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In general, selling an old mobile phone is incredibly simple: you select a recycling company, send them your phone, and receive some cash. But as much as we would all like it to be that cut-and-dried, that is not always the case.

Every phone has a general value based upon its age, make and model. This is simply like selling any secondhand item – the better its condition the higher the price it will command. It is therefore important to know the recycler’s definition of a non-working mobile, and a fully working mobile. So what is the criterion that they use to define a phone that works and one that does not?

Working Mobiles

A working mobile is, to put it simply, a mobile that functions as it did when it left the factory of the manufacturer. So:

1) You should be able to turn your mobile phone on and off. This is pretty obvious and it will be the first thing that is checked. If the phone cannot be switched on and off then it will be regarded as a broken mobile.

2) Your phone should work as it was intended; i.e., all of its functions are working normally. This means that all of the keys on the number pad or keyboard must work properly, the menus can be accessed, and, if there is one installed, the camera must work. If something is amiss in this normal functioning, then the company will probably rate the phone as non-working.

3) It should have a working screen. Not just the touch screen, but also the regular non-touch display as well. You must be able to see the display properly when using the phone in order for the mobile to be considered fully working.

4) Your mobile phone needs to have the correct battery fitted that must be able to be charged and then hold that charge for a reasonable amount of time.

5) Finally, your phone needs to be in good cosmetic condition. This does not mean that a certain amount of day-to-day wear and tear is not acceptable; minor scratches, nicks, and scrapes are perfectly okay if they do not interfere with the working of the phone. The damage to worry about is crushed or broken screens or cases, the phone having been dropped in water, etc. These things constitute a broken mobile phone and while you might receive an offer for them, it certainly won’t be a good price.

When you do send your mobile in as a working phone remember to:

1) Erase all passwords and personal settings (best achieved by resetting the phone to its factory settings).

2) Delete any personal information (photos, songs, contacts, etc.).

3) Take out your SIM and any memory card (those you can keep).

4) Fully charge the battery.

Whether you send your battery charger along with the phone is normally up to you, but check this point because it might be a requirement of some recycle companies.

Non-Working Mobiles

So now we know what the recycling company will check for when assessing a mobile. What do recyclers immediately consider a broken mobile? Here are the general guidelines:

1) The phone doesn’t start up; it’s broken.

2) The mobile has a broken or bleeding screen. Minor cosmetic screen scratches are okay; broken screens and screens that bleed thus making it difficult to impossible to see what you are doing, are not.

3) The phone has a broken speaker or microphone. Once your phone reaches its destination it will be put through a complete function test, which will include testing the sound.

4) If your phone has an aerial, it needs to be intact. A broken aerial constitutes a broken mobile phone.

Depending upon the extent of damage, a mobile phone recycle company may still offer up to 90% of the full working price, so do not think that just because your phone is classed as a ‘non-working mobile’ it isn’t worth recycling. Besides, there are more important reasons to recycle your mobile than just cash; read on.

Why Try to Sell a Broken Phone?

There is more than one reason why selling a broken mobile is a good idea. One has already been mentioned – depending upon the extent of the damage, you can still receive as much as 90% of the working value. The other reasons are more related to personal conscience and taking environmental responsibility seriously; these are very valid.

From an environmental standpoint it is good to dispose of a broken phone in a responsible manner because all mobile phones contain toxic materials. They contain harmful chemicals, that when placed into a landfill can leak out into the soil. Eventually they will make their way into the water table, the plant life and even the animals that eat the grass in the fields nearby. So, by placing your old mobile phone into a rubbish bin instead of recycling it, you are actually contributing to the poisoning of the environment.

A further very good reason to recycle your old mobile phone is because the parts can be used to make new phones. Helping to create less demand to manufacture new parts is environmentally responsible. As an example; if the gold in your phone is available for reuse, less mining will be needed to extract that raw material to make those parts – and less mining means reduced environmental harm. If you consider the millions of mobile phones that are produced each year this equates to a huge amount of gold.

Another sound reason is that the recovery of components from several non-working phones to create one working one reduces the cost of that new phone. This can make it accessible to individuals in the third-world that could not otherwise afford a mobile at all. Many refurbished and rebuilt phones are sent to third-world countries under various development schemes.

So it is obvious that disposing of your broken phone in a responsible manner is a very good idea on at least two fronts: you might receive some useful cash, but more importantly you are also playing your own small part in reducing global warming and safeguarding the environment.

Terms and Conditions

If you decide to sell; broken phone or fully working mobile, you should now be able to identify what is considered to be a working mobile and a non-working mobile by the recycling companies.

Each recycling company is different so it is always advisable to check a companys terms and conditions before going ahead and sending your phone to them. Blog

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