05 March 2024

What to Do With Your Old Mobile Phone
4 minutes BY The Three Team

Do you have that drawer in your home? It’s full of old manuals, probably an IKEA Allen key or two and some old batteries. Over the past few years, there’s been an increasing number of mobile phones landing into this drawer. But there’s so many options to find a new home for these phones, some of which will make you some money too.

Sell Your Old Phone

Selling your old phone is one of the most attractive options on the list. Who doesn’t want to turn junk from a drawer into lovely money. Exactly how you turn that phone into money is up to you. Here are the most popular ways to do it.

Trade In Your Old Phone

The easiest way to turn that old phone into cash is trading it in. Why choose trading in over something like selling privately? 

Benefits of Trading in your Phone

When you buy a new phone from us, you can sell your old one using our trade-in partner, MacroEV, and get up to €600 in return. You can get an indicative value for your device by using the Three phone trade-in portal, Once you send the phone via the portal things like the condition of your device will be assessed and the value confirmed. The value is shared with you and you can either accept the cash and get it into your bank account via bank transfer or request the phone get sent back to you.

The biggest reasons for trading-in are security and convenience. When you trade your phone in, it’s sent to our partners who run a full, secure data wipe service to remove all data from devices in accordance with the Data Protection Act. If a device cannot have the data wiped, it’ll be recycled for parts instead.

Next up is the convenience. Trading in is a quick and easy process that we can help you with. You fill in some details online, send the phone to our trade-in partners. You’ll have told them what condition your phone is in and they’ll confirm this. You’ll be sent a valuation, and you can accept or reject it. Accept and it’ll be sent to your bank account. Reject it and get your device back. It’s that simple!

By trading in a phone you are promoting the circular economy. Your old phone will go on to be completely wiped of all data and either refurbished to be used again by someone else or recycled for parts and materials. Either way, you’ll have received money for an old device that was lying in the drawer.

One more thing! It’s not just phones. You can trade in old smartphones, tablets and wearables like smart watches too.

Pass it on or Sell Privately

The next option you have is to sell your phone privately or pass it along! Younger brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews are probably the biggest opponents to the trading-in option. They benefit the most from your next upgrade! And that’s totally fine too, if you have the option.

If not, trading-in or selling are the best options. We’ve discussed the first so let’s look at the second.

Selling your phone privately will likely get you the most money in return. This means going to a website like Adverts or Done Deal, advertising your phone for sale, meeting with someone and agreeing a price.

This is a great financial option, but it’s not for everyone. Not everyone wants to worry about meeting up with a stranger or haggling over price. That's after you’ve found them in the first place. When selling privately you’re also responsible for ensuring your phone is fully wiped.

If it’s money or a cash equivalent you’re after, those are your two best options. But what if you’re not after some extra cash?

Reuse your Phone for a Project

Smartphones are more than just communication devices; they're powerful miniature computers packed with potential. Instead of letting your old smartphone gather dust in a drawer, breathe new life into it by repurposing it for a variety of exciting projects

Security camera with Alfred

Transform your old phone into a guardian of your home or business. With apps like Alfred, you can remotely monitor your surroundings and receive alerts when motion is detected. This versatile tool can also serve as a baby monitor or a pet cam.

Smart home controller

Elevate your home's automation by using your old smartphone as a smart home hub. Control your lighting, thermostat, and other smart devices with ease, all from the palm of your hand.

Music player on the go

Embrace the convenience of having a portable music player always at hand. Load up your old smartphone with your favourite tunes and enjoy a seamless listening experience wherever you go.

Personal weather station

Stay informed about the weather conditions near your home or office with your old smartphone repurposed as a personal weather station. Keep track of temperature, humidity, and other weather data with ease.

Digital photo frame

Transform your old smartphone into a captivating digital photo frame. Showcase your favourite photos and relive precious memories with family and friends.

Let your imagination run wild

The possibilities are endless when it comes to repurposing your old smartphone. Get creative and explore the myriad of ways you can utilise this versatile device to enhance your life. With a little imagination, you'll discover that your old smartphone is far from obsolete; it's just waiting for its next adventure.

Donate Your Old Smartphone

If you’re not interested in a project or making a quick buck from your old phone just donate it to charity. Lots of charity shops have moved on from just reselling clothes. They have some interesting tech turning up on the shelves too. 

There are charity shops across the country that will take your phone and sell it on to generate some revenue for charity. Just be sure to call ahead to make sure the shop does indeed take tech products. Also, be sure to wipe the phone fully before passing it on. That’s a good tip regardless of where you plan to send your phone!


By taking your phone out of the drawer and trading it in, selling it or reusing it you’re reducing e-waste and when trading in, in particular, promoting a circular economy. When you trade in, you can be sure your phone will either go on to be used again or have its parts or precious materials used again in a newer device.

If you want a hassle-free and sustainable way of getting some money in return for your old smartphone, check out 3Recycle and find out how much that phone might be worth or if it has no value we can help you save the environment and recycle your device for you.

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