Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the OnRecycle Frequently Asked Questions page. We've put together some answers to a bunch of questions we get asked on a regular basis from people who want to sell their phone or gadget. Once you've spotted the question you need an answer to in the list below, click on it to be taken straight to the answer. We think you'll find everything you need to know on this page, but if you don't then contact us here and we'll have a friendly human get back to you ASAP!

What is OnRecycle?

OnRecycle is a recycling comparison site. We grab the most recent prices offered by all the major recyclers for a range of gadgets including: mobile phones, tablets and cameras. When you search for your device, we'll display everything you need to know in an easy to understand table, and we'll tell you things like how much your device is worth, who will buy it and what sort of service you can expect from each recycler. Our mission is to give you your best deal possible so you can recycle your old gadgets. By using OnRecycle you can find where to get the most cash for your mobile or gadget without having to go anywhere else. We do the hard work so you don't have to!

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How do I get a price?

Getting a price is really easy. The quickest way is to put the name of your gadget into the search box above and click through to your items listing page. You can search by brand if you want to, using the Sell Your Phone or Sell Your Tablet links in the navigation bar near the top of the page. Your prices will be displayed on the product page for your gadget, just make sure you click the right type (colour, memory size etc) and check out the results table where you'll find the best price online. You'll be able to see the price offered by recyclers for your gadget and choose the deal you want by clicking the 'Sell Now' button.

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Can I still get a price if my phone is broken?

Of course you can! You can still get the majority of your phones value even if it's not working. Using OnRecycle you can compare 'faulty' prices from our list of trusted buyers and still get a great deal for your old mobile phone and many other unused devices you would like to recycle. Just because a gadget is broken doesn't mean it can't be recycled. On the product page you can see the best price offered for your faulty phone or gadget by clicking the option marked 'Broken or Faulty'. Keep in mind that our recyclers all have different criteria on how they describe a handset as broken. For things like water damage you're probably out of luck, but read the recyclers own FAQs to be sure what you can and can't send to them!

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What will happen to my SIM card?

Make sure you've taken it out before you post your phone or tablet off. The SIM card is yours even after you've decided to sell your mobile. Mobile phone recyclers WILL NOT return it so to avoid losing any contacts and text messages you've saved please make sure you keep it somewhere safe, like inside your new phone or in an envelope.

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How will I be paid?

Ah, the golden question. The most popular payment methods like bank transfers and Paypal are offered by most of our recyclers, but each recycler has their own preferred payment methods. Generally most recyclers will offer payment by bank transfer or cheque. On the listing page the column marked 'Payment' will show you how you can expect to be paid if you sell your mobile to that particular recycler. For those of you "in the know", we refer to the Faster Payment service as "Sameday". That's the one to look out for if you want your money as quick as possible.

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What's an IMEI number?

The IMEI number is a serial number that was given to your phone when it was built. It'll never change and it's unique to your phone. IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity - no wonder they made it into an acronym. The number is about 15 digits long and you'll find it under the battery on the back of the phone. Alternatively, on most phones, if you type *#06# into your phones keypad your phone will display its IMEI number to you. Grab a pen.

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Can a locked phone be recycled?

Depending on the type of lock on your phone, you might be able to sell the phone but at a reduced price. If your phone is PIN locked (you entered your PIN incorrectly and can't use the phone) then you might be able to sell your phone as 'broken'. The most severe block happens when the IMEI has been registered as lost or stolen, so your phone probably won't be accepted. Just enter the make and model of your phone into the search box on, select your phone and preferred recycler, then have a look at their Terms and Conditions or Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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What if I can't find my phone or gadget on your website?

We show you everything we know about the phones and gadgets our recyclers want to buy. If we haven't listed a phone, it's because nobody needs it right now - sorry! Keep checking back, if you think your phone is worth something, chances are one of the big companies will want to buy it in the future.

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I dropped my tablet in the bath. Will I still be able to get some money for it?

If your tablet or any other type of gadget is water damaged, then it'll probably be described as beyond economical repair. This means it's not going to be suitable for anyone else to use. Search for the make and model of your item through OnRecycle and check your chosen recyclers Terms & Conditions or FAQs to see the most accurate prices. Some recyclers may be able to offer you some cash for your phone even if it has water damage, but it's more likely you'll only be able to send it in to be recycled - free of charge to you if you find a recycler with a freepost address.

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Can you tell me how much my phone is worth?

That's exactly what we're here for! We compare all of the major recyclers for you so you'll get the most comprehensive results right here on OnRecycle. We think the best way to find out how much your phone is worth is by using our search function. If someone is offering money for your mobile or gadget, we will know about it and be able to get you THE BEST DEAL out there. Guaranteed. If you're still not sure or need more help, come along to our Facebook page and ask us there, or contact us here.

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Will postage cost me anything?

Most of the major recyclers will happily send you a freepost envelope. Just be careful if you're sending a high value phone or gadget over £50, you're not insured with a standard jiffy bag, so you're not going to want to send your item through the standard post. It'll be better for you to head down to your local post office and grab yourself a silver Special Delivery envelope. That'll insure you for up to £500, just in case the postie gives your phone a hard time on its way to the recycler. Check out your chosen recyclers T&C's and read their delivery conditions. We've been good to you too, the results table will show you who offers a freepost envelope or offers a freepost address.

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How do I know I am defining the condition of my gadget correctly?

Each recycler can have slightly different definitions of 'faulty', 'broken' or 'non-working' as we refer to it, and we compare so many recyclers that there's no way we can honestly tell you 100% of the time what condition you should choose. We don't want to leave you in suspense though, so here's a general idea of what you should look for when deciding what condition your gadget is in:

To class an item as 'working condition', it should:

  • Be able to turn on and off
  • Have a working screen so you can see what you are doing
  • Have no water damage
  • Have no broken features such as microphone, speaker, aerial etc
  • Have its original working battery.

'Faulty' (damaged, broken, non-working, kaput) conditions will apply if:

  • It has a broken or bleeding screen
  • It won't turn on
  • It has water damage
  • It has a broken speaker or microphone
  • It has a broken camera
  • It has a broken aerial
  • Damage to SIM/Memory card trays.

Let's be honest now, if you think it's broken then the recycler will think so too. If you send the gadget as "Working" and it's not, the recycler will mark you down and you'll be offered the proper value for it instead.

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What do I have to do before I post my phone?

Make sure you remove all personal data from it, including the SIM card, the memory card and any additional data stored on the phone history. If you're sending a Smartphone then you'll want to get rid of all of your contacts, texts, emails, pictures and accounts like Google and Facebook. You can do this under the phone settings under the options for "Backup/Restore" or "System/Security". We wrote an article about the importance of clearing your data and included some links at the bottom for the cracking Data Delete Tools from Mazuma and other recyclers if you need some help. Once you've done that, simply pop it in the post.

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Why is a price slightly different when I click through to a recycler's website?

We take the prices from our recyclers on a regular basis but there's a small chance we're not as up to date as they are. We also rely on affiliate networks to pass the details on. This doesn't go wrong often, but if you notice we're giving people the wrong information, get yourself some virtual karma and let us know so we can make sure the prices are brought up to date again. That'll do everyone a favour and make our techie guys smile too.

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I sent my mobile to you and I've not had my money

Sorry your experience isn't at great as you expected. OnRecycle is a recycling comparison site that gathers a list of all the prices offered by recycling companies. We're not actually buying the mobile phones or any other gadgets ourselves, we just show you the excellent prices from the people that do. If you've got a problem then let the recycler know directly, you'll usually find their contact information from a direct "Contact Us" link on their homepage. Check your inbox to see if you've had any emails, and check your junk mail in case something ended up there. Some recyclers have a different trading name so keep an eye out for subject lines that refer to your order or gadget.

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Can I become a buyer on OnRecycle?

Yes, we want anyone with great customer service skills and fantastic online reviews to join in! If you have an existing recycling website, we can easily help you integrate your system with OnRecycle and get you more sales. If you don't have an existing recycling system, we can introduce you to our recommended web development agency, OnTop Media, who are responsible for building some of the most successful recycling systems in the industry (many of which feature on OnRecycle). Contact Us for more information.

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Have a question that you can't find the answer to?

If you can't find the information you're looking for then you can contact us here or come along to our Facebook page and we'll be happy to help.

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