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What Can You Do With An Almost Obsolete Phone?

What Can You Do With An Almost Obsolete Phone?

    Now that you’ve got that brand new iPhone, you’re probably trying to decide just what you should do with your old phone. It used to be that your only choice was sending it off to the nearest landfill, but that’s now technically illegal in most cities. You do have plenty of options now, though. Some will make you feel good and some will make your pocket book feel good. A few may even do a little of both. It’s just a matter of finding which one you prefer.

    The Feel Good Options

    You actually have a number of opportunities to donate your phone, if you’re so inclined. Domestic abuse shelters generally have standing request for cell phones — just drop it off at the local center in your town. Cell Phones for Soldiers also collects used phones for soldiers currently serving overseas. Many schools and community organizations will collect cell phones along with other supplies (blankets, clothing, food, etc.) in the event of a natural disaster.

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    If these charities don’t appeal to you, CollectiveGood maintains a list of organizations that accept donations of used cell phones, as well as handles the donations process for those organizations. Some require you to pay shipping; some don’t.

    As long as you are donating your phone to a non-profit organization, you can deduct the value of your cell phone on your taxes come next April. Make sure that you get a receipt listing the value of the phone — and if it’s used, that value will be significantly less than what you paid for it — just in case the nice folks down at the IRS want to doublecheck your deductions.

    If you just want to get the darn thing gone, you can also just give it away. Freecycle is a popular option — you can post your phone on your local group no matter its condition. If someone can use it, it’s gone almost immediately. Remember, though, most official donation programs promise to wipe all of your data from your phone. Freecycling your phone leaves protecting your personal information up to you.

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    The Financially Pleasant Options

    Is your phone in decent shape? You may have a shot at selling it. eBay remains a favorite sales option, but it isn’t the only one. If you can sell it locally, you may be able to avoid fees and postage. Beyond Craigslist, you might try Facebook’s Marketplace or check if your work or school maintains a swap board of some sort. Just make sure that you clear off all your personal information before you hand your phone over to its new owner.

    With the exception of practically new phones in high demand, the odds of getting anywhere near what you paid for it are slim. Cell phones and other electronic gadgets are like cars: once they leave their packaging, they depreciate pretty fast. If there is a newer, cheaper version out, you may just have to settle for a lower price.

    You can also choose to sell your phone to a reseller. There are a number of companies that will buy your phone for fairly close to market value and then turn around and resell it. You won’t get top dollar, but you won’t have to worry about actually finding a buyer, either. Gazelle is one option and Flipswap is another. Both of these resellers have feel good options: you can donate the payment you might receive for your phone to charity.

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    The Get It Gone Options

    Many cell phone sellers offer electronic recycling programs. Some are contingent on your buying a new phone from the seller in question, although Best Buy has a pilot program accepting old gadgets in eight states — you can find a list of participating stores here.

    If you want to make your cell phone recycling process super easy, ask the salesman when you pick up your new phone. As long as the store has some kind of recycling or donation program going on, leave it in his capable hands. Congratulations! Your phone is gone and you didn’t have to drive all over town to find it a new home.

    If Your Phone Has Gone to the Charging Station in the Sky…

    These options may not work for you. Most of these organizations don’t take phones (or other gadgets) that no longer work. Some, like Gazelle, will still take your electronic waste off your hands, but they won’t pay you for it. You can still get that feel good vibe, though, by recycling your phone, rather than throwing it away. You can either mail it in, or take it to a local program — not all municipalities have e-waste recycling programs, but the number is steadily growing. Both Gazelle and Flipswap will take dead phones, although you won’t get a payout from them.

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    One Last Note

    If you have gadgets to get rid of beyond a cell phone, you can still use most of these options. Laptops, cameras, MP3 players, camcorders, portable hard drives — whatever you’ve got, there are options to get rid of it when you decide to upgrade. Just like cell phones, though, you can’t throw any of these gadgets in the trash. They contain a variety of chemicals that won’t biodegrade in a landfill. In many cities, you can face fines if you’re caught dumping electronic waste. Even if you aren’t caught, isn’t it preferable to let someone else get a little more use out of it?

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    Last Updated on September 17, 2018

    Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

    Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

    Are you one of those people who are always suffering setbacks? Does little ever seem to go right for you? Do you sometimes feel that the universe is out to get you? Do you wonder:

    Why do I have bad luck?

    Let me let you into a secret:

    Your luck is no worse—and no better—than anyone else’s. It just feels that way. Better still, there are two simple things you can do which will reverse your feelings of being unlucky.

    1. Stop believing that what happens in your life is down to the vagaries of luck, destiny, supernatural forces, malevolent other people, or anything else outside your self.

    Psychologists call this “external locus of control.” It’s a kind of fatalism, where people believe that they can do little or nothing personally to change their lives.

    Because of this, they either merely hope for the best, focus on trying to change their luck by various kinds of superstition, or submit passively to whatever comes—while complaining that it doesn’t match their hopes.

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    Most successful people take the opposite view. They have “internal locus of control.” They believe that what happens in their life is nearly all down to them; and that even when chance events occur, what is important is not the event itself, but how you respond to it.

    This makes them pro-active, engaged, ready to try new things, and keen to find the means to change whatever in their lives they don’t like.

    They aren’t fatalistic and they don’t blame bad luck for what isn’t right in their world. They look for a way to make things better.

    Are they luckier than the others? Of course not.

    Luck is random—that’s what chance means—so they are just as likely to suffer setbacks as anyone else.

    What’s different is their response. When things go wrong, they quickly look for ways to put them right. They don’t whine, pity themselves, or complain about “bad luck.” They try to learn from what happened to avoid or correct it next time and get on with living their life as best they can.

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    No one is habitually luckier or unluckier than anyone else. It may seem so, over the short term (Random events often come in groups, just as random numbers often lie close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist).

    When you take a longer perspective, random chance is just . . . random. Yet those who feel that they are less lucky, typically pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.

    Your locus of control isn’t genetic. You learned it somehow. If it isn’t working for you, change it.

    2. Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows in your mind.

    If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.

    In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.

    Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything; sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.

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    They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.

    Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.

    To improve your fortune, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to you; then try focusing on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.

    Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?

    Thomas Jefferson is said to have used these words:

    “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

    “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

    Your luck, in the end, is pretty much what you choose it to be.

    Featured photo credit: LoboStudio Hamburg via unsplash.com

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