this.  The first being make sure that no one can access your phone by ensuring you have a passcode activated.  Also make sure that if you have an iPhone that you switch on the Find my Phone Feature, which enables you to track your phone if stolen.  Why take the risk of losing your phone? Instead why not take a spare phone or a cheap phone you can buy to use at a festival for about £15. 



Overuse of your Device Can Lead to Overheating

As we are relaxing by the pool we tend to have a bit more time on our hands so increase the number of films we watch, apps we are using and photos we take. This ordinarily would be fine but the more your device is doing the hotter it is getting. Combine this with a high external temperature the device is hot on the inside and the outside which again can lead the device to crack and the battery to swell.  Our advice is to turn off unused apps and to give the device every hour or so time to cool down in the shade. 

summer, holidays, vacation and happiness concept - group of friends taking picture with smartphone



Add Protection to your Device

Before you go on holiday is a good time to look at some extra protection for your devices.  We would advise that to reduce scratches on your screen and potential smashes from outdoor sports that you invest in a tempered glass screen protector that acts as an extra layer of protection.  It is also advisable to get a good quality case for your device.  We suggest buying a white case is a good idea as this does not attract the heat from the sun like a darker case would and thus does not mean your device will overheat as much and potentially keep it cooler.


White iPhone 5 Case


Keeping your device in the best condition possible is important when you look to trade it in.  Phones and tablets that are not broken with cracked screens and faulty batteries will be worth more on SellMyMobile than devices that have been damaged.  Liquid damaged phones can also be worth considerably less on our site so it is important to ensure that you look after your device during these summer months.


Click here to get a valuation for your device. Blog

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