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How much old tech is Britain sitting on and how much is it depreciating in value?


Brits are sitting on a fortune’s worth of unused tech in their homes - £16.5 billion to be exact. What’s worse is that this value is predicted to fall by £3.5 billion over the next year due to depreciation rates.

But why are Brits hanging on to their tech, or more specifically, extra cash in their homes? We’ve surveyed 2,000 Brits to give us the lowdown.




How many unwanted tech items are Brits keeping in their homes?

Unused Tech

The average British household holds a superfluous amount of gadgets in their homes. More specifically, Brits have...

• £598 worth of gadgets lying around

• Up to 11 unused devices

• 12% have as many as 5 handsets!

With newer models of tech being released each year, it’s likely to affect the value of the tech you currently own.

Our data has shown that Smartphones, Computers, Tablets, Games Consoles, and Wearables are all going to depreciate in value by an average of 20% over the next year - which is a fair amount of money to lose if you don’t recycle phones and tech quickly.




Are Brits holding on to too much tech?


• 43% agree they have too much tech in their homes

• Yet more than 50% wished they lived a minimalist lifestyle

• 1/3 of Brits have a dedicated tech drawer

• The attic and a bedside drawer were also popular tech storage spots

• Adults keep unused phones for up to 4 years

• Laptops and computers are held onto for up to 5 years



What about iPhones?


iPhones are hit the hardest by depreciation - the average iPhone model will drop by 36% in value, with some older models falling as far as 70% - losing up to £260 a year.

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What about other tech?

Other tech is affected by depreciation too, although some products hold their value better than others.

• Samsung - up to 32% (£120)

• MacBooks - up to 30% (£105)

• Tablets - up to 32% (£93)

• Wearables - 41% (£49)



Why are Brits keeping so much unwanted tech?


32% of Brits were reported to hold on to their tech items ‘just in case’ - in fact, mobile phones are held on to the most, with the average person keeping at least two unused handsets at home!

But why else are Brits holding on to their gadgets?

• 4 in 10 think they might use their old tech one day

• 27% simply can’t be bothered to do anything with them

• 1 in 10 give them to their kids as toys

• 1 in 5 will keep them purely for the memories they hold

Our research showed that a lack of motivation to recycle their unused tech was the biggest reason for not doing anything about them, as well as not knowing what to do with them or a lack of time.

The study also highlighted that Brits would rather sort through other things like their garage, bookshelves or utility cupboards before clearing out their tech.




What are the repercussions of Brits not recycling their unwanted tech?

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58% of adults still haven’t sold their old devices, resulting in even more clutter and wasted cash in their homes.

2/5 have no clue they’re missing out on extra cash for their unwanted tech if it’s been stored for years. Yet interestingly, Brits are likely to keep hold of their old tech as spares than they would be to sell them online.

How has people working from home affected tech buying habits?


17% have bought a new tech item in the last eight weeks to help them work from home, to stay connected to family and friends or to keep themselves entertained.



Here are some of the fastest depreciating tech items:

UK Table V2


Can Brits afford new tech?

The survey suggested that Brits are struggling to keep up with the costs of having the latest tech.

80% feel that new tech is released far too often

76% can’t keep up with the costs of new tech

77% wished their tech lasted longer

Despite Brits evidently struggling to afford new tech, just 1 in 20 would trade in their existing mobile after buying a new one. By not recycling their old tech, they lose out on extra cash towards their upgrade.




What does this mean for the environment?

The poll shows that something has to change in the way we purchase and recycle tech.

A smarter and more sustainable option is by promoting a circular economy model that sees old tech being sold back for cash, refurbished to a high standard and sold on to the next person to use. This will ultimately reduce the amount of e-waste entering landfills around the world, as well as in people’s drawers and cupboards.

If you have an unwanted piece of tech or an old phone you no longer use, why not recycle old tech or sell phones with musicMagpie? Not only will you get fast payment for your stuff, but we’re the UK’s #1 Mobile Recycler too - so you can be confident that your old items are being recycled responsibly!