Thanks to Tina who brought us to the nations airwaves last week with a great piece on getting paid for your gadgets after we had a good chat with her. She was kind enough to highlight our better prices, (sorry Envirofone , we just offer better prices than you!), the fact that we are the only truly Irish company and the fact that we are reputable too!
Have a read below:
With Tina Leonard
Phones for Cash
There are more mobile phones than people in Ireland. New CSO figures show that 96% of Irish households have a mobile phone and that as more people embrace their mobiles there is a decline in the number of fixed line phones in homes across the country.
But the average mobile phone user will replace their handset once every 18 months, so what do you do with your old phone?
Do you give it to a friend or family member who might use it or do you just throw it in the bin?
But many charities collect old mobiles to help fund their work and if you want to make some money there are plenty of websites that will buy your phone for cash.
Tina Leonard was here to explain.
Don’t throw in the bin!
Mobile phones contain numerous substances, which need to be disposed of in safe and efficient manner.
Batteries in old phones contain cadmium (this is being phased out), which can contaminate water; lead is used in wiring boards; plastic cases and other toxins can be emitted if a phone is incinerated in a waste plant for example.
Instead of dumping it consider the following three steps:
Get over your old phone!
Just under half of all unused phones are sitting in the bottom of drawers, but if you can’t find someone you know who can make use of your phone, it is far better to recycle it or to sell it, so say goodbye to your old phone. 100% of the materials in your phone can be recovered and used to make new products or generate energy, or your phone can be refurbished and sold on to be re-used.
2. Save the memories
Back up the content of your old phone to your computer so that all your contacts and photos etc are saved. Remove the SIM card and gather any unwanted chargers, accessories or batteries that can all be recycled.
3. Donate or sell
The final step is to decide whether you want to recycle your phone for charity or to sell for cash.
Recycle for charity
Rehab Recycle have been reusing and recycling mobile phones for the past 5 years as part of their normal recycling business. The scheme is open to everyone (they provide free-post envelopes) and money raised supports the rehab group and enterprises.
The phone companies all collect phones to recycle for charity and you should find boxes where you can put your old phone in the phone stores.
While giving to charity in many instances you can also make money yourself from selling your old phone. For example folamh.ie (operating since 2004) buys your old phone and gives 25% to the Jack and Jill Foundation and greenyourgoods.ie (two years old) also facilitate charities in revenue raising.
If you simply want to raise some cash for yourself there are two ways of doing this. Firstly if you have a covetable handset you may be able to sell it directly to a customer online or secondly you could sell it to a ‘cash for phones’ website.
Cash for phones websites
If you sell this way, you’ll have a guaranteed buyer in the cash for phones websites and this has become big business.
Customers are opting for regular upgrades and replace their phones for newer models, which results in plenty of spare phones to sell. One business I spoke to told me that Irish people have embraced this and their business had doubled from this time last year, while another told me that their intake had reduced from 300,000 to 250,000 a year, citing longer phone contracts as one reason. But there are also an increasing number of phone buying sites out there, so the Irish market is becoming more competitive.
Some people think this is all a scam but it’s not. For example fonebank.ie is an international company that has been in operation for twenty years and has an office in Ireland for the last two years; envirofone.ie is the UK’s largest phone recycling company, in operation for five years and has an Irish website and that you have Irish businesses like greenyourgoods.ie founded and based in Cork for almost two years.
They all in work in broadly the same way; you log on to the site, indicate the make and model of the phone you have to sell and check the listed price for that model on the website. You fill out the form, then send the phone in a jiffy bag, and receive a cheque in return.
This is a legitimate business but as always there are some operators out there who are less honourable and transparent so you have to be careful and choose wisely.
What to look out for:
Know who you’re dealing with:
Some sites are UK based others Irish, but it is always advisable to only do business with one that provides full contact details, including phone and physical address. This is important so that you can call and ask questions or debate the amount being offered to you. A physical office may also be important to you in case you want to call in person.
It is advisable to call or email any site first to double check what the price will be if the phone is damaged and whether you will be contacted prior to a cheque being sent to verify the amount you will get, or whether you can cancel and get the phone back. If you cannot get through by phone or your email goes unanswered, forget it.
Know the process:
A good business will allow you to indicate whether your phone is damaged; clearly say how much the price will be reduced by if damaged and contact you prior to sending a cheque to verify the amount. This should also give you the opportunity to query the amount being offered and they should be able to send back your phone to you if needs be. In addition some ask for passport identification and bank details where your money can be sent. Ask why there process is like this and decide whether you feel it is safe.
Check the price:
Prices they pay will vary so compare the various sites’ offers, but even if the price quoted is the best, if you can’t contact the business or it isn’t clear what their process is, go elsewhere. This is crucial as the most common complaint is of consumers getting a lot less that initially offered on the website.
Always register your post and write the value on the package to avail of An Post’s insurance.
How much can you get?
There are many websites out there but to give an indication of the sort of prices you can expect for phones in workable condition, I checked just three websites: envirofone.ie; fonebank.ie and greenyourgoods.ie. You can expect to get half or more of the listed amount if your phone is damaged i.e. buttons missing, cracks, can’t power, applications don’t work.
Apple iPhone 3GS (32 GB): €117.63; €95, €125.14 (GYG.ie)
Apple iPhone 4 (32 GB): €220.41; €225; €282.61 (GYG.ie)
Blackberry Curve 8900: €40.76; €41; €43.36 (GYG.ie)
Nokia 6300: €17; €17.50; €18.09 (GYG.ie)
What happens to my phone?
If the phone is beyond economic repair, it will be sent to a recycle centre and as there can still be inherent value in the component parts these are extracted first. However, this forms a minority of phone sold.
Unbelievable as it may seem your phone could have a new owner in as little as six weeks.
After collection the phones are first wiped (of data) and repaired if necessary. They are then sold to a refurbishment centre where original parts are used for replacement – the international centre for phone refurbishment is in Hong Kong. Higher end phones can sometimes be directly sold back to the European market.
More basic phones are usually sold in the Middle East, Africa and India, whereas higher spec phones (Smartphones) could be sold in Europe or the US, so with the growth in Smartphones some of this market is now shifting from Asia. Bear in mind that in Ireland our handsets are essentially subsidised via the contracts we take out with our phone provider, whereas in other European countries or the US they may have to pay full price for an iPhone for example, which might be €600. So there is a big demand for refurbished phones.
With 6 billion people owning and upgrading mobile phones worldwide, there is always someone who wants to buy a phone, so this a growing industry.