Coinmouse adventure 2: Selling an old phone


Coinmouse is all a chitter…

“Ooooo…a new machine!”

Have you SEEN the Eco ATM?

The little robot is adorable.

It will buy old phones, tablets, and music players from you because they have rare earth elements inside them. Because of plate tectonics, China has the monopoly on these. There’s a Bloomberg video that discusses the use of these (and electric cars).
Europium is used for the screen and glass, Neodymium is used for the vibrating part of the phone.


I had to resurrect an old 5 year old phone, wipe it, take out the SIM card and micro memory card and see how the EcoAtm worked.

Here’s how it works:
1. Insert your drivers license

2. Choose the kind of phone it is via touch screen (mine was “other” being that it was so old)

3. Attach phone to the supplied charger type thingy-sort of like a proctology exam for your phone…

4. Verify the carrier you had with it (like Verizon, Sprint, ATT)

5. It checks to be sure it is not stolen

6. As it runs tests on the phone, the little cartoon robot entertains you with interesting tech factoids such as “there are more phones per person in the planet than toilets.”

So, you have that fact for cocktail parties….

7. It then offers you cash ($6 in my case). Not much, but better than having it sit around in a drawer and having companies have to always get rare earths anew each time for phones and cars. Rare earth recycling is becoming a “thing” especially for car manufacturers.

8. You can choose to accept the offer from EcoAtm or have it return your phone.

You could probably get a better price for your phone on Craigslist, but then there’s the time factor of meeting in a public place with a stranger, “Stranger Danger”, etc… Craigslist is probably the better option if you didn’t own the phone or can’t recall the carrier etc.

I forgot to have the EcoAtm check my 10 year old mp3 player. Maybe I’ll get $1 for it or nothing.

Final verdict: fun, cool, safe. Worth a try.

Here’s a locator link for EcoAtm machines:


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