Brits lose out on £3.4k in their lifetime from delaying trading in old mobile phones

Wondering whether it’s worth trading in your old mobile phones or tablets? If you’re ready to upgrade, the best time to trade in is right now.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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Have you ever wondered about the benefits of trading in old mobile phones or tablets? If you’re ready to upgrade and want the biggest possible discount, the best time to trade in is right now. Still, Brits lose a third of the value of their old mobile phones by mistiming trade-ins, according to recent research by Music Magpie.

In fact, the company’s Annual Phone Depreciation Report points out that Brits who wait to trade in their old mobile phones will lose out on £3.4k in their lifetime. Of the 2,093 people surveyed for the report, 61% didn’t trade in when upgrading. Instead, they either waited to trade in later on or didn’t trade in at all.

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How does waiting affect the value of mobile phones?

According to the survey, the average person waits 16 months to attempt a trade-in rather than trading in their old mobile phone when upgrading. During this time, their device will lose 50% of its value or an average of about £95. And since the average person upgrades their phone 35 times during their lifetime, that adds up to a huge £3.4K loss.

Steve Oliver, Music Magpie’s CEO, explains: “Our data shows that trading in old devices ahead of new phone launches is the way to get the best price for them.

“The money you make can then be used to help fund an upgrade. Our trade-in offers are actually valid for 21 days, allowing people to lock in the pre-launch valuation and giving them time to ensure their new device has arrived before they send their old one to us.”

The only reason it might not be best to trade in right away is if you’re hoping to sell your old mobile phone online. But keep in mind that this isn’t always the most profitable option.

How do brands hold up?

Every time a new iPhone is released, the older models lose value. According to Music Magpie, prices on previous models plummet by 10% in the first month and by 23% after three months.

After the standard 24-month contract, your iPhone will have lost 60% of its value. And after 24 months, old Samsung mobile phones will depreciate by 77%. Huawei and Google phones depreciate the most, at more than 80% after two years.


Should you upgrade old mobile phones at all?

If you have a very old mobile phone or one that isn’t working properly, upgrading always makes sense. Otherwise, it might be worth asking yourself if you really need that upgrade.

If you’re going to switch to a newer model, then sit down with your provider to discuss your options. It’s a good idea to ask how much you will get for trading in your old mobile phone. And it makes sense to ask if you’ll get a better deal if you buy the phone outright or as part of the contract.

This is also a good time to discuss your plan. Can you get a better deal to fit your needs? According to Finder, two-thirds of Brits don’t use their data allowance. On average, only 12% of those surveyed have the right mobile data plan for their needs. If you never use all of your data, switching to a plan with a smaller allowance can save you a lot of money. 

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