EcoATM's give quick cash for old cell phones, MP3 players

Looking for a way to make some quick cash for your holiday shopping? One novel idea is attracting a lot of attention.

EcoATM’s have popped up in a dozen malls around the Metro area. Shoppers are getting cash for old cell phones.

“A lot of people are coming to check it out because they’re curious,” says Samantha Dunn, an employee at Fair Oaks Mall.

Eric scans his driver’s license and the machine prints out a sticker. It goes on his $160 phone which then goes inside the machine to be scanned for make and value. In seconds he learns his phone is only worth $3 and decides to keep it.

An AT&T worker has better luck.

“We took a lot of old phones from the back and we got $30,” says John Conner.

ABC7’s newsroom phones brought in $1 each.

Three-quarters of the phones are reconditioned and re-sold. The rest are melted down for the metals. Shoppers call it a win-win.

“I have a cell phone at home that has a shattered face,” says Caitlin Coniglio. “It says it’s worth $9. I might bring it in!”