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Friday, 26 April 2013

Guide: How to get a get a great profit when selling your technology

We're all guilty of it – keeping hold of that old games console just in case we might want to play on it at some point. Or keeping those old mobile phones just in case that shiny new one breaks, as well as the back up. Eventually though there comes a time when you have to have a clear out – but how do you even begin to look?

There are so many ways to get cash for your old gadgets, you just have to decide which way works best for you. Let's face it, we all want a quick and easy way to make a few extra pounds, so however you do it needs to be simple and cost effective. Luckily for you we have written this all inclusive guide comparing the pros and cons of the best ways to do it. You're welcome.

Recycling – the green way

Mobile phone recycling companies are another brilliant way to get rid of old gadgets. They will provide you with a quote for the value of your phone depending on its model and condition, send you a package to post it off in and payment is given by the company when they receive your phone in full working order. Simple. Recyclers offer working and non-working prices for your handsets so it's worth checking them out.

The best thing to do is use comparison sites like which show you the most impressive deals from the most reliable recyclers, so you can get an idea of what your phone is worth.

  • This is super fast – you could get paid as soon as two days after placing your order
  • It's free to post
  • It's simple
  • There are lots of different ways to get paid so you can pick what is right for you
  • You can sell your broken devices (unless they are water damaged or destroyed)
  • If it is massively damaged (e.g. a smashed screen) you won't get as much money
  • eBay or ads can sometimes get you more money, but you won't get the same service!
  • High value items are always worth upgrading to Royal Mail Special Delivery – so that it's insured and you can track it all the way!
Selling on eBay


Ebay is probably the first site that springs to mind when you're looking for a quick way to make extra cash. Sites like this are a great way of selling your old technology. Users can quickly join up and list their gadgets, and you can choose to sell for whatever price you want.
However, you need to be aware of both sides of eBay and work out how much money you will actually make:

  • Bidding wars can boost the end price
  • Time scales can be set for your sales
  • You can sell your broken phones - some people will want them for parts to fix their
  • You can decide on the value you want for your item
  • Fees. Yes, make sure you read the small print. Listing fees can really take a chunk of your money.
  • Your item will not always sell.
  • Be aware of scam emails posing as eBay – never enter personal details to anywhere except for the official eBay site.
  • Be aware of scam emails posing as PayPal. Always log in to your PayPal account through the proper website to check your details.
Selling on free ad websites

Everyone loves having a little look online once in a while to see what they can get in their area, so classified ad sites can be brilliant for selling your gadgets. You can advertise on sites like Preloved or Gumtree for free by simply joining up and writing the details of the item you are trying to sell.

  • Like eBay – you can decide how much you want to charge
  • It is free as long as you don't want a super swanky advert
  • You can arrange a time and place that suits you to get your cash and hand over your gadget
  • Prepare for negotiation – people might be looking for a bargain
  • Beware of scam emails pretending they are the website
  • Beware again for scam emails posing as PayPal
  • Be careful of where you are meeting people – at the end of the day you have no idea who they are, take a friend
  • Don't post before you get paid – check your online banking or PayPal first

It's always best to consider your options, so first things first – check how much your phone could be worth for free on This is a great place to start to get a good idea of how much your phone is worth, even if you do decide to go with another option. Happy selling!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

3 simple steps to not get stung when selling your tech

There are around 40 millions unused phones, 12 million unused games consoles and 5.5 million unused laptops in houses across the UK. Just imagine what they means – we are basically just sitting on millions of pounds. It's not surprising that selling your gadgets online has become a popular phenomenon. But this isn't always without its catches – here are 3 simple steps to ensure you don't lose out when selling your stuff for extra cash.

1. Make sure you get the right price

There are many different ways of selling your unwanted technology – eBay, Gumtree or even being green and recycling. But you need to make sure which ever method you choose is going to get you the best value for money. Gumtree's perk is obviously the free advertising, but this isn't necessarily the most secure way of selling your stuff – make sure you meet people in a safe location and get your money before handing over your valuables. Ebay gives you a bit more protection in this area, as you can review the buyers and get the money before you send. But beware of fees eating into your profits - you could end up with less than you anticipated.

The best place to start is to use an independent recycle price comparison site like to ensure that you are totally clued up about price. This will give you a great idea of what recycle value to expect from your model – you can sell loads of gadgets and it's completely free. They will even send you a free postage pack to pop your device off in. As soon as they receive that you can get your much deserved cash. Be aware though, to get the most money your device will need to be in working condition. That means the battery works, the screen and buttons aren't damaged and there is no water damage. Although most recyclers will provide a working and non-working price for your phone.

2. Clear all of your stuff


However you choose to sell your gadgets, you should make sure that none of your personal details are available to the new user. Whoever they are, the last thing you want is someone routing around your emails, internet history, or photos from some embarrassing night out.

The best way to do this with your phone is to restore it to factory settings through the 'settings' menu. This will wipe the phone completely clean but don't forget to take out your memory card and SIM too. It's always better to be safe than sorry, and you can probably use both of these again in your new phone.

With computers, laptops and games consoles you should always wipe the hard drives. Formatting the drives is a good start, but this can leave recoverable traces of data. There are tools you can download which will completely erase any trace of your files, but always read online reviews before letting these loose on your laptop. You still want it to work afterwards!

3. Posting out your goods

Most recyclers will send out a free postage pack to send your valuables off in but, this won't be the case if you sell it on other websites. It is completely up to you how you want to send them - but a phone, laptop or camera obviously packaged in the post can be attractive to thieves, so it's important that you do it right.

With higher value items it is always recommended that you send if by Royal Mail Special Delivery. It will put you out of pocket by £5 but this insures you up to the value of £500 – meaning if your phone gets lost in the post or stolen, you are completely covered.

The safest way to do it is post your gadgets in strong packaging, switched off, secured and with your name and return address written obviously on the other side. Never post more than a couple of gadgets at the same time, as losing one valuable is not as bad as loosing the whole lot, and it's a lot more obvious if you send a big heavy bag across the country!

Thousands of people use the CompareMyMobile website every day and come away with heavier pockets and a smile on their face. By following these simple steps, you can easily sell your gadgets and make that extra cash that we're all just sitting on. Whether you're recycling your possessions or just selling them on other websites, just make sure you do it right and you won't get stung.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Top 5 places to sell gadgets according to student reviews

We're always surrounded by it, using it and upgrading it – but what happens when the latest technology comes out and your old device takes a back seat? Selling your old phones, cameras, games consoles or laptops can be an amazing way to get some extra cash when your loan is coming to an end and your bank account is looking a little sore.

We’ve compiled this list from the consumer reviews on, a comparison website which allows you to compare the best recycle values for your gadgets simply by entering the make and condition into their search engine. Thousands of people trust the site every day, using it as a platform to find the best price for their old friend. The website directs you to the best recycle companies and shows you reviews for them, so you can make an informed choice about who you want to sell your phone to.

Here are the top 5 recyclers according to reviews:

Money 4 Machines

Excellent 10/10
8,647 customers went to recycle phones with them using
1 customer complained
(Source: store review)
Having been around for three years, Money4Machines has grown to become one of the highest rated gadget recyclers. CompareMyMobile directed this company when it first started, and with great prices paid for smartphones and other devices and a hugely high level of customer support – they leave clients with little to nothing to complain about.

Depending on your device they offer different prices, but don't accept anything broken or destroyed. One massive benefit to this company is customers who have the boxes etc get higher payouts.

You must sent the device with charger/battery (same as all recyclers), send the original box as well as instructions to add extra on to your machine's value. On top of this, if you decide to send your package through Royal Mail Special Delivery and keep the postage receipt, Money4Machines will pay the cash you deserve when they process your item.

Mazuma Mobile

Excellent 10/10
1,715 customers went to recycle phones with them using
0 customers complained
(Source: store review)


Mazuma Mobile is one of the original mobile recyclers and has always been one of the most popular. Not only have they paid out more than £90 million, they are also renowned for their customer service. Known for their speedy email communication and informative postage pack, they are definitely one of the clear favourites.

Their level of pricing often lets them down in comparison to other recycling companies – but this is a sacrifice they have probably made for their catchy TV adverts and customer-focused care. You also have the option to make a donation to a charity, if you're feeling especially generous.

Mobile Phone Xchange (source: store review)

Excellent 10/10
9,896 customers went to recycle phones with them using
0 customers complained
(Source: store review)


Similarly to Envirofone. Mobile Phone Xchange is one of the original recyclers and has grown to be a leading, established company. As well as paying out top recycle rates for old handsets and other gadgets, they also run and manage several white label websites and recycle solutions like Vodafone Recycle and Debenhams. This makes them experts in the field.

Free-post envelopes are provided much like many other mobile phone recyclers, and their postage system is fast and easy – but what sets them apart from the rest is their unique tracking system, so customers can see which stage their order is up to.


Excellent 8/10
1,871 customers went to recycle phones with them using
0 customers complained
(Source: store review)


Rated the number 3 recycler in 2012, Envirofone boasts over 1.5 million happy clients who received cash for their handsets. They're another strong leader in the mobile recycling market. Launching international sites, they are clearly growing by the year, helping more and more consumers cash in for their old mobiles.

They were also one of the first companies to partner with comparison engines. Again, on these websites you'll note that they do not always have the best price, but their straight forward, professional service does leave them high up in the review charts.


Excellent 8/10
4,876 customers went to recycle phones with them using
10 customer complained
(Source: store review)


On a different note to the recyclers above, Gadgets4Everyone specialise in buying old Apple mobile gadgets and outdated gaming consoles, as well as some phones. They accept products from a range of brands such as Microsoft, Apple, Sony and Nintendo and are known for providing more accurate prices. Despite starting off small, this company has clearly grown to be an honest organisation who are ready to deal with any problems in their live chat support, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

One aspect that may let them down is their website, as it is can be more complicated to get quotes for your goods. There is more than one method to discover the value of your item, and once the device has been identified, details of the condition also need to be submitted. Then again, this slightly more time-consuming way of entering details does give you that accuracy they are known for.

To conclude...
Companies such as this top 5 make recycling your old phones and gadgets simple, cost effective and easy. Although some say you might not get as much money as on other selling sites, at least with these companies you can rest assured that your phone is in good, green hands that support you from beginning to end. Head over to now to see how much money you could make – in as little as 48 hours you could be sat there with a smile on your face and cash filled pockets.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Big Company or Startup - What to Choose?

After having achieved your degree you will need to start thinking about your future career, and deciding whether to join a startup or a big company is often one of the important decisions to be made. Both have a great number of pros and cons, however, ultimately the decision must be made considering your own unique personality and individual strengths and weaknesses. Taking this into consideration, here are some crucial aspects to consider when choosing between a startup and a big company after graduating.

Compensation and benefits
Big company:
By deciding to work for a large company you are almost guaranteed a decent starting salary, and often also benefits including health insurance, onsite canteens and gym memberships.

Startup companies tend to lack the financial resources to be able to offer impressive salaries and employee benefits. However, it's easier to get hired as many startups are currently hiring. To read more about the experience of working in a startup, we recommend this article by Ventureburn.

Learning opportunities
Big company:
A large company is often a great place to learn and subsequently master and maximise your skillset. They tend to provide internal training and an excellent technical foundation that will be useful throughout your working career.

Startup: You will be expected to possess a good general knowledge of your field before getting started. You may also find that at a startup you have to work in areas not strictly related to the position for which you were hired. However, this can be a great learning opportunity and broaden your skillset.

Big company:
As a general rule large companies possess a substantial user base and this tends to mean that you can reach out to many people through your work. This being said, when a large number of people work together it can be difficult to stand out.

At a startup you will most likely be working longer hours and have more responsibilities. This often means that you will see a speedy, direct and satisfying impact as a result of your own work within the company.

Future career prospects
Big company:
Working for a large and renowned company looks excellent on a CV and will subsequently help you advance within your sector. You may also have the chance to work up the corporate ladder and be promoted. This being said, promotion may take years and does not come with a guarantee. To get an idea of how working at the big company of your dreams feels like from the career point of view, you can look online for company reviews’ sites, in which employees of big groups such as KPMG or Tui Travel are eager to tell the pros and cons of becoming a colleague of them.

With a startup there is always the chance that the company in question may never be a success and could simply disappear after just a few years in the business. This being said, experience in a startup company looks excellent on a CV as well, as it demonstrates that you are willing to take the initiative and run professional risks in your desired sector.

By considering the above aspects with regard to your decision to join a big company or a startup you will find yourselves well on the way to making a great first career move after graduating. Just remember to do your research and carefully consider your strengths and weaknesses before committing to a decision.

By Emily Jones

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

How to Revise without Realising you’re Revising

Making flashcards, highlighting notes, and going over past-papers can get mind-achingly boring after you’ve completed one module, so try and spice up your revision-life with these top tips.

1. Fact-drop in conversation
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times by now, but teaching someone what you’ve been revising really helps you to absorb information. Don’t sit down formally when you do this; forget about finding a whiteboard and setting questions – maybe just drop in a fact or three when you’re doing the washing up. People won’t be expecting to hear something about invisible numbers, and their confusion will allow you to expand and explain what you know.

2. Act it out
Whether you’re revising Hamlet, the Wars of the Roses, or ionic bonding, why not round up a group of friends in the same situation as you, and act it out? Assign roles, chat about how certain characters/historical figures/particles should act, and see if you can depict your scene as close to perfect as possible. Not only will you be able to think about your character’s lines, but also get inside their heads – how did Ophelia feel when Hamlet rejected her? Can you re-enact the strategy used at the Battle of Bosworth? How many electrons must bond to create hydrogen peroxide? Gather up as many props as possible, and put your revision into action.

3. Listen to music
Everyone can remember the lyrics to their favourite song, so why doesn’t this work for the formulas in your maths textbook? Try to write your own song, incorporating any and all facts, formulas, and fiction that you need to revise. For those of you studying meter and rhyme for English – look no further than lit-hop. Shakespeare was the original hip-hop master, so try and rap some of his verses. For a great example, check out MC Lars – covering Hamlet to Poe, his songs will have you humming along as you easily write an essay in your exam-hall.

4. Play games
No, not online games: step away from the laptop. Could you recreate I’m a Celeb, with horrible forfeits for contestants who get questions or tasks wrong? How about turning Henry VIII and his problematic love-life into an episode of Take Me Out? You’ll be surprised how much you can remember when you’re against the clock, and have a plate of your best mate’s ‘cakes’ in front of you…

5. Argue with someone
For once, your nearest and dearest might be glad to hear you get into a ‘heated debate’. Pick a side, and argue yourself into the ground for it – just like you would in an essay (tip: you may need to give your opponent some notes to help them out!). If there are enough of you in a study group, why not organise yourself into a court-room format? Have the defence, prosecution, judge, defendant and witnesses – it should clear up any confusion over lines of argument, and will be easy to transcribe onto paper when you write it all up later (all courts have a reporter, remember!).

6. Read, read, read
Read your core texts, read critical commentaries, read around the area - read everything you can get your hands on. It goes without saying that the more you explore a subject, the deeper your knowledge will be, but this process also helps to consolidate what you already know. Books are meant to be engaged with, as well as read, so if you have a brilliant point, question, or summary, write it down. Books look best when they are worn-out, well-read, and written all over (although maybe use a piece of paper if it’s a library book).

7. Listen to the experts
If you live in a university town, make the most of it! The majority of universities hold guest lectures on a frequent basis, so if your subject is coming up, book a space and go along. If you don’t live within easy reach of a university, go online! The TED Talks are a brilliant way to hear experts talking about their subjects, and it’s all completely free. Hearing someone talk about a subject they’re passionate about not only reinforces what you already know, but works as a brilliant motivational tool: enthusiasm is contagious.

8. Go outside
I don’t mean revising in the sun – we’ve all tried it, and we’ve all come away with lovely tans and empty books. Do something active: if you’re revising skeletal systems, muscle groups, or biological processes, borrow a human (or a cat), find some post-it notes, and get labelling. Try taking a walk around your area; you’ll be surprised how much will remind you of the work you’re doing, and it’s a great way to think over what you’ve revised, without any distractions like Twitter, the TV, or Facebook.

9. Watch stuff
If you’re studying something that lends itself to a play or film, it’s well worth taking a look. This does not mean you should substitute reading the original, but instead you’ll get a more rounded view of your particular text. Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed and enjoyed, not despaired over and analysed, so obey the Bard’s wishes, and see it on stage. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to remember lines, character traits, and themes once you’ve seen it in acted out before you.

10. Get interested
Why did you pick this subject in the first place? Go back to your roots and rediscover your passion for the subject. Whether you need to take an hour off revision to read your favourite book, get inspired by science all over again, or dig out your geographical past – it’s worth it. As soon as you start enjoying something, and want to learn, the whole process gets a trillion times easier – and I’m not exaggerating. Not in the slightest.

Find ways to incorporate what you love into revision: whether that’s sketching your notes into comic strips, making stories out of scientific reactions, or dressing your cat up, don’t stay sat down, get away from the computer, and forget that you’re meant to hate revising.

Author Bio
This post was written by Anu Jagota of Justin Craig Education, who provide GCSE and A-Level revision courses. Visit them online at

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Science Grads: What To Expect When You Graduate

Yippee, the end is in sight! Three (or more) years of hard slog, seemingly endless revision for exams and hours of experimenting in the lab... and now graduation is within touching distance.

clip_image002Remember your first visit to a science lab at school? Who would have thought all that equipment would soon become so familiar. Then at uni, the apparatus seemed so much better, at least, that’s what you think at the moment. According to lab equipment specialists Tecomak, science graduates are continually astounded by the difference between the well-used equipment at their fingertips at school/college/university compared to the shiny, well-maintained commercial lab equipment provided by private research companies for their staff.

Confirmation comes in a well-known study by science policy researchers at the University of Manchester which concluded that many UK based international companies use universities in other countries for their research because there is not enough cash to buy vital equipment. The shocking results show that 4 out of 5 UK universities are unable to perform critical experiments because they can’t afford to buy the necessary kit. For commercial businesses like research labs, pharmaceutical companies, etc., their budgets (though still may be tight) can afford to keep up to date with the latest equipment. Since commercial research businesses need to deliver their research within strict time frames commercial labs are likely to have invested in more efficient equipment to process things at a faster rate, where universities have may struggle to get the funding for the upgrades.

So as your final uni year draws to a close, what comes next? After graduation, science graduates are generally in high demand. There is an acknowledged shortfall of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) graduates so check out our blog for last month’s post on chasing your dream job after uni and go for it. Just think, you’ll have bigger, better, shinier lab equipment to play with, and weird, exciting, bizarre research and experiments to carry out.

We recently had a job posted on StudentGems for a Polymer Development Chemist with a starting salary of £30,000. We can’t tell you much more because it was too technical for our non-scientific brains, but the job was filled pretty quickly, and a well-deserving graduate is now happily making the most of all that lab practice AND getting well paid for it!

clip_image004If you look at this handy infographic, a lot of the top 10 Majors with the highest employment rates are science related fields. The top 10 highest paid jobs however, appear to be medical related professions like surgeons and anaesthetists. Those who want to go into medicine need to make the right choices as early as GCSEs levels since medicine is notoriously competitive.

Whatever career you choose, make you have a good google around for potential job opportunities well before graduation. Try to think beyond the obvious organisations, if you are a chemist you are not limited to working for a pharmaceutical company, for example food and beverages companies are always looking for chemists to synthesise new tastes.

Best of luck science grads!