Is your clutter hidden treasure?

We all leave them somewhere. They’re our old, forgotten cell phones, iPods and other electronics that sit collecting dust in tucked-away drawers. They’re out of sight and out of mind.

We upgrade to the newest gadgets and those that just yesterday were by our side around the clock become obsolete clutter. Or so we think.

But just because our old BlackBerry or iPhone no longer has a use to us doesn’t mean it has no value. At the very least, precious metals inside can be reused in another product down the line. In most cases, though, devices have functional value to a potential next owner.

There’s no reason for those devices to gather dust in a drawer. You can do something about it. Last January, looking for something around my house, I kept coming across electronics. I found my brother’s rarely used iPod Classic here, an old, cracked iPhone 4 there and a handful of old BlackBerrys.

If only one owner could be connected to the next or even to a recycling plant, I thought, the positive environmental impact through reuse could be huge. So I wondered if perhaps I could develop that connection.

After months of planning and creating a website I launched SellPhoneHut.com to buy used and retired cell phones, iPods and tablets. The website makes selling electronics quick and easy. After just a small series of clicks to describe the device’s specifications, with guidance all along the way, SellPhoneHut.com offers a quote on the spot.

Once the user accepts the quote, insured shipping both ways is covered. Within a day, a shipping kit is sent to the client’s door with a prepaid shipping label. All the seller needs to do is wrap the device in spare newspaper or bubble wrap and return it in the reusable envelope.

When devices arrive, I inspect them and issue payment via PayPal or check, depending on the client’s preference. Then, I wipe devices clean of data to ensure security — possibly the most important step. No corners are cut. Finally, I send them in bulk to markets where the latest technology and brand-new devices aren’t needed.

Sometimes, future users are just one town over. Other times, they’re across an ocean. Either way, reuse keeps raw materials and energy out of manufacturing, because one device is being used multiple times.

Overall, the website and process take under 20 minutes and by investing that relatively small amount of time, you can get paid for devices that would otherwise spend years collecting dust in a drawer and help decrease demand for natural resources funneled into the constant making of new products.

Today, an iPhone 4s with 16 GB of storage on the AT&T Network and normal wear and tear is worth $64 at SellPhoneHut.com. An iPhone 5s of the same specifications is worth $189. From when clients first visit the site to when they’re paid usually takes seven to 10 business days.

So visit SellPhoneHut.com today to see what your used electronics are worth. We pay for many brands and models in all conditions, including some that are broken. Even if the devices are too old to have market value, and as a result we can’t pay for them, we’ll gladly accept them and make sure they’re recycled responsibly.

SellPhoneHut.com unites my passions for business and the environment and pays consumers to be environmentally conscious without even having to leave their homes.

That’s a win-win for all of us.

Jamie MacFarlane is a junior at Brunswick School.

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