Every year, people buy 22 million new smartphones in Germany. Many old appliances are forgotten in drawers and cabinets. On the Internet, buyers sometimes offer good money for it – and since September 18, 2019, the electronics retailer Media Markt offers the purchase by machine.
The system works as easy as the return of the returnable bottle in the supermarket: plug the old mobile phone into the machine, have it evaluated and immediately take the equivalent as a shopping voucher. “A practical and above all sustainable alternative to disposing of old mobile phones conveniently,” said Media Markt Saturn manager Sonja Moosburger at the presentation in Munich.
Saturn has been testing similar mobile phone purchase machines for some time now in six Berlin branches. This is well received by the customers, said a spokeswoman. Such machines have been in use in the US and the UK for years. Media Markt is now installing the devices in ten markets in Munich-Haidhausen, Munich-Solln, Erding, Ingolstadt, Landshut, Rosenheim, Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf and Eschweiler.
For commodity traders, even non-functioning devices are valuable. Digital association Bitkom estimates that around 124 million old mobile phones are lying around in German households. It contains around 3 tonnes of gold, 487 tonnes of cobalt and more than 1,000 tonnes of copper.
Stolen cell phones can not be sold at the vending machine. The device checks according to the operator, if owners have reported the device number as stolen. For further protection, the seller must give his name and present his identity card at the cashier if he wants to redeem the voucher. (With dpa material.)