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Could you be sitting on a forgotten fortune?

What’s sitting unloved in your attic or cupboards or garage?

I always remember flicking through Classic and Sports Car magazines in my Dad’s Dental Practice waiting room and reading stories of people discovering a Porsche in a barn after 30 years and carefully restoring it or that brilliant moment Del Boy discovers he has had the watch worth millions all this time.

New research suggests that unwanted Bric-à-brac could be worth a collective £13 billion. The study, carried out by Mazuma Mobile, found that 90% of the 27.6 million households across the UK have a bits and bobs drawer containing valuable tech products. On average, each drawer contains three old mobile phones. 10% of Brits are hoarding seven old phones, some of the classic models more than a decade old!

Despite this tendency to hold onto outdated phones, and other tech products, we seem to be getting better at realising their value. This market for pre-owned tech products means an equivalent number is being sold, releasing valuable cash from otherwise dormant goods.

A study by the Boston Consulting Group found the pre-loved market is moving into the spotlight and any stigma about secondhand is disappearing as it is much more sustainable to purchase secondhand. Amongst the most popular pre-loved items to buy are books (68%), cars (62%) and furniture (49%). Other popular items are mobile phones (34%), beds (13%) and even underwear (4%).

The market for bargains is booming, fuelled by ethical buying and ease of purchase online. Nevertheless, research shows age and gender both impacts on what consumers are most likely to purchase. Those aged 35 to 55 years old are the savviest shoppers, followed by the younger generation under 25.

Mobile phones are purchased the most by those aged between 35 and 44 years old — the over 50s scoop up bargains in cars, books, crockery and jewellery. The most daring shoppers are between the ages of 25 and 34 years old who are the most likely to purchase second-hand underwear.   While women are happy to rummage through vintage or used items (86%), the survey found that men are more likely to sell their pre-owned goods (73%).

The average Brit has made a whopping £441 selling a pre-loved piece of technology, and a fifth of Brits sell on unwanted items at least once a month.  

“Many of us could be sitting on a lot of cash in our bits and bobs drawers. The secondhand goods market is on the rise, and this means there are new opportunities for people to sell their unwanted items.

Buying and selling pre-loved phones and other items also has a positive impact on the environment. Buying secondhand reduces the huge carbon footprint from producing new mobile phones and other technology and selling stops waste from going to landfill.”

Craig Smith from Mazuma Mobile said:

It’s good to see that Brits are finally waking up to the idea that there’s no shame in buying pre-loved goods.

Not only is it often the most cost-effective option, but it’s also kinder to the environment. What’s not to like?!