Getting Top Dollar when recycling your mobile phone

Filed in Blog by on April 30, 2012 6 Comments
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woman-using-mobile-phoneThis week I was contacted by Jenny who has a passion for recycling mobile phones.

30 million phones are sold every year in the UK, and the mobile phone market now reaches 5 billion across the world meaning there are more than three times as many phones as personal computers.

However, with 10 billion phones sold worldwide since 1994 there could be an awful lot of handsets gathering dust in the bottom of drawers and cupboards.

Jenny works with Top Dollar Mobile, the goal of which is to reduce e-waste through mobile phone recycling. My initial thoughts were ‘this is just another mobile phone recycler’ – there seem to be as many recyclers as there are manufacturers! – so I quizzed Jenny about what sets TopDollarMobile apart from the others.

Here are the points she came up with:

Top price

With the recession on our tail this first point is a good one! Jenny informed me that many sellers were sceptical about their claim for offering good prices compared to competitors. However, she was proud to tell me that they were rated “Best Overall”, from a selection of phone recycling websites offering the highest prices, in the February 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.

Courier collection

If you arrange a collection at your workplace, local school or organisation, and have more than 15 mobile phone handsets to recycle, TopDollarMobile will organise courier collection. They’ve worked out that by arranging couriers they can reduce their carbon footprint as well as cost: it costs less in terms of emissions, resources and finances to send one courier than send multiple envelopes to and fro via the postal service.

Free postage and packaging

We all love a freebie, especially when it’s for a good cause. TopDollarMobile send a decent quality jiffy bag out to you, free of charge, for you to return your handset. By offering a good quality bag, you can be assured your mobile phone handset will arrive in good condition ready to be recycled. In the past I’ve been sent a thin plastic bag which could have resulted in a damaged handset, or no envelope – just a FREEPOST address for me to use.

Charity support

In addition to reusing and recycling valuable resources, TopDollarMobile contributes a percentage of the value of each mobile phone they recycle to World Vision. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation seeking to make a positive and sustainable impact on poverty and its causes. Their current project with World Vision is to help improve humanitarian conditions for children in Zimbabwe. In addition, Top Dollar fund and set up schools in China.

I’ve checked their prices and recently sent a mobile to another company where I was sent £43.50. True to their word TopDollarMobile offer a little more for the same handset at £46.60.

What about you – have you sold a mobile phone for recycling? What was your experience like?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. Carrie says:

    TopDollarMobile sounds great. I hadn’t heard of them before, but will keep them in mind.

    I recently recycled my phone in a CeX shop and got a really good price for it. You’re right, it is much better to recycle or sell-on for reuse, than leaving gadgets gathering dust at the bottom of a drawer, they will have to come out of there one day, so better to deal with them now :o)

  2. Jennifer says:

    I didn’t even know you could get paid for recycling them. We always turn ours into escrap recycling drives, but they’ve never paid us anything. Learn something new every day.

  3. I used amazon’s buyback. They hardly pay anything for phones that are in great condition. I’d say use a different service.

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @Carrie: Glad to hear you had a good experience Carrie.

    @Jennifer: I find that too; there are some countries where it seems more natural to get paid for collecting aluminium cans, whereas we don’t tend to bother here…

    @joanna @ I Won’t Be a Hoarder Too: Funny you mention that, I was looking at a book on Amazon the other day and it said I could sell mine to them for 25p – what??!!

  5. Tim says:

    I’ve used a few comparison websites, starting with sellmymobile, but now moving on to onbay recycle.

    I am a market trader, buying old phones in and selling them through the recycle channels where I can’t refurbish or repair them. Onbay recycle listed the same recyclers as sellmymobile but were £1 more on occasion, so i’ve shifted my business to them.

    I would say you should keep your wits about you when using some recyclers. They offer the most money but by default will knock you down a few £’s just to push their luck. Make sure you tell them the right condition of the phone!

  6. janet smith says:

    I have just used this company for the first time and was very impressed with the fast and efficient service. I was very pleased with the deal. I would recommend this company. Well done all 🙂

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