How to Flog Your Old Gadgets for Cash

By Chris Mills on at

With the rate companies are churning through devices nowadays, I'd bet that a fair few of you have a drawer full of old gadgets just gathering dust. But it's time to put the unseen masses to work. Without trying to sound like that old bloke off Cash in the Attic, you might have hundreds of pounds sitting in said drawers. Flog it all, and you might only be one limb or major organ short of that new 4K TV.

For gadgets, you'd be surprised by how much you can get. Smartphones are obviously a big seller here, but also old computers, TVs and even decades-old cameras, especially if you've got a bunch of old lenses for them. When it comes to selling, you've got a range of options; depending on how much time you're willing to put in, and how shady an alleyway you want to conduct your deals in, you can get more value for your rotting tech.


Selling to High Street

If you want quick, simple, and a minor rip-off, selling to a high-street second-hand electronics place will be your best bet. There are a few independent electronics retailers left who might buy your gadgets (especially camera retailers); in terms of high-street stores, most big towns have a ceX. This place, for the uninitiated, is a store you can go to buy and sell used electronics and games.

The price you'll get won't be anything like what you can get off eBay, but it's minimum-hassle -- just go in with the phone, all the boxes and accessories for it that you can scrape together (the closer it is to mint condition, the more dosh you'll get), proof of ID and address, and Bob's your 100-quid-richer uncle.

(Random aside: if you have a 2nd-gen Apple TV, ceX are buying them for £111 cold hard cash at the moment, and selling the 3rd-gen Apple TV for £75, so if you've got a 2nd-gen Apple TV, go net yourself an upgrade and a sweet £35 of free money.)

Another option is PC World; it'll take a working or non-working phone or tablet and give payment in either money or store vouchers. Especially if you have a busted device, it's worth taking a look -- hilariously, non-working devices are sometimes more valuable to them (iPhone 4, for example, is £85 working or £86.63 non-working. Go figure.) Worth saying, however, that you have to post your devices off for this one; at least you're posting them to a reputable company though, rather than a slightly shady internet dealer.

Same goes for Carphone Warehouse, although it should be noted that it only takes working devices (Booo!). Speaking of Carphone Warehouse, all of the networks will also buy used devices; check out Vodafone, O2 and Three for more details.


Sell to an Online Recycling Firm

Yeah, it's a bit of a cliche, but selling things to online firms has moved on a bit from the ££££!!!!!!!CASH4URGOLD!!!! days. There's a host of reputable dealers like fonebank and Mazuma who you can ship your handset to (in a cash-free envelope, no less), and will transfer cash into your bank account pronto when they receive the device. Again, it's worth shopping around; prices for different handset in different conditions fluctuate by up to £50 on a regular basis, so having a snoop around will definitely pay off. Oh, and you're probably safer going with one of the mainstream companies; online fraud might be decreasing, but I'd still be wary of shipping a valuable bit of electronics off to some firm that for all you know might just be a spotty teenager hibernating in the attic with a laptop.


Sell Privately Online

The classic. eBay. If you want max value and minimum risk, this is probably the way to go, especially if your gadget is still in decent nick (or if you're selling something rare that none of the online places will take). Books longer than War & Peace have been written on how to sell on eBay, but the fundementals still stand: good photos, simple and accurate descriptions, good English, and a willingness to respond to questions will serve you well when flogging your gizmos.

If you want an idea of how much you can get for your device on eBay, search for completed listings (Search >> Advanced Search >> Show completed listings) and you'll get a good idea of what you can expect. Just remember that both eBay and PayPal will nick some of your money in the process, so bear that in mind when you're working out how much cash you're gonna get.

If you don't want to sell your stuff on eBay (maybe you're boycotting eBay over its low tax, or maybe you just like the thrill of being assaulted by a stranger in a dark alleyway, which let's be honest isn't unlikely if you're selling on the classifieds), you can use any of the UK classifieds sites -- Gumtree or Preloved are the biggest names here -- to list your device. Just be careful. If some dude wants to meet you in East Hackney on a housing estate at 2 a.m, be careful. Unloading your broken iPhone isn't worth the rape.

Of course, there's always the classic of a car-boot sale. Advantages of this way are cash in hand, a feeling that you might be back in the 1960s, and a chance of being on Antiques Roadshow. Win-win, really.



High Street:

- ceX
- Carphone Warehouse (phones/tablets only, working condition only, and requires mail-in)
- PC World (phones/tablets only, requires mail-in)
- Networks: Vodafone, O2, Three


Online Recycle Firms

- Fonebank
- Mazuma Mobile
- Weebuy
- Gadgetxchange


Private Sales

- eBay
- Gumtree
- Preloved
- Car Boot Junction