UK consumers are sitting on an estimated 85 million old mobile phones that could make money if they sold them, according to new research by Consumer Focus.
The survey, conducted by ICM for the consumer watchdog, found that almost seven out of ten mobile phone users (68%) have at least one or more old phones, and that an estimated eleven percent have a staggering five or more old phones lying around their homes. Consumer Focus estimates that collectively we own more than 85 million old mobile phones.
Consumer Focus is urging people to put their old phones to good use – either to give them to charity, friends or family, or recycle them via a second hand phone scheme. Second hand phones can be sold on average for £25 according to online price comparison sites with some second hand phones worth up to £300.1
Mobile phone expert at Consumer Focus, Hannah Bullivant said:
“We discard millions of phones every year with one in ten admitting they simply put their old handsets in the bin. These are sophisticated bits of kit that can still be used or recycled. By throwing phones away, we’re wasting huge amounts of money and adding unnecessarily to our landfill mountains.
“Anyone with an old mobile should shop around for the best second hand deal. There are now a number of second hand price comparison sites that can be found with a simple internet search.”
Consumer Focus has put together its top five tips to make it easy for consumers to trade in old mobile phones.
- Shop around for the best second hand deal – there are now a number of phone recycling comparison sites, easily found with a simple internet search.
- Your current mobile provider may allow you to ‘trade in’ your old phone, which could save you money on a new handset.
- Think twice about whether you need a new handset in the first place, you could save money by keeping your current handset or by getting a ‘sim only’ deal. Keeping your old handset rather than purchasing a new one is also better for the environment.
- Phones can contain lots of personal information so don’t forget to wipe the data on your phone before you recycle it. This can be done by searching in ‘settings’ in your mobile phone menu. Alternatively phone your provider or check your mobile phone manual for instructions for a ‘full wipe’ or to ‘restore defaults’.
- If you would like to donate your old phone to charity then try looking on http://www.eachonecounts.co.uk/
Further advice on how to save money on mobile phones can be found on the Consumer Focus website
- The research was conducted by ICM in Great Britain by telephone omnibus survey. A representative sample of 853 GB adults aged 18+ were interviewed between 24th- 31st March 2010.
- www.sellmymobile.com has advised that phone sales range from 50p up to £303, with the average price of all phones sold as £25.
Sellmymobile’s two most popular phones sold in the last 6 months are the Nokia N95 and the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic worth £88.50 and £87 respectively.