Congratulations on that new iPhone. Enjoy it. But stop for a second before you get sucked into downloading the newest version of Candy Crush and answer this:
What did you do with your old iPhone?
If you’re anything like more than half of old smartphone owners, you tossed it into a box on your desk and forgot about it. According to a study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, fewer than 20 percent of smartphone owners sell or trade-in their old phones.
That’s really too bad because you can get gift cards or even cash for your old devices with just a little bit of effort. So instead of letting that thing gather more dust, here are some ways to get rid of your iPhone.
1. Sell it to a company
According to MarketWatch, people who let their old iPhones sit around are contributing to a $13.4 billion hole in the resale economy. Sites like SellCell and Gazelle help you sell your old iPhones. SellCell, for example, will let you compare different offers from iPhone buyers like Orange Offer and Mr. Buyback in one place.
Apple has a “recycling” program. The company will send you a gift card (to Apple, of course) if you send them an old iPhone, iPad, Mac or even PC that’s worth something. If not, they’ll recycle it for you.
2. Sell it to a person
You can sometimes make more by selling your phone on Craigslist or Ebay, but it can be more of a hassle than walking into Target and walking out with cash.
3. Donate it
The American Cell Phone Drive website lets you enter your zip code and find nearby organizations that are looking for phones.
Donating your phone to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is another option. The organization has a partnership with Cellular Recycle and receives a portion of the money they bring in from the sale of refurbished cell phones.
Roots of Hope, an organization aimed at empowering Cuban youth, has a Cell Phones for Cuba campaign that sends phones to Cuba to facilitate the free flow of information.
You can also reach out directly to a local school or shelter to see if they have any need for used devices.
4. Get creative
Just because you're not using it to make calls doesn't mean you can't use your smartphone, which is essentially a mini computer, for other things. First turn off your cellular data, then go to town. You can use your phone as a camera, or use your house’s WiFi to stream movies or music. You can load child-friendly apps onto your old phone and let your kids play games. The alarm clock also works, so you can stick the device into something like an iHome and leave it there.
Whatever you do, get that smartphone out of the desk drawer. There are far better uses than as a dust-catcher.
Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.