Sep 19

Make money collecting 1980s mobile phones

We all laugh at the ‘brick’-style mobiles of the 1980s compared to today’s ultra-slim handsets, but many people don’t realise collecting 1980s mobile phones and selling them on can be a good way to make extra money.  The ‘daddy’ of them all is the 1983 Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which was the world’s first commercially-available mobile and in good condition now fetches up to £1,000.


The basics

The market’s limited to models from the early to late 1980s, so anything from the ‘90s onwards, when the mobile market exploded, isn’t valuable.

If you own an old phone, it’s wise to take the battery out and store it separately as they have a tendency to corrode with age.  Rather than risk damaging the phone, remove the battery and keep it safe.

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How much can I make?

Anything from small change to hundreds depending on what you’ve got.

If you have owned one of these phones and can’t remember what became of it, you might still have it in your attic or at the back of a cupboard, so it’s well worth having a rummage.  Otherwise, try vintage electronics fairs or car boot sales. Vintage Mobile Phones sell classic mobiles including the DynaTAC.  Selling a phone to a site such as this won’t get you the best price but rare handsets have gone for up to £1,000 on eBay.

Top dollar: 1983 Motorola DynaTAC 8000x (£970 March 2012)

Don’t bother: 1999 Nokia 3210 (99p February 2012)

the moneymagpie mobile recycling comparison tool


Useful links

  • Vintage Mobile Phones
  • eBay

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