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Everyday Cheapskate: Take My Mobile Phone, Please!

Mary Hunt on

Recently, I inherited a new-to-me iPhone 6. It's lovely. I'm grateful, but I didn't really need a new phone. My venerable iPhone 5c suited me just fine.

My unlocked 32-gigabyte bright green 5c is in excellent condition, with no damage, scratches or problems. I'm on a mission to discover my options for what to do with it.

Trade It In

Both Apple and Amazon have trade-in programs. Instead of paying out in cash, payment is made via gift cards.

--Apple. I input all of my data at and discovered I could trade in this phone in exchange for $55 worth of credit in a store or a $55 Apple gift card if I decided to mail it in.

--Amazon. Amazon has an online trade-in program for all brands of cellphones. After inputting the details of my iPhone, I received an offer of a $50.05 Amazon gift card for my phone.

Sell It

--Gazelle. The folks at Gazelle, who have an aggressive program for buying not only cellphones but also other electronics have offered me $45 for my phone. Reviews for Gazelle's service are excellent on ResellerRatings.

--Decluttr. This online company, with whom I have done business in the past, also buys and sells used cellphones, electronics, DVDs, CDs and books. It has offered me $51 for my phone.

Consign It

--Glyde. As a seller, I would list my phone for sale on Glyde. When it sold, Glyde would send me a shipping kit containing a pre-addressed postage-paid envelope to use to send it in. Glyde collects the sales price from the buyer, takes a cut of that sales price as a commission and forwards the balance to me. Glyde estimates that my iPhone 5c would sell for $86, of which my portion would be $70.10.

Auction It

--EBay. Though there are tons of iPhones available for sale, I am surprised these phones don't fetch more on eBay. I can view completed transactions for many 5c phones, and though it's impossible to say what mine would sell for here, it's easy to see the range of what I could expect. My best estimate is that I might be able to net $40 to $50 if I hit it just right.

--Craigslist. Listing my iPhone here would expose my iPhone to a wide range of potential buyers. However, I would have to field the calls and appointments. It's impossible to predict how much I could get for this phone here.

Donate It

There are a number of charitable organizations that accept the donation of cellphones in exchange for a tax receipt, which would allow me to deduct its fair market value when I itemize my federal tax return.

--The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This group recycles cellphones to raise money to support programming that helps stop violence in the home.

--Cell Phones for Soldiers. This organization is dedicated to providing cost-free communication services and emergency funding to active-duty military members and veterans. Since 2004, Cell Phones for Soldiers has recycled more than 15 million cellphones, reducing the impact on landfills.

Keep It

Though the phone has no data plan and cannot be used as a phone, it is still a functioning device. It connects to Wi-Fi, which means my young grandsons play with it, and in an emergency, it could make a 911 call.

Having considered my options, I've decided to sell the phone to the company with the best offer -- Decluttr. I have done business with Decluttr in the past and found it to be easy to work with. I followed the instructions exactly (easy). I got a check in the mail in record time. And now I look forward to a repeat performance with this phone. For links to the sites and organizations mentioned in this column, please visit


Mary invites questions, comments and tips at or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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