Aug 12

Make Money: Recycle your Mobile for Cash

Reading Time: 4 mins

If you’re looking for a quick, easy way to make money? Recycle your mobile for cash!

By now, most of us have been through many different phones, and once the old ones are discarded, they usually get left lying around somewhere in a drawer, under the bed or, worse, add to our already serious landfill problem.

According to Envirofone there are over 80 million old mobiles lying around in the UK. So, instead of chucking your old mobile phones in the bin, why not do your bit for the environment by getting them recycled and make yourself some money at the same time?

This idea has grown in popularity recently, and now there are loads of companies out there who’ll pay you for your old mobiles.


How does it work?

Mobile smartphone with a recycling symbol on the screen

Rather than letting phones end up in landfill, recycling them means they can be re-used in areas of the world with growing economies – those which have the demand for the type of mobile technology some of us would class as obsolete.

Even very old mobiles can be used for parts by other businesses. And if they can’t be re-used, they’re recycled in an environmentally-friendly way and can be made into things such as printer cartridges.


How do I get the best deal for my phone?

MoneyMagpie Phone Recycling Banner

Of course, with so many companies out there offering cash for your phone, you need to make sure the one you choose is legitimate and will give you the best service.

Luckily, we’ve created a tool that automatically compares the prices offered by all the main phone recycling sites – so you get the best deal with the least hassle!


Or, do it yourself

Mobile phone with recycling symbol on the screen

Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Find the best site

Go to our mobile phone comparison tool and select your model from the menu.

If you don’t know what model your phone is, it should say on the handset and in your phone manual. If you’re really stuck, go into one of your phone network’s shops on the high street and ask an assistant – they’ll be able to tell you.

Once you’ve selected your phone model, the tool will come up with a picture of the handset – so you can tell whether it’s the right one or not.

Once you’ve found your phone, you’ll be shown which site will which site will offer you the best price.

Step 2: Fill in your details

Once you’ve selected the phone model and the site that gives you the best deal, you’ll be asked to enter the IMEI number of your phone. Don’t worry if this sounds complicated – they all explain exactly where to find it, and it’s very straightforward.

You then have to ‘grade’ your phone as working or not working.

Step 3: Choose cash or vouchers

Once you’ve filled in all these details and accepted the terms and conditions, you may be given a choice of payment depending on the company you choose to recycle your phone with:

  • Cash or Argos vouchers (which will increase your payment by 10%) with Envirofone and Mazuma
  • Just cash with Weeebuy and Top Dollar Mobile

Step 4: Arrange postage

You’ll then be asked for some personal details. Once you’ve filled those in, you’ll be given an order number and will receive a confirmation email with instructions of what to do next.

Mazuma, Weeebuy, Top Dollar Mobile and Envirofone all provide you with a pre-paid jiffy bag to send your phone in.

Step 5: Send it off

All you have to do now is send off the phone and the order confirmation form which they send with the email.

Be advised that none of the companies will accept phones without their security code, and will pay you according to the condition of the phone and the battery.

The recycling company will check that the details you’ve given them are correct before sending the money. If phones are locked or can be proven stolen, they’ll be recycled without payment.

Step 6: Sit back and wait for your money!

If you’ve opted to receive payment by cheque then allow a bit of time for it to reach you. If you choose to be paid by BACS then you should have your money within a few days. We received our cheques within a week from Weeebuy, Top Dollar Mobile and Mazuma, and the amount was exactly as promised so we’re definitely satisfied! We received our payment from Envirofone within about two weeks, so a little slower, but it was the amount we were promised.


A quick comparison

Pile of old mobile phones

Just to give you an idea of how much your phone might be worth – and of the variation in prices offered by different websites – here are a couple of comparisons:

Apple iPhone 4 16GB

Weeebuy – £120

Envirofone – £107.51

Mazuma – £105

Top Dollar Mobile – £92

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

Weeebuy – £45

Top Dollar Mobile – £42.65

Envirofone – £33.02

Mazuma – £30

The easiest (and quickest!) way to find the best price for your phone is to use our comparison tool.

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Do you have any comments or suggestions about recycling your mobile? Share them with everyone in the comments section below!


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Patrick Orisejobor
Patrick Orisejobor

With amazement I read that old mobile can still fetch one some good cash. This is wonderful. But my problem is that do you buy these unused mobile phones from all countries. To be straight to the point, do buy from Nigeria? If yes I am interested in supplying you tones of damage mobile phones.
Thanks. Patrick Orisejobor – Nigeria


what if the phones are broke do you still get good price??


Oh yes, you can still get a good price. It depends on the make and model.



Does anybody know how the recycling companies make their money? what is the business model?

If they buy an old phone for £10, surely they need to make some money back from it.

I would be very interested in knowing.



yes, they recondition them and resell them. Sometimes a few of the parts alone are worth it. Apparently even the very old phones have a part that is used for tracking devices for caravans. So even if the phone itself is of no use, the clever electronic bits inside it are.

John Shepphard

Hey guys theres also one called money for your phone they offer a lot higher prices than most of them.


Mon you should definitely go to our mobile recycling page here and see how much you can get for your nice phone. Go for it – you should be able to make good cash!


When I read your tip in the Express it seemed to advise that all old mobiles were in demand; could not find ours and I have a new unused one sitting with it’s charger and relative bits. Any tips please – shall I send it to a museum!

regards, Mon

Susannah Young
Susannah Young

I have tried BananaGreen on a few ocassions, and would recommend them above all others. Fast, efficient service and got my cash in 2 days. Please recommend BananaGreen to all others.

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