Are you hoarding obsolete gadgets in the hope they’re still worth something? How valueless do gadgets have to become before it’s simply not worth the time and effort to try and sell them on eBay?
Recent research suggests there are 11 million unused digital cameras gathering dust in drawers.
Add to that 14m old PCs and laptops, 12m games consoles and a million sat navs, and it seems Britain is buried under a mountain of outdated tech.
Is there cash in your attic?
There are no skeletons in my closet, but rifle through the loft at my parents’ house and you’ll find a veritable treasure chest of vintage tech.
Where do I start? There’s my Acorn Electron computer from 1983 with its 32kB of RAM. On an almost annual basis my parents ask, ‘can we chuck it out?’. Each time my answer is the same, ‘it’ll be worth something one day.’ But when will that day come for my museum-piece?
There’s always a thirst among some sections of society to relive the past. Earlier this year I sold my beloved Super Nintendo online for about fifty quid, to a buyer in his mid-twenties who wanted to revisit his teenage joys of the original Super Mario Kart. My loss hurt, but when there’s a Wii in the house, literally blowing the dust off an elderly console ain’t going to happen.
And there’s more. Any takers for my Amstrad CPC6128 – colour monitor, disk drive and games included? What if I say the manual is autographed by Sir Alan Sugar (it isn’t)? There’s the original car stereo, before I replaced it with a CD auto-changer, and my 20GB MP3 player from before I could fit my entire music collection on a micro-SD card.
All in good working order. I’m accepting any reasonable offers in the comments below.
eBay, car boot sale or Freecycle?
So, how do we decide whether to dump your old tech or try and sell it? There’s only a certain number of times I’m prepared to lug it to a car boot sale on the off-chance East Devon’s most avid retro gadget collector might pay a visit.
Ebay provides the obvious answer, but it’s time-consuming and there’s no guarantee you’ll sell your stuff for anything more than a couple of quid. If you’re determined to recoup some cash, there’s still some life in classified ads – Gumtree is good for offloading stuff, once you’ve sifted out the scammers.
There are also many websites offering cash for your old phone. I recently sold my 18-month-old smartphone for £73 to CeX – that’s around a tenner less than I originally paid! Sell the right item at the right price to the right person and you could be quids-in!
If you just want rid of your junk, I’m a huge fan of local Freecycle groups, although you need willpower to stop yourself from accumulating other people’s freebie cast-offs in place of your own. CRT TVs, VCRs and mini-systems seem ten-a-penny these days.
But back to eBay, I’m still trying to decide whether this seller is an optimist or just deluded. An Acorn Electron, not dissimilar to my own, described as having a ‘slight yellowing of case and keyboard’. The price for this vintage computer? A mere £70…