Frequently Asked Questions

Want to get all the facts before you sell your phone? On this page, you'll find answers to all the questions you could possibly have about selling your phone through CompareMyMobile. Keep reading for the answers to frequently asked questions about comparing prices, posting your phone, getting paid, and more.

If there's something else you'd like to know that we haven't covered, contact us and we'll do our best to answer.

General FAQ

Who are is a gadget recycling comparison website, and a part of Decision Tech Ltd. We work with recycling companies to help you compare offers on all your old tech, and find the best value prices for your mobile phones and other devices.

Remember that we're just a comparison site - we don't buy or recycle mobiles ourselves. We just let you compare quotes and point you in the right direction.

Who am I selling my phone to?

You're selling your gadgets to whichever recycler or buyer you select from the comparison grid - not to CompareMyMobile.

What will happen to my recycled mobile phone?

This all depends on the phone, how old it is, and what condition it's in. Some are harvested for parts, which are then put into other phones or broken down for the minerals they contain. Others are spruced up and fixed, then sold on as refurbished handsets.

Is recycling my phone really good for the environment?

Yes, it is. It's always better for the environment to recycle your phone, even if you donate it rather than sell it.

Phones and other gadgets contain toxic chemicals like lead and cadmium, which can't break down naturally. If they get into water, the earth, or wildlife, the effect can be very damaging. One phone battery alone can pollute 60,000 litres of water, for instance.

When you throw your phone in the bin, it ends up in a landfill where those chemicals aren't taken care of properly… but if you send it to a recycler, they can extract them and send them off to be re-used. 

I'm experiencing a problem - who do I contact?

First and foremost, you should contact the company who you sold your phone to.

If you aren't satisfied, don't get a response, or experience a problem with our website itself, get in touch with CompareMyMobile's customer services - see our Contact Us page for info.

Selling FAQ

How much is my phone worth?

That's what we're here to help you find out! Look up the model of your phone by typing it into the search bar, and you'll see all the current quotes on it.

How can I find out what model my phone is?

There are a few ways you can find this out:

  • The back of your phone - It's often written there.
  • Handset manual - If you still have the manual that came with your phone, its model name and number will be stated there clearly.
  • 'About this phone' - Find this, or something similar, in your phone's settings. It should give its model, name, and version.
  • Internet - Try the manufacturer's website, or search for your phone on a database like GSM Arena.

How long will the quote be valid for?

It depends on the recycler, but quotes are usually valid for seven to 14 days.

Bear in mind that companies will sometimes send you a revised quote after receiving your phone - perhaps because it's not quite the phone they were expecting, or because it isn't in what they consider good enough condition. In this case, they'll email you a new quote, which you're free to accept or reject. The initial quote will be revoked.

Can I sell a broken mobile phone?

Yes - a huge number of recyclers will buy broken phones. Just select 'broken' at the top of the grid to see all the available offers. Broken phones generally don't get you as much as money as working or new phones, but you can still sell them.

A phone usually counts as broken in a recycler's eyes if it has major chips and dents, a cracked screen, corrupt operating system, faulty battery, or if it doesn't switch on. However, most companies will not buy phones with water damage, phones that are completely twisted or snapped in two, or counterfeit devices. These are broken 'beyond economic repair' - though a lot of the time you can still donate them for free.

Exactly what counts as broken, working, or not sellable at all tends to change depending on the recycler.

Need a bit more guidance? See our full guide to selling broken phones.

Can I sell a lost or stolen phone?

No, you can't.

Recyclers check each phone's unique IMEI number before doing anything with it, and this tells them if it's been reported lost or stolen. If it has, they'll contact you, and won't give you any money for it - at least for the time being - and they may have to contact the police.

In other words, you can't sell a random phone you find in the street, and if you reported your phone as lost or stolen at some point, you'll have to rectify that before you can sell it.

For more information, see our guide to selling lost and stolen phones.

Can I sell a network blocked phone?

No, you can't sell a network blocked phone either. Again, checking a phone's IMEI shows this.

How do I find out my phone's IMEI number?

Anyone can access their phone's IMEI number and look it up. This is the 15-digit International Mobile Equipment Identity Number, which identifies your handset. Networks can access it and use it to block your phone from use in certain circumstances - such as if it's reported as stolen.

To see yours, dial *#06# into your phone's number pad. You may also find it in the 'About this device' section of the phone's settings.

Postage FAQ

What should I put in the postage pack?

When you send your phone to the recycler, all you need to include is your phone with its battery - fully charged, preferably. Make sure you perform a full factory reset before mailing it, too.

Some recyclers appreciate the charger being included as well, but it's not always necessary.

Do not include your SIM card, SD card, or anything else that has your personal data on it.

How do I clear data off my phone?

Start by backing up all your data. You don't want to lose your pictures, videos, files, and app data.

Then, go into your phone's settings and select 'reset'. It may be hidden under another menu. Go through the steps on-screen, which will include entering your pass code, and by the time it's done, your phone will be reverted back to its factory state.

If you used a memory card in your phone, make sure you remove that too.

Do I have to pay for postage?

Generally, no. Most recyclers will cover the postage costs - though a few of them don't.

We'll let you know upfront what each company's policy is, right there in the comparison table, so you can make an informed decision here.

It's worth mentioning that even if the recycler is happy to cover postage, you may want to mail your device by Royal Mail Special Delivery so you can track it, insure it, and check that it reaches its destination.

I haven't received a postage pack - what do I do?

You should receive your postage pack from the buyer within a few working days of ordering it. If it's been a while and nothing has arrived, contact the recycling company directly.

If that doesn't work, get in touch with our customer service.

How many phones can I recycle?

You can recycle as many phones and gadgets as you like. You're free to use our service as many times as you want.

If you're sending multiple phones to the same company at once, the recycler may prefer specific delivery methods, such as a courier service - or you might just have to send them all off in separate packets.

How do I know if my phone has arrived?

The recycling company you sent your phone to should be in touch as soon as it arrives on their doorstep, usually via email. You should get your payment very soon after that as well.

If you've mailed it off and haven't heard back in a week or so, contact the recycler's customer service.

If that's no good, contact us instead.

Payment FAQ

How will I get paid?

However you like. The exact choices of payment method vary with each recycler, but the most common ones are:

  • Bank transfer
  • PayPal
  • Cheque
  • Voucher or gift card

Or, you may have the option to donate the fee to charity.

Whichever payment method you choose, the company will send it out on the same day they receive and check your device. If it needs to be posted - if you're being paid by cheque, for instance - it'll be sent to the address you specified.

The recycler changed my quote and I'm not happy - can I get my phone back?

This happens sometimes if your phone is a different model or in a different condition from what the recycler was expecting. If you don't like the new price, then yes, you're free to reject it and get your phone back.

However, be aware that you may have to pay for postage and packaging to have it returned. You'll also need to tell the recycler that you don't accept the quote within a particular time frame - usually five days or so from their email.

The recycler should be in touch within a few days to say they've received your phone - at which point you should be paid within another few days.

If you reckon it's been longer than that, and you still haven't received your cash, contact the recycler directly.

If you continue to experience problems, you can also contact CompareMyMobile's customer service.