Why I Never Throw a Broken Phone Away

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Once upon a time, in a land far away, I had a cell phone. Okay, I still do, but the point of that sentence was supposed to be that I have several old and sometimes the occasionally broke phone lying around my house. Add to that the two or three broken tablets  (or tablets that have been replaced), the several outdated computers  and yeah, we have had a lot of useless electronics stuffed in drawers and closets over the last few years. While I could just toss them or send them to the recycling center, I won’t. Instead, I am putting them all to work for me…one last time.

Have a broken phone or tablet lying around? Me too. Several in fact. I NEVER throw them away though! Instead? I make them work for me one last time (and you can too!)


Obviously, a phone or tablet that we can’t use anymore or just simply don’t use anymore isn’t doing me any good. Really they aren’t doing anyone any good. The thing is though, I’m cheap. I really don’t like wasting or losing money and a phone that I paid for just being tossed is essentially losing money.  Needless to say, when a phone or other electronic goes bad, I try to do what I can to keep from losing that money. I can’t be the only one who hates losing money, right?

Why I Never Throw a Broken Phone Away

So since the items no longer work or we just don’t need them anymore, I trade them in. Depending on the device, I use one of two programs to either get paid cash or gift cards for those items. Cash is great because well, it’s cash but gift cards I love even more because they help me buy free groceries. Either way, the money from trading the devices in, gets put to good use.

The first site that I like to trade with is Gazelle. They accept quite a few different phone and tablet models and the payouts are different for each one and each condition. Obviously a new iPhone 6 in great condition is going to payout more than a broken iPhone 4. What I love about Gazelle is the sheer amount of items they take. Phones, tablets, computers, e-readers and more are what makes it easy to make money with them. My second favorite feature is that they offer both Amazon Gift Cards and cash as payment so depending on the time of year, I can get cash to pay bills with or to save or I can get gift cards to use for Christmas.

If I don’t send something to Gazelle, I send it in to Amazon to the Amazon Trade in Program. This one I actually use for a lot more than electronics. I send in books we no longer want, electronics, video games, dvd’s and more. Amazon pays you with Amazon Gift Cards as soon as they receive and accept your item. This one is awesome if you’re trying to do what I do and buy a lot of your groceries online to save money. It’s also a HUGE help at Christmas too!

Just as an example, here are a few of the items that I’ve bought from Amazon over the last three or so years. While I won’t send in the books b/c my Emma still loves them, they’re worth more than they would be just sitting on my bookshelf!


Now I don’t know about you, but $101.51 for 6 items that might otherwise be just sitting? I’m totally game!

You might be wondering how I decide which to send to. Basically, I always check Amazon first. If the price offered is okay with me and the item is in working and at least acceptable condition, I will send it to them. Otherwise, I send to Gazelle.  It might seem like a bit of work, but it’s worth it. For instance? The Dork Diaries set in the pic above? The price that Amazon is offering is actually more than what I paid for the set originally so if I were to send it in to them? I would profit. Profit is a great thing anytime.

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Stacy Ott

Stacy Ott is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family as well as The Genealogy Queen and a few others.By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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