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What To Do with Old Flip Cellphones – Interesting Ideas

What can you do with an old flip cellphone? There are many ways to use an old flip phone.

Cell phones have evolved into mini computers, and so have the ways you can use an old flip phone.

Nowadays, smartphones reign supreme.

They can hold thousands of contacts, view videos, take pictures, browse the Internet and more.

That’s why some people are more than happy to discard their old flip phones for newer and more capable smartphones.

With that said, if you already have a flip phone that’s been collecting dust in your drawer, it’s time to dust it off and give it a new purpose.

What to do with an old flip phone

There was a time when flip cellphones were so popular and everyone wanted to get one.

Now smartphones have taken their place and offer so many features that it’s nearly impossible to go back.

However, there are still a few people who prefer the simplicity of a flip phone.

On that note, we’ve rounded up 11 things you can do with an old flip cellphone that will leave you feeling happy that you didn’t throw it out.

Give it to your kids

There are millions of parents out there who are looking for ways to entertain their baby or toddler.

Most babies don’t have smartphones yet and they’re not interested in playing with an expensive electronic device, so how can we keep them engaged?

It’s simple: give them your old flip phone.

Your baby will love pushing the buttons and your toddler will love using it to communicate with you and his friends.

It’s also a great way to teach them how to use electronics.

Children will be able to play games, listen to music and more with their parents’ help.

Use it as a backup phone

One way to use an old flip phone is as a backup phone.

A backup phone is a second cell phone that you keep in case your main one breaks down or gets lost.

You can use an address book application on your old flip phone and add all the numbers of your contacts in that address book on it.

Then, if you ever lose your phone or it gets broken you’ll have a backup to use.

In the world we live in today, it’s extremely difficult to not have a cell phone and some people simply won’t function without it.

If that’s your case, you’re better off keeping your old flip close just in case something happens to your main phone.

No one wants their means of communication completely cut off when they depend on it for business or emergencies.

Use it as an emergency phone

A flip phone can also be used as an emergency phone, especially if you don’t have a landline or a smartphone.

All you need to do is go to your nearest Walmart or Target and pick up an inexpensive prepaid cellphone plan that you can use with your old flip phone.

You’ll be able to call for help and contact your family in case of an emergency.

If you live in a rural area, you may want to invest in one of these just in case there’s an emergency where the only form of communication is through this kind of device.

Use it for music or games only

Music and games are two things you can do with an old flip phone.

If you still have your music and game apps that came with your phone, you can always use it as a music player, or if you want to go retro, you can use it for games.

Invest in music apps such as Spotify and Pandora and you’ll always be able to listen to your favorite tunes.

There are also free games available on the internet.

The downside is that you need an Internet connection to play them, but it’s a cool idea nonetheless if you’re looking for something fun and simple.

The flip phone will become a dedicated music and games player while also allowing you to call your friends and family whenever you feel like it.

Get an upgrade

Some manufacturers offer trade-in programs that allow you to exchange your old flip phone for a newer model.

Whenever you get a new phone, you can simply send your old one to the manufacturer and they’ll send you a check or give you store credit.

If you have an old flip phone sitting around, there’s no reason not to try this out.

You might be surprised by how much they’ll offer you in exchange for your flip phone.

Usually, older models of cell phones are required for research purposes as well as recycling.

But in case you have an old flip phone that’s still in great condition, there’s absolutely no reason not to flip it and make some cash.

Even if you’re not getting a lot of money for it, at least this way you won’t just throw it away and create more e-waste.

Check with your local cell phone store to see if they offer any kind of trade-in programs.

Send it back to the manufacturer

The majority of the manufacturers have rebate programs to encourage consumers to upgrade their old phones.

They’ll either give credit or a gift card for the purchase of a new phone.

Many manufacturers require that you send in your old phone to receive the rebate, but if you don’t feel like doing that, simply call them and ask them if they’ll accept your old phone.

Even if the device is quite old, you might still qualify for this kind of promotion.

Some manufacturers offer up to $100 to their loyal customers.

But that will depend on how old your phone is, how many features it has, how much it’s worth and so on.

Contact your local cell phone store to see if they offer any kind of rebate or promotion for loyal customers.

Donate as a safety tool

Donating an old flip phone is another way to put it to good use.

You can contact the Red Cross, or your local health department and see if they need a phone to be used in emergencies.

Most of these organizations will provide you with a receipt at the end of the year that you can use as a tax deduction.

If you have a flip phone that’s still fully functional, there’s no reason not to donate it and help people who might need it one day.

Across the country, there are so many people at risk of getting injured or losing their lives due to natural disasters.

Others are at risk of domestic violence, sexual assaults, and many other forms of abuse.

In the case that you would like to help, there are dozens of organizations that can use your old phone to make a difference in their work.

There’s no reason not to donate your flip phone because it can do more than just sit in a box collecting dust in your closet.

It could save someone’s life because they may be able to use it to contact their family or their friends in case they need immediate help.

Sell it

The easiest way to make money out of a flip phone is simply to sell it and use the cash for something else.

You don’t have to trade it in or donate it.

You can just go online, look for a buyer that will give you the most money for your old phone, and then sell.

Visit websites such as Craigslist, put up your old flip phone, and contact buyers directly.

You could get anywhere from $10-$50+ depending on the model of your old flip phone.

Ensure that all personal information is removed from the phone to protect your security.

Donate it as an educational tool

With modern technology taking over the world of cell phones and communication, many are unaware of how older phones work and how they were used in the past.

One way to share the history of cell phones is by donating your old flip phone to a museum.

Donate it to a local museum of technology or science and they’ll be more than happy to include your old phone in their display.

This will help keep these amazing devices alive and allow future generations to learn about older cell phones as opposed to smartphones and tablets.

If you don’t mind giving up your phone, donate it to a local museum.

This could be your chance to help educate future generations about the history of cell phones and what life was like when people first started using them.

Alternatively, the local school or university might need an old cellphone that can be used for educational purposes.

If you don’t plan to donate it to a museum, you could check with your local school or university and see if they have any kind of program for college students who are looking to learn about the history of cell phones and their evolution throughout the years.

Reactivate it for another family member

If you have other members of the family who need a new cell phone, simply reactivate your old one.

It will be like it was never used before and they’ll get to enjoy using it for a few more months or until you find them something better.

Phones are important devices, but with all the modern technology, it’s important to remember that some things will never change.

So let someone else enjoy it for a little while longer.

It could be one of your kids or grandkids.

Recycle it

Flip phones existed way before smartphones and tablets.

Since smartphones are becoming more popular in the market, these phones are barely functional.

Some are too old and busted to do anything with them.

And it’s logical to assume that some people simply forgot about their flip phones, and instead of throwing them away, they just left them somewhere.

If you have an old flip phone that’s no longer functional and you don’t plan to use it for any kind of purpose, then recycling is the best thing to do with it.

You’ll be helping the environment by getting rid of e-waste and allowing Mother Nature to breathe a little easier.

Use the Earth911 website to find out where you can bring your old phone and drop it off.

Your local recycling center will be more than happy to accept your old phone and recycle it.

Some of these companies are collecting electronics to recycle the metals contained in them.

Make sure that you check with one of these companies and see if they do accept flip phones because some won’t, some will, but others will only accept certain models.

Final Thoughts

Every day, millions of flip phones are thrown away, left in drawers, or simply forgotten and thrown into the trash.

A flip phone might not be as useful as a smartphone or tablet when it comes to performing certain tasks and accessing the internet.

However, that doesn’t mean that these devices don’t have much to offer the world.

Think about all the people who need basic phones and how they could easily benefit from having a flip phone.

There are numerous organizations out there that will take your old cell phone and use it for their purposes.

Whether they are asking for donations so they can help people in another country, or simply just keeping the old phones out of landfills, you can make a difference by donating your old flip phone.


Are old flip phones worth anything?

In some parts of the world, people still use flip phones and it’s considered a normal form of technology.

When you look at the old flip phones from decades ago, you may think that it’s not worth anything and that you wouldn’t be able to make any money out of them.

However, you could fetch at least $50+ for an old flip phone that’s in great condition.

Are flip phones usable?

Some are still usable, but most are too old to do anything else.

Even if you activate it, you’ll most likely get a message saying “no service.” That’s normal and expected.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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