New ATM Accepts Phones in Exchange for Money

New ATM Accepts Phones in Exchange for Money

With the exception of the odd co-worker, most people we know have tossed their flip phones in favor of something a little more expens—um, cool. Something a little more cool.

The question, though, is where they tossed it.

It's common knowledge that cell phones, with their batteries and screens and goodness knows what else, won't exactly disintegrate into mulch.

Instead, the responsible disposer needs to seek out a service like Exchange My Phone, where she can sell her phone to a company that will pay her the market value of the device (or, in the case of Exchange My Phone, allow her to make a tax-deductible donation to charity) and recycle the phone.

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But soon, said disposer might not even have to seek out a company, much less put a phone in the mail. Fortune reports that a San Diego startup called EcoATM is creating an automatic kiosk that will accept your old phone, take a picture of it and evaluate its usability when you plug it in. Then, it will offer you the market value for the phone.

If you accept, you get in-store credit for the retailer where the machine is located, or possibly cash when the kiosk is in an ambiguous location, like a mall.

We'll see how it catches on, but as we upgrade our phones to the status of family members and discard their predecessors, we can't help but think a cell phone ATM is a stroke of genius.

Image Credit: Fortune

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