How to re­use, re­cy­cle or sell off phones

Medicine Hat News - - LIFESTYLES - BAR­BARA ORTUTAY

NEW YORK It’s nat­u­ral to get the phone­up­grade itch when the likes of Ap­ple, Sam­sung and oth­ers keep com­ing out with newer mod­els. And some­times your old phone is just ka­put.

But what do you do with a ser­vice­able but out­dated gad­get? Rather than rel­e­gate an old phone to a desk drawer, con­sider reusing, re­cy­cling or re­selling it. Of course, there’s also the op­tion to do­nate.

Here’s a guide for fig­ur­ing out what you might do with last year’s model (or even older ones). __ DO­NATE TO CHAR­ITY Sev­eral char­i­ties ac­cept old phones as a do­na­tion. But these groups prob­a­bly won’t phys­i­cally give your old phones to peo­ple in need. In­stead, they’ll of­ten sell your phone to re­cy­clers and keep the money.

A non-profit group called Cell Phones for Sol­diers will take your “gen­tly used” phone and sell it to a re­cy­cling com­pany. It will then use the pro­ceeds to buy in­ter­na­tional call­ing cards for sol­diers so they can talk to their loved ones back home.

The Na­tional Coali­tion Against Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence works in a sim­i­lar man­ner. About 60 per cent of the phones it col­lects are re­fur­bished and resold. The money goes to­ward sup­port­ing the coali­tion. The re­main­ing 40 per cent of the phones are re­cy­cled, ac­cord­ing to the group’s web­site. It pays for ship­ping if you are mail­ing three or more phones. The group also ac­cepts other elec­tron­ics such as lap­tops, video game sys­tems and dig­i­tal cam­eras. __ SELL SELL SELL Once new mod­els come out, older ones will flood onto eBay and other re­sale sites, so it might make sense to wait a lit­tle. How much money you can make off your old phone de­pends on the brand and how much wear and tear it’s seen.

The re­sale site Gazelle, for ex­am­ple, is of­fer­ing $140 for a Ver­i­zon-ready Sam­sung Galaxy S7 in “good” con­di­tion. What does “good” mean? The phone has no cracks on the screen or body, pow­ers on and makes calls, and is free of ma­jor scratches or scuffs. A “flaw­less” phone that looks like it’s never been used will land you $15 more. A 128GB iPhone 7 in good con­di­tion, mean­while, will get you $305, at least for an AT&T ver­sion. For a Sprint­ready phone, it’s $275.

EBay is a bit more com­pli­cated. If you’re al­ready a seller in good stand­ing and meet cer­tain stan­dards, you may qual­ify for a “price guar­an­tee” pro­mo­tion that will get you $515.26 for the above AT&T 128GB iPhone. Oth­er­wise, eBay says you can get $280 through the com­pany’s “quick sale” pro­gram.

The video game re­tailer GameS­top also ac­cepts old phones for trade-in, of­fer­ing ei­ther store credit or cash. __ RE­USE, RE­PUR­POSE Even with­out cel­lu­lar ser­vice, you old phone will be able to get on Wi-Fi, so you can use it to stream mu­sic, post on Face­book or do pretty much any­thing else you want pro­vided you are in Wi-Fi range. Keep it for your­self, give it to a broke friend, or load it up with kid­friendly apps and games and hand it down to your chil­dren.

Or just keep it as a backup in case some­thing hor­ri­ble hap­pens to your main phone. An old phone can tide you over un­til you can man­age re­pairs or get a re­place­ment. __ WHAT UP­GRADE? Of course, there’s no rule say­ing you must up­grade your phone each year, as much as man­u­fac­tur­ers would like you to.

Is your phone still in fairly good con­di­tion? Could you, per­haps, get that cracked screen fixed, delete some videos and apps to free up mem­ory, and clean out ac­cu­mu­lated pocket lint in the charg­ing or head­phone port? You can try a tooth­pick or use canned air, but be care­ful us­ing some­thing made of metal like a pa­per clip — you could dam­age your phone.

Then you’d re­ally have an ex­cuse to up­grade.

AP PHOTO/KIICHIRO SATO, FILE

In this Septem­ber 2016, file photo, Lisa Gao com­pares a black iPhone 7, right, with her iPhone 6 at the Ap­ple Store on Michi­gan Av­enue, in Chicago. Ap­ple, Sam­sung and other phone com­pa­nies keep com­ing out with more pow­er­ful phones with bet­ter cam­eras and a bevy of bells and whis­tles. Rather than rel­e­gate an ear­lier model to a desk drawer, con­sider do­nat­ing, reusing, re­cy­cling or re­selling it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.