What do you do with your old phones?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: July 31, 2014

Every year, there are buying seasons when it comes to the mobile market. Sure, there are people (a lot of people) still buying phones in the "quiet months," but the big times of year always come at the beginning, and near the end. That's when companies like HTC, Samsung, Apple, Motorola and others unveil their newest flagship devices. For some of these companies, it can even mean launching multiple devices in a year. More often than not, these trends are pretty predictable, which means we can plan for when we're going to upgrade to our next device.

Of course, for a long time that was usually dictated by the contract we were signing with a wireless carrier. At least, that's the case for most subscribers. Thankfully the wireless plans are changing, though, and carriers are allowing customers to sign up for monthly installment plans, which gives them the option to upgrade faster -- or, essentially, when they want.

As long as certain parameters are met, obviously.

With the changes being made, it's possible that more people have more devices lying around. If someone were to pick up the high-end flagship devices from the beginning of the year, they'd easily already have  three handsets at their disposal between HTC, Samsung and LG. And then if they keep those devices until the end of the year, well, that means more devices from Samsung, throw in Apple and Motorola for good measure, and who knows what else.

It's easier than ever to get a new phone, but that means it's also easier to acquire a stack of old devices. For some, they can be heirlooms passed down to a family member, as a tool to remember what has come before. I know that there is someone out there who is going to pass down an original, functional Palm Pre to one of their descendants. I know that person exists. They have to.

Because reasons.

Getting rid of an old phone can be an easy decision, or a tough one. After all, what if you don't like the new one? Hanging onto your older device, which you might have loved, could be the only way you make sure that you're still safe in your smartphone usage, because liking the new device isn't guaranteed.

But many different establishments offer deals for trading in devices. You can usually trade in an older device towards a credit for a new one at the wireless carrier's physical retail stores. Other big box retailers offer up their own plans for trading in older equipment to get immediate discounts on something new.

And then there are other organizations you can trade your old(er) devices into, that are meant to help those who might not have phones, or have the ability to get one. Basically, there are a plethora of options for someone who might have a new phone, but still have that older handset that's just taking up drawer space.

So my question to you, is what you do with those older devices. I want to know if you keep them, or if you donate or trade them in. Let me know!