Used, unwanted cellphones can get you cash

The iPhone 5, pictured here, goes for as much as $600 on (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

Michelle Basch,

WASHINGTON – Shoved in a door, likely gathering dust, many people have an old cellphone or two.

But plenty of used phones are in high demand, with companies willing to buy them for tens, even hundreds of dollars from someone who no longer wants them and sell them to someone who does.

The 2013 Mobile Mountain Study estimates U.S. homes have a mind-blowing $33.85 billion worth of old, unused smartphones sitting unused.

The survey was conducted by, a site that helps consumers compare prices and sell their phones online.

Through the site, phones sell for an average of $91 each.

The iPhone 5 is the most valuable phone on the site right now with buyers willing to pay as much as $600 to get their hands on one.

A check of the site finds buyers offering as much as $300 for the iPhone 4S, and as much as $188 for the iPhone 4.

Tech analyst Jeff Kagan tells if more people sold their unused iPhones, prices of older models would come down and there would be less incentive for people to jump to the newest model.

Also among the most commonly recycled phones on in January were the Blackberry Torch 9800, selling now for as much as $80, and the Motorola Droid X for which buyers are willing to pay as much as $25.

Almost 20 percent of people responding to a survey say they haven’t sold their old used phones because they’re simply “too lazy” and more than 22 percent say they worry their personal information won’t be completely erased from the phone.

Here are the phones says were the most valuable in January 2013

  1. Apple iPhone 5 64GB
  2. Apple iPhone 5 32GB
  3. Apple iPhone 5 16GB
  4. Samsung Galaxy S3 SCH-i535
  5. Samsung Galaxy S3 32GB GT-i9300
  6. Samsung Galaxy S3 16GB GT-i9300
  7. Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-I747
  8. Apple iPhone 4S 64GB
  9. Apple iPhone 4S 32GB
  10. Apple iPhone 4S 16GB

Follow @MBaschWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

Advertiser Content