Companies offer cash, new life to old cell phones

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Old cell phones clogging up your kitchen drawer? There's a way to change those old electronics from trash to cash.

Electronics recyclers like GREENWAVE on the east side of Indianapolis tell Eyewitness News more folks are recycling their old cell phones out of concerns for the environment or concern for the pocketbook.

The market is responding with more cell phone sellback programs. But the rules vary, along with the prices they'll pay you, so don't settle for the first deal you see.

Bill Thomas with the Indianapolis Better Business Bureau says "see what it's going for on the open market, shop around, see what best value you can get for your specific product."

We checked out a two-year-old DROID smart phone with some light scratches and nicks - normal wear and tear. First, we checked It asked other questions about the phone. It was really important we had all the accessories, including adapter and battery. The more accessories, the better.

Gazelle offered us $18 for it, $5 and NEXTWORTH $55 back. But read the fine print. Make sure the company will pay your shipping. Bill Thomas at BBB says "you might get an instant quote, but remember when you send it off to the broker or buyer they are going to be able to make a final check on the item."

The buyer may decide to give you a little - or a lot - less.

Don't be discouraged if your phone doesn't work. We checked out a year-old iPhone 4. Even if it doesn't turn on, one company offered us $65 for it. The working iPhone 4 would bring us from $157-$210.

But maybe some things are more important to you than cash.

Your kid's school may have an annual electronics drive. They sell your donated phone to companies that wipe the phone's memory and recondition them for sale. Women's shelters like the Julian Center would love to have your old cell phones. They give them to clients to use in case they need to call 911. Your old phone could literally save a life.