Friday, October 17, 2008

Making Money With Other People's Cell Phones

Conventional wisdom holds that cell phones are a big expense. But what if you could have the cell phone and service you want but reduce that expense to zero? What if you could even go beyond that and create a positive cash flow? There's a way to do it, with other people's cell phones.

First thing to do is to get your cell phone without spending a cent. Stay out of those cell phone stores or electronics retailers. They won't give you thing unless you fork over some money. Instead, find the type of phone you want through an online cell phone retailer such as Wirefly. Check the current special offers and pick one of the free or free after rebate cell phones. There are lots to choose from. Don't worry about paying for shipping. That's free too.

What's not free is the cost of the monthly cellular service plan. The cost of these is the same regardless of whether you buy through a bricks and mortar store or online. But it's still a substantial monthly expense even with the smaller service plans.

Since you can't get the service for free, you need to generate an offsetting income. Let's say your plan costs $59.99 per month. If you can make $59.99 each month using other people's cell phones, then you've completely offset the cost of your own service. Essentially you get your phone plus your service free.

So how can you make money from other people's cell phones? It's not by commandeering the phone they are currently using. It's by having them give you the phone or phones they don't use anymore. What you'll do is to send those old phones to a recycler who will pay you for them. The recycling cost is zero. Once again, no out of pocket expense for you. The recycler will evaluate any recent model cell phones you send them and sent you a check for the value of the phone. It's usually not chump change. Some used phones can fetch as much as $100 or even more. Most will come in less than this, but it doesn't take that many phones each month to cover your wireless expenses.

Let's try this so you can see how it works. Now that you have your new free cell phone that you just bought online, you won't be needing your previous one. Make sure that service is discontinued before you try to recycle it. Next, check the value of your used phone online and request a free prepaid shipper. When it comes, just drop your old phone and accessories in the container, seal it up and drop the package off at your local post office. A check will be on its way to you promptly.

Now that you've sold one phone, why not lots of them? What you need to do is collect old unused cell phones for recycling. You can ask your colleagues around work, canvass the neighborhood or set up a collection box at a friendly store. You might find others at yard sales or resale shops. The idea is to get them for free or at a lower cost than you can sell them for. Of course, some of the phones you'll acquire will be too old to have any value. You still send them in for recycling at no cost. You'll be doing a valuable service for the environment.

This approach is actually a proven money maker that works as a fundraiser for school and scouting groups, among others. There is no shortage of used cell phones out there. Most people get a new one every two or three years. There are literally hundreds of millions of used but valuable cell phones wasting away in desk drawers. Some of these could be paying for your wireless phone service... and then some.

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