Unused gadgets gathering dust in UK homes

Starting to save money can seem like a daunting task. For many people not having enough disposable income can mean it feels impossible to save. But what if you could start with unused items stored around your home?

According to our 2016 research, there’s more than £37 billion 1 worth of unused gadgets and electrical items lying around in UK homes – money that could be put into savings accounts. With the temptations of having the latest ‘must have’ items, it means older devices start to go unused; put to one side and simply replaced with newer models.  The beginnings of a savings pot to work towards a mortgage on a first home or a pension fund could be sitting in the back of cupboards and drawers.

Gadget hoarder

The table below shows the average number of unused gadgets in a UK household and typical costs associated.

Type  of gadget / device Number of unused gadgets per typical UK household Typical cost of each device (to nearest £) Total value of devices (to nearest £)

Utility appliances
e.g. washing machines, driers, fridges etc.

1.1 £162 £178

Kitchen appliances
e.g. food mixers, smoothie makers, toastie makers etc.

1.95 £70 £136
Home entertainment
e.g. games consoles, speakers, CD players DVD players etc.
 2.19  £105  £230
Lifestyle tech
e.g. hair straighteners, grooming kits, razors etc.
 1.76  £82  £144
 Old phones  2.05  £69  £141
Electrical tools

e.g. drills, sanders, saws etc.

 1.9  £96  £182
Electrical gardening equipment
e.g. lawnmower, leaf blower, hedge trimmer etc.
 1.37  £136  £186
 Other  1.12  £193  £216
       
 TOTAL  -  -  £1,414

 Once you’ve dug out that smoothie-maker, or the old fridge that’s been sitting in the garage for the last few months, let’s see how you could use them to make a few extra pounds.

Auction websites

These are great for achieving the maximum value for the gadget you’re selling. Make sure you don’t set your reserve price too high otherwise you may not sell it – your sale is all down to the buyer. Never neglect the description of your item; it’s important the buyer knows exactly what they’re buying – otherwise they’ll want to return the item and you’re back to selling again. Also, don’t forget to cover the costs of sending your old gadget or appliance to the buyer. Before starting the process of selling, research what other people are buying your gadget for and don’t forget to compare the condition of it too.

Local sales

This can be done in several different ways; what about putting a small advert on a notice board in your local store or in the local paper? You could spend an early Sunday morning at a car-boot sale and sell more than just your old gadgets, such as: old clothes, CDs, DVDs or things you don’t need anymore.

Trade-in websites, Apps and shops

If you want to shift an item quickly, trading in for cash is the best method. Although it guarantees an instant sale, you may end up getting paid a lot less than if you’d put it through an auction site or local advert. Make sure you compare each website or store and see how much other people have received for their gadgets and appliances.

The beginning of your new savings fund

Once you’ve gathered some money for your old items, think about what you’d like to save for and put together a savings plan. Put that money away into a savings account, pension fund or talk to a financial adviser; then get into a habit of adding to your fund to build it up.