Hoarding your old phone? You have options

You’ve seen the TV ads from the wireless companies: trade in your smartphone and get an upgrade for the latest, coolest device. Or, from one of a growing number of companies offering top dollar for your old iPhone.

The chances are, though, that you’ve stashed your old smartphone is a drawer somewhere or tucked it away in some unmarked box. A new study says you have plenty of company.

Almost 50 percent of the people surveyed by the research group OnePoll say they keep their old smartphones. OnePoll, which did the poll for resale site SellCell.com, says that’s down from the 55 percent who were asked the same question a year earlier.

The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch estimates that the trade-in value of the stashed and hoarded handsets is about $47 billion, including $13 billion in old iPhones.

So what are your options?

The resale market for the devices continues to grow through companies like SellCell, NextWorth, iPhonesintocash.com and Gazelle. But it’s mostly for iPhones, less lucrative for Android or Blackberry devices.

Most wireless retailers, including Verizon, AT&T and Apple, collect old cellphones and smartphones for environmentally responsible recycling to keep them out of landfills.

Donating the phone to charity is also an option. Verizon uses the old phones it collects for its HopeLine program, which gives the devices to domestic violence prevention organizations. The organization 911CellphoneBank.org collects working, non-valued phones for donation to shelters and charities for use as 911 emergency phones.

Finally, before getting rid of that excess smartphone, follow these guidelines by the wireless industry trade group CTIA to remove your personal information.

Tell us: What do you do with old smartphone?