An Estimated £14.1bn Worth of Smartphones Sit Unsold in UK Homes 03/06/24

by Holly, Team Mozillion

Pile of phones on a table next to an Apple Mac computer

And another 100 million units have been thrown in the bin.

Aside from the environmental impact of chucking old tech into landfill, there is real financial gain being missed out on by UK adults who generally have at least two old mobile phones lying around their house.

On top of that, the average UK adult has thrown out a further two phones, of which only 57% were even broken or damaged.

It’s literally money being thrown in the bin.

So how much smartphone gold could you be sitting on in your home and how much have you thrown away?

A 2024 study of 2000 UK adults conducted by giffgaff has revealed that men hold onto or throw away more old phones, by sitting on three unused handsets while throwing away two.

Over a tenth of UK adults didn’t realise that throwing away old phones is damaging to the environment and a third have never tried to sell on, trade in or recycle their phones for cash or otherwise.

That being said, cold hard cash or discounts off future products is a huge driver, with nearly half of customers citing this as a motivating factor to look into buying or selling an older phone.

Cutting down on landfill and donating a used phone to help a good cause are also significant driving forces with 28% and 31% of customers respectively citing these as decision making factors.

Ash Schofield, CEO of giffgaff, said::

“Our research shows that people are sitting on a significant amount of cash, at a time when finances are being hit hard. I would urge everyone to do what they can to get the maximum lifetime out of their phone. It’s good for your pocket and importantly the environment. And when you’re done with your phone, recycling it and putting it back into the ecosystem is great for helping people”

This is where marketplaces like Mozillion come in as they let you sell your phone privately to another buyer, rather than trade it in, and take all the stress out of the process by organising the payment for you and checking the phone, thus protecting the buyer and the seller. This results in the seller getting paid what the phone is actually worth rather than a token ‘trade in’ amount towards a new phone. Plus you free up some drawer space while protecting the environment so it’s a triple win.

The seller benefits by receiving a 24 month warranty on a fully tested and verified phone.

So next time you’re thinking about upgrading, remember to sell that old phone on, and bank some cash in your pocket.