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THROWBACK THURSDAY: When Cellphones Were New

This is a story from the WQAD News 8 archives from July 2004 by reporter Miranda Khan. MOLINE, Illinois – Nearly every month cell phone companies come out with ...

This is a story from the WQAD News 8 archives from July 2004 by reporter Miranda Khan.

MOLINE, Illinois – Nearly every month cell phone companies come out with a newer model, trying to stay one inch ahead of the game.

"This phone is a camera phone," said cellphone salesman Jim Wince.   "It has a colored screen.  It also has a display on it."

Others come with 2- way radio.

"It's a huge feature on it," says Wince.   "Everybody is going to right now."

And kids... well this ones seems to be getting all the attention.

"It's got all the video games you would ever want on it."

With all these enticing new models, not to mention package deals, it's no wonder why so many of us opt for the new, tossing out the old

"This is all of our old cell phones," says Wince, opening up a drawer filled with phones.

"Things we don't use anymore. things that are out of date."

Jim Wince is the store manager for Phonz and Satellites Unwired here in Moline.

And he's seen his fair share of newer and older cell phones.

How quickly are people updating their phone?

"About every year," Wince estimates.

A cell phone lasts a person about a year and then they're tired of it.

It's a lot of money.

"Yes it is," says Wince.

"You figure the average person spends about 200 to 250 dollars on a cell phone."

Sometimes Wince says customers leave their old phones here to be re-furbished and later donated.

But not everyone.

"It's still sitting in my drawer, said one customer."

This man has three old cell phones.  Any guesses on what he did with them?

"They're in a box in a closet," he said."

Storing and donating your phones are popular methods many take when it comes to our older cell phones.   But they're not the ones available.

Here's an option you might not have though about: selling your phone.

"I didn't know i could sell it," said another customer.  "Can you?   If I can,  I'll sell it too."

Depending on the model, you can get anywhere from a dollar to 150 dollars for your outdated phone simply by going on-line.

Cellforcash.com buys more than 10-thousand used phones a month for resale in Latin America.

Oldcellphone.com buys more than double that.

Trademyphone.com will either pay you cash or take the phone as a trade.

(We looked for those web sites and they no longer exist.)

Not a bad deal when you consider our spending habits.

"They really don't care how much they cost," Wince says of many customers.

"They want them."

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