Good Morning America today mentioned a site called Cell for Cash. The site allows you to either recycle your used cell phone for free or sell it for between $5-175 (that latter number is for an iPhone). Note that they will only offer cash for certain models.
The website, CellforCash.com, explains more in its About section:
According to Inform Inc., a non profit independent research organization, about 130 million cell phones are retired each year in the US. Other organizations estimate that there may be as many as 500 million cell phones lying idle in the desks and closets of America.
You may not realize it, but many of those old cell phones are valuable – some much more valuable than you may think. On the down side, all of them contain hazardous substances that can pose a threat to the environment and to public health if disposed of improperly.
The CellForCash.com web site was created to address those facts – to return real cash value to people who still own their old out-of-service cell phones, and to address the issue of safe and responsible recycling on old cell phones.
Parent company RMS Communications started as a garage-based walkie talkie repair shop. They then moved into the pager repair business, then to refurbishing cell phones. The cell phone recycling business followed; RMS launched CellforCash.com in 2002.
What do they do with your used phones? From the RMS about section:
…we extract precious metals from some phones, we provide working phones to shelters, police departments and other worthy users, and we also simply dismantle and discard some old phones in a responsible, non-polluting fashion.
RMS claims to be doing about $20 million in annual sales. CellforCash.com offers affiliates a slice of that success through $5 referral pay, individual affiliate sites, and related programs. The CellforCash affiliate program might be worth a look if you’re interested in something a little different (disclaimer: I haven’t done the market research to verify the costs/benefits of the opportunity).