Frequently Asked Questions

What is

Sell My Phone is a gadget reseller and recycler comparison site. That means we fetch and compare offers for your device from the top tech recycling sites on the internet. No one compares offers from more sites than we do, and we guarantee we'll find you the best price on the market for your unused mobile phone or tablet. In fact, we're so certain we'll get you the most money for your gadget, that if you find a better offer for it elsewhere, we'll match it.

How do I sell my phone through

First search for your mobile—manufacturer and model—and tell us the storage size, condition, and whether it's unlocked or locked to a specific mobile network. We'll fetch you offers from the top phone recyclers and show them to you on one simple page, along with how the recycler will pay you and how long it will take you to see your cash. You select the best price, or the offer that best suits your needs, and click “Sell now.” Input your information and follow the instructions on the website for packing and sending in your phone, put it in the post, and ka-ching. You've got paid.

How much is my device worth?

You can make up to £500 selling unused devices—that's no small amount of money! The exact amount you can get for your device will depend on the make and model of the phone, how recent it is, how much storage it can hold, the condition it's in (whether it's brand new, used but working, or broken or faulty), and whether it's network locked or unlocked.

In general gadgets that cost more to buy when new and are more recent editions will have greater resell value. For example, you'll get more for an iPhone 7 with 256GB of storage than one with 32GB and more for an iPhone 7 than for an iPhone 6. Brand new, never touched devices will have the highest resell value, but used and working phones can still fetch you more than £100. Some resellers even take broken phones and pay top dollar for the chance to refurbish them or for their parts. Network unlocked phones will also fetch you a better price than those that are locked.

Can I still sell my device if it's broken?

Yes! Many of the recycling sites we compare offer good money for broken gadgets. If your phone won't turn on, it may be useless to you, but a tech recycler may be able repair it or reuse its materials and parts. There's value lurking in your old phone, even if it's now a glorified paperweight, and we connect you to the people can extract it.

When searching for quotes for you phone, just specify that it's “broken - faulty” and we'll fetch you quotes from recyclers that accept damaged and non-functioning phones. Don't try to cheat the system by pretending a smashed up phone is 'working,' however. All buyers test the gadgets they receive and will pay you for the condition of the phone you sent it, as they assess it.

Can I sell a water damaged device?

So you've accidentally dunked your phone in the bath—again. Even the bag of rice trick didn't manage to resurrect it, so you're wondering if you can get some money out of it to go towards your replacement.

Unfortunately this is the one case where you might be out of luck. Water damage usually means phones can't be repaired and even their parts might be beyond salvage. You can still fetch quotes for a broken device via our website and, after clicking through to the buyer's site, read their terms and conditions, particularly about the condition of gadgets they accept. There's a possibility theymay accept water-damaged phones. Additionally, you may be able to send your water damaged phone into a recycler via freepost but without compensation. You may not get any money out of the device, but the company will recycle its parts and ensure your water-logged phone doesn't end up in a landfill.

How do I determine the condition of my device?

Sell My Phone has three conditions you can choose for your gadget when searching for offers: 'new'; 'used - working'; and 'faulty - broken.'

Buyers will have their own, specific criteria for classifying devices. When you click through to their sites, follow their instructions exactly and look for any specific guidance or terms and conditions they have about a phone's condition. Buyers will test and assess all phones they receive and may give you revised offers for phones they determine are actually broken or are beyond economical repair.

You should always follow the instructions of the buyer when classifying your phone, but here's some basic guidance for assessing the condition:

New phones should be brand new and unused, ideally in their original packaging.

In general, a used but working phone

  • powers up
  • has an un-cracked or un-shattered LCD screen
  • has all keys and buttons present and working
  • has a fully working touch screen with no faults
  • has a functioning camera
  • has a working and original battery
  • has a functioning speaker, microphone or earpiece
  • has a functioning charger port
  • no deep cracks or dents
  • no water damage
  • no missing parts
  • may have light cosmetic damage, from general wear and tear

Broken or faulty phones include those that

  • won't turn on
  • have broken or cracked screens
  • have missing or non-functioning keys
  • have deeper scratches
  • have broken cameras
  • have broken speakers, microphone or earpiece

Buyers may determine that the 'damaged' phone you post to them is beyond salvage or repair and of no economic value. This is often the case with water-damaged phones. The recycler is under no obligation to purchase the phone from you. If they won't give you money for the device, some buyers may offer you the option of having the phone returned to you, generally at your expense, or having them recycle it.

Can you accept a phone with a password or PIN lock?

You should remove the password, PIN, or fingerprint lock on your phone or tablet before sending it into the buyer. They will generally be unable to accept phones that are locked. You should also ensure that the activation lock, a feature on Apple devices that prevents anyone else from using the phone by prohibiting them from reactivating it, is switched off. You can often do this remotely via Find My iPhone. If you send in a device with the activation lock turned off, the buyer may contact you asking you to turn off the activation lock within a certain time period and may also reduce the price they offer you, due to the inconvenience and wait.

What do I do with my SIM card?

Remove the SIM card before sending your phone into the recycler. Generally, recyclers destroy SIM cards that are left in devices and will be unable to return them to you. Removing the SIM card also helps you protect any sensitive information that may be stored on your phone.

How do I protect my privacy when selling my phone?

Your mobile phone contains a cache of sensitive personal data, including phone numbers, email addresses, account names and passwords, text message logs, email archives, and voicemail, that you don't want to fall into the wrong hands.

Ensure that you wipe all your personal data from your phone before posting it to the recycler. This is generally done by resetting the phone to factory settings (also called a 'hard reset') and erasing all its content. You should also remove the SIM card.

Even after doing a hard reset and removing the SIM, it's a good idea to double check that none of your data is lingering on your device. Power up the phone and examine your camera roll, search history, text message logs, and voicemails before slipping the device into an envelope. Recyclers accept no responsibility for the protection and security of potentially sensitive data stored on devices sent to them, and it's better to be safe than sorry.

How do you ensure the phones you buy aren't stolen?

First of all, Sell My Phone is simply a phone recycling comparison website. We direct you to buyers of mobile phones rather than buy them ourselves.

However, phone recyclers do have strategies for detecting broken phones. Not only can they not accept or pay money for them, if they discover a phone is stolen, they are legally required to then follow certain steps.

First, recyclers will check the status of every phone they receive through the CheckMEND database using its unique IMEI number. The CheckMEND database will tell them a number of things about the device, including;

  • whether it's on the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR, also called the Shared Equipment Identity Register or SEIR), meaning it's been blacklisted, mostly likely due to reported theft, and will not work on any of the UK's mobile networks
  • whether a loss or theft report for the device exists on the police's Stolen Equipment National Database (SEND)
  • whether a fulfilled insurance claim for the device exists on the Identifiable Property Insurance Database (IPCD)

All of these are 'red' results that will inhibit the sale of the device until the record is updated.

If the recycler discovers the device is on one of these databases, if it's 'red flagged', they are legally bound to follow the following procedures.

  • Inform you that there is a problem and provide you with details about how to contact CheckMEND so the database can tell you which records are present and if and how you may have them updated so the sale can proceed.
  • Inform CheckMEND that a device they received has failed to pass the database check. CheckMEND may then pass that information along to the police, insurer, or mobile network that has originated the record/block.
  • The recycler then holds the device for 28 days, to allow you to update the records, if possible, or the record originator to claim the item or contact you.
  • If at the end of 28 days, the records have not been updated or the device claimed, the recycler is the legal owner of the device and must dispose of it properly. Under those circumstances, the recycler cannot pay you money for the device or return it to you, or else they would be in violation of the law.

We hope you're more concerned about thieves potentially stealing and reselling your device, but if you've stolen a phone, be aware that you will not be able to resell it for money through a recycling site and the recycler must alert CheckMEND if they receive a stolen device and CheckMEND may then inform the police. Similarly, you will not be able to resell a device for which you have made a (fraudulent) insurance claim and the insurer will be notified of any attempts to do so.

Perhaps you've bought a device second hand and are now considering reselling or recycling it but are worried it may have previously been lost or stolen. You can check the device for potential blocks due to theft or loss by entering the phone's 15-digit IMEI code into the CheckMEND database yourself. You should always take care when purchasing a used phone that you aren't inadvertently receiving stolen property by asking for a CheckMEND certificate from the seller or running a check yourself.

What is a IMEI number?

Every mobile device has a unique 15-digit identification code called an IMEI number, which you will need to check its status on the CheckMEND data (which you should always do yourself before sending it into a reseller) but also to unlock the phone or identify it for insurance purposes.

So how do you find the IMEI number of your phone? There are a number of ways:

  • Type *#06# into your phone's call screen and it will appear
  • It may be on your phone's original packaging
  • It may also be printed on the back of phone, often in tiny print
  • It can sometimes be accessed through the phone's settings

How will I be paid?

Phone recycling companies offer payments in a variety of ways. Our comparison engine will tell you which way a recycler pays when showing you their price offer. Common payment methods include bank transfers, PayPal, cheque, or BACS. If you don't want to be waiting for a cheque in the post, select an offer from a recycler that pays via bank transfer or PayPal. Alternatively, if you don't have a PayPal account, don't arrange to be paid via one.

How quickly will I be paid?

We'll also tell you the payment time scale when comparing offers. Some recyclers will pay you the same day they receive the phone, if all the information is correct and the phone passes their tests, while others can take up to 7 or 8 working days—a week and a half—to process the payments. It's important to note that the payment timescale starts from when the recycler receives your phone. Depending on the postage method, it can take several working days for the phone you ship to actually reach their offices.

If your phone isn't in the stated condition, fails one of the recycler's tests, has an activation lock you failed to turn off, gets a red result on the CheckMEND database, or if the recycler has to give you a revised monetary offer you then must approve, the process can take longer and you may be waiting up to a month to receive your money.

Do I need to pay for shipping my device to the recycler?

It depends. Many recycling sites whose offers we compare will send you a freepost envelope in which to dispatch your device to them. However, if your device is worth a large sum of money, you may want to bypass the freepost envelope and arrange for it to be delivered with tracking and insurance, which you will have to pay for.

Which models of phones can I sell?

We compare offers for and help you sell mobile phones and other devices made by all the biggest tech manufacturers, including Apple, Samsung, Google, Nokia, Sony, LG, Huawei, HTC, Motorola, BlackBerry, and Sony Ericsson.

Why isn't my phone or tablet listed on your website?

Unfortunately, if your device isn't listed on our website, it means no device recyclers are currently buying or accepting your device. It may simply be too old.