Category Archives: Phone Recycling

Get Rich or Try Recycling

squeezed wallet

squeezed wallet

We are in a time when it seems impossible to resist the lure of the world’s biggest-selling technology giants. We all appear to be chained to the upgrade treadmill -demanding of us our attention, loyalty and, most urgently of all, our hard-earned cash.

The rise of smart, beautiful technology in the late noughties redefined both our relationship with consumer technology and how much we are willing to pay for it. For Generation Y, their mobile phone is most probably the most expensive item they own.

So how can we reign in the costs whilst sating our tech thirst? We’ve written the Fonebank guide to getting your hands on the best tech out there without circling the financial drain?

Don’t assume expensive = quality

The smart-tech revolution has not only resulted in showpiece nuggets of tech like the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy 7 – handsets which operate right at the very top end in terms of price point – but it’s also raised the whole floor in terms of consumer tech, and in particular mobile phone technology.

Cheap no longer means nasty at the bargain end of the smartphone market and many of the handsets marketed today as ‘budget’ have many of the features and functions we expect from the mobile big boys.

Check out this great guide to the best budget handsets available and see if there’s anything that catches your eye.

(link to list of 5 budget handsets)

Get over the stigma of pre-owned

There was a time when refurbed tech was like gambling on what’s behind curtain number 3 – you just never really knew what you were going to get. But as Dylan once mused, the times they are a-changing, and refurbed tech is now a booming industry in its own right and for many people it has become the first port of call when buying consumer tech.

Reputable refurb outfits put the recycled gadgets through rigorous testing procedures to ensure all is as it should be under the hood, so although you won’t get the warranties usually afforded to you if you’re buying new, it’s a relatively low risk move which can save you hundreds of pounds.

Smartfonestore recently undertook research on the tech refurb market and calculated that tech-hungry fans of Apple who have shelled out top-whack for the latest models from new, could have saved close to £1500 had they gone down the refurb route for every iteration of the iPhone back to the 4S.

Become a discount hunter

For those willing to put in a bit of click-work on Google, the internet is a treasure trove of discount coupons, money-off vouchers and e-gift links. If you can sift through the marketing fodder with which you’ll be bombarded, then an afternoon spent browsing for tech discounts can be incredibly fruitful.

One of the best discount hunting tools out there is the relatively unheard of Chrome web extension, Honey, which automatically scans the web for coupons and discount codes as you browse.

Sell your old stuff for ss much as possible

Selling old phones and tech online is a no-brainer for those wanting to save up a bit of cash. Again, much like discount hunting online, you might want to ‘shop around’ a bit to get the best price for your tech. Some sites like ours specialise in buying old phones but there are other sites dedicated to laptops, gaming or even just unused DVDs, CDs and MP3 players.

It goes without saying that the better condition your old tech is in the more it’ll be worth when the time comes to trade it in. Having said that, the majority of tech buy-back sites these days have a pricing structure in place for ‘heavily used’ or defective handsets. But if you are hoping to sell an old phone when it’s had its day and hope to redeem most of its original value, give it an honest appraisal of its condition yourself before you send it off – it may save the disappointment later down the line if you don’t see the expected amount land in your bank account.

If it helps, check out our guide on how we price your old handset and what your old phone is really worth.

Megapixels & megahertz no longer matter

Let’s face it, long gone are the days when people actually gave two hoots about the consumer tech arms race being played out on the high-street between the tech superpowers. People’s attitudes towards their tech has evolved to a place where genuine usefulness and necessity wins out over outrageous specs and gimmicky functionality. Take digital cameras as an example: most digital cameras these days feature pixel counts that are more than adequate for everyday printing and viewing online. In the early days, you could see an obvious difference between a 1.3mp sensor and a 2.6mp sensor. Now that many cameras are in the 6-10mp range, we are reaching the point of diminishing returns on picture quality. If you want to splash the cash for a 20mp sensor camera to take Facebook profile pics, then you’re either rolling in lolly or have superhuman eyesight!

Be wary of brand martyrdom

The most cost-effective way of furnishing your full technology suite is to shop around and not be wedded to one particular tech brand or ecosystem. Although it may look lovely to have your home office or studio looking like a gleaming Apple store, chucking cash at the same brand time and time again usually leaves you a) without all the tools you need and b) flat broke.

Have a look around at different brands and different technologies; what exactly is it that you need and which tech company can best service that need?


Brexit Turning Unicorns into Cockroaches


2015 was undoubtedly the ‘Year of the Unicorn’ as far as tech start-ups were concerned. Unicorns being the term given by the tech fraternity to describe private tech-driven start-ups which reached or exceeded a $1 billion valuation. But in today’s economically turbulent times, resilience has become the buzzword on the lips of investors and start-up CEOs. And there is no creature more resilient than the cockroach – capable, it is argued, of surviving nuclear war.

This year however, with the global economy as tumultuous as it has ever been on the back of Brexit, ‘resilience’ has become the new buzzword on the lips of start-up CEOs and their investors.

Hence nature’s great survivor, the cockroach, being used to describe the new wave of 2016’s start-ups, who are looking to minimize risk and see out the storms of financial uncertainty rather than scale up to the magical $1 billion mark as quickly as possible. Indeed, now the UK has decided to leave the European Union, UK tech firms have been left wondering what the future holds for what has become a huge contributor to the British economy.

The rise of the tech unicorn

Fuelled by huge amounts of venture capital, unicorn start-ups market aggressively and focus on superfast scale-up rather than long-term stability. The profit for unicorns comes once the market share has been completely gobbled up, with Uber being perhaps the most high-profile example of this approach.

2015’s tech unicorns







The free-and-easy funding for ambitious tech start-ups is now drying up in the wake of global economic uncertainties, with the UK’s vote to leave the European Union viewed by many as a crash landing for Britain’s tech start-up economy. Gone are the days when tech start-ups would expect bloated and unsustainable valuations just days after their launch, as factors such as a shaky stock market, a weaker China and now Brexit take their toll on an increasingly cautious industry.

Overfeeding unicorns

At the recent Finovate Europe conference in London, where 60 fintech start-ups were invited to pitch their businesses to an audience of investors, potential customers and interested tech journalists, the overriding feeling from the crowd packed into Old Billingsgate was that the vast amounts of VC funding poured into the sector over the last couple of years has led to a lot of froth in the market, with even the sketchiest of start-up businesses receiving backing.

And so it seems the age of the unicorn is now over as investors begin to rein in their funding, with guaranteed revenues and failsafe market share becoming more important than just glossy ideas and potential.

With these new, leaner funding streams from VCs and a more cautious approach to investments, many of the new-wave of tech start-ups have gone into ‘survival mode’ as they look to outlast the funding crisis by cutting costs, downscaling to the cheaper end of town and re-learning to ‘eat what they find’ in marketing terms. In essence, the funding slump is forcing tech start-ups to go back to their roots and find their inner-cockroach.