Earning money with old smartphones: what are the options?

If you buy a new smartphone, you don’t have to put the old one in the drawer. Online retailers often pay considerable sums for it. And that is comparatively easy.

How many phones do you have in your drawer? At least one thing will happen if you can believe the statistics: According to surveys by the industry association Bitkom, every German produces over 20 kilos of e-waste every year. 58 percent of smartphones and cell phones are sold, 26 percent end up in collection points for electronic waste, 13 percent are donated and only 11 percent are brought to the retailer.

It is most environmentally friendly if the device is repaired and brought up to date or if its individual parts can be reused. Old and still functional hardware can still be sold. Before that, however, all data should be deleted thoroughly.

Selling yourself requires work

You can initially sell old devices yourself, for example at the flea market or at online auctions such as Ebay or Quoka. With a little luck you can get the best prices here. However, this requires a bit of work: As a seller, you have to take a photo and as complete and exact a description of the device as possible.

If you do that Smartphone presented with the box and accessories accordingly and it is still in good condition, a lot of money can also be requested for old devices. However, there is usually no guarantee for the buyer in private sales.

Turn your mobile phone into money at sales platforms

Not so profitable, but selling on platforms like is much easier and faster Rebuy. WIRKAUFENS or Zoxs, The dealer then gives an estimate at which he buys the device. If the display is defective or the original chargers are missing on old devices, it may be that the dealer pays little or completely refuses to buy.

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Incidentally, which provider offers the most for which device can be quite easily via the comparison platform recyclingmonster.de find out. Here you can find more tips for selling old smartphones. And the comparison is worth it: the best prices are sometimes three times as high as the worst.

Incidentally, the providers generally do not incur any shipping costs or other fees. However, there is no blind payment: First, the purchased devices are tested and checked whether the visual condition matches the information provided by the seller, only then is the price confirmed and paid out.

Exchange devices at the manufacturer

The free take-back of old devices is a legal obligation in the European Union with the take-back regulation. However, consumers rarely send their devices back to the manufacturer.

Some manufacturers like Apple have one too recyclingProgram prescribed. In 2017, Apple announced that it would eventually only manufacture iPhones from recycled materials or offset the consumption of new raw materials by selling its own recycled materials. At the same time, the CO2 footprint in production is to be reduced.

Apple is reprocessing millions of devices

Apple offers its trade-in programto accept old Apple devices for a trade-in for a new device. The customer provides their IMEI on the program’s website, and Apple suggests a return price. The older the device, the lower the price. Currently, customers can only count on a voucher for devices from the 6s generation, with which they can receive new devices at a lower cost.

If customers return their old device to Apple, Apple wants to recondition and resell the devices. In the past financial year, 7.8 million returned devices were refurbished and brought back to the market.

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Broken devices are recycled free of charge. If you are interested in details of processing and raw material savings, you can read the numbers in Apple’s annual environmental report read in detail.

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