How much is my phone worth? Fonebank Q&A

row of iphones

row of iphones


Fonebank has been recycling the UK’s mobile phones for over a decade and in this time we have seen millions of mobile phones pass through our door. We’ve also had thousands of customers who want to sell old mobile phones and pop in to our London office in person. Our team of mobile phone recyclers get a lot out of meeting with customers and learning about why people want to sell their old tech through Fonebank. Over the years, our team of Fonebankers have noticed that many of our customers ask the same questions when they visit our recycling centre, so we thought we’d collect all these regular questions into one, definitive, Fonebank Q&A.

This Q&A is designed to answer all the most frequently asked questions posed to the Fonebank team and is aimed at encouraging anybody looking to sell old mobile phones for cash to check out our quick and simple phone recycling process.

1. How much is my phone worth?

This is the obvious question to which everyone wants to know the answer. We get a steady stream of gadget owners popping into our London office looking to trade-in an unwanted older mobile phone or cash in on an unneeded upgrade. We are upfront and open about the prices we offer for all mobile phones on the website and a quick search for your model will reveal how much your phone is worth. As a general rule, the newer the model, the higher the value, and the condition of the phone also plays a significant part in the price we pay for old mobiles. We buy phones of all shapes, sizes, conditions and brand, and the value can range from anywhere between just a couple of pence to nearly £500.

2. Why are some phones worth more than others?

Quite often when people are shopping around for the best deal to sell their phone they’re surprised by the high value of some handsets compared to other devices which, across all mobile phone recycling sites, seems to be worth very little.

The price we offer for your old mobile is influenced by the international demand for second-hand mobile phones. This, in turn, is subject to a number of varying factors including the price of gold (all mobile phones contain a trace of this precious metal) and international exchange rates. The price paid for your old mobile phone is constantly changing because of these factors and they can quite easily go up as well as down.

3. Can I sell my tablet?

You can sell tablets, mobile phones and even e-readers to Fonebank. We’re constantly updating the list of items we buy, so when a new mobile device is released into the wild, we’re ready to buy it back as soon as people want to trade it in.

There’s no prizes for guessing the iPad is our most popular tablet. We recycle hundreds of iPads a week and the very latest model is currently worth around £400.

4. How much are Nokias worth?

There was a time when Nokia ruled the world. Back in the early-mid noughties, every man and his dog owned a brick-phone Nokia and the Finnish company was one of the most recognisable brands on the planet. Then of course the iPhone landed, mobile phone technology went ‘smart’ and Nokia never really recovered from the huge shift in people’s mobile phone tastes.

We still receive hundreds of old Nokia mobiles each week, but rewind 5 years and you couldn’t move in the Fonebank office for unwanted Nokia 3310s; there were piles of the iconic handset in every corner.

The price paid for second-hand Nokias reflects the dwindling popularity of this once big-selling brand and Nokia handsets on average are worth less than Apple, Samsung and HTC.

Our team of recyclers do still enjoy sifting through some of the more weird and wonderful Nokia handsets from yesteryear and many of these older Nokia models are still hugely popular in developing nations, where reliability and battery life trumps HD video streaming.

To find out how much your Nokia is worth, do a quick search.

5. What happens to my old phone?

We’re so glad you asked! Selling your phone with us is the start of an epic journey for your old mobile which could see it being resold on a market stall in Nigeria, haggled over on a trading floor in Hong Kong or being used to transfer money in India. Recycled mobile phones play a huge role in the commercial development of nations all over the world and we’ve been re-selling mobiles around the globe for over a decade. If you’ve ever sold a phone through Fonebank in the past, chances are it’s still being traded within different markets around the globe, or has already found a happy home in Africa or Asia.

6. Can I swap my phone?

Unfortunately we cannot offer a swap service for your old mobile phone. It must be very tempting to just exchange an old unwanted mobile phone for a newer model, but all the mobile phones we buy and recycle have new homes lined up already and so we don’t have old stock lying around for long.

7. How much is my iPhone worth?

iPhones are our most recycled mobile phone by some distance. We receive hundreds of unwanted iPhones each week and the price paid for an old iPhone can vary depending on which model it is and the phone’s overall condition.
The original iPhone 2G – yes, we do still receive them! – are only worth £1 in the second-hand mobile phone market, but the latest iPhone 6S model is being traded for £470. As with all of our online prices, the value of the most popular phones like the iPhone are always changing – click here to see what we’re currently paying for your old iPhone.

Get a price for your iPhone.

8. Do you sell phones as well as recycle them?

When people pop into the office in Holborn, we often get asked if we sell phones as well as buy them. Fonebank’s retail arm is called SmartFoneStore, selling previously owned and fully-tested mobile phones and offering a 60-day warranty. SmartFoneStore is an exclusively online operation and, though we’d love you to pop in for chat about the latest offers, we can’t unfortunately have the mobiles we sell on display – so if you’d like to find out the latest deals, head over to for a browse.

Get in touch or pop in

We hope you’ve found this Q&A helpful. If you have any more questions about mobile phone recycling, how much your phone is worth or the types of devices we buy, drop us a line or if you’re in London, come and say hello!


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