How to start selling your electricals online: nine top tips

Fancy making some cash from your old electricals, but not sure where to start? Start right here.

Do you have old electricals cluttering up your cupboards and drawers? Our research reveals that millions of us do. And what’s more, we could be making decent money by digging them out, doing a little prep, and selling them. 

We’re talking at least £1,000 for the average household. That’s not to be sniffed at.

But many of us are unsure about how to go about preparing and selling tech online. Or we’re nervous about what happens to our personal data when we let our gadgets go. 

So we asked some of the top online marketplaces – you might know them as peer-to-peer platforms – for their insights into selling like a pro. 

Here are our nine top tips for turning your unwanted electricals into extra cash, safe and sound.

Secret hoard

We all have a stash of old electricals quietly gathering dust at home – be it an ancient phone tucked away in a drawer or a long-forgotten blender. 

In fact, we estimate that the average UK household may be holding on to as many as 31 gadgets that they no longer use. That adds up to a staggering 880 million unused electrical items across UK homes. 

This might look like a problem. But it’s also a fantastic opportunity to make some additional money while freeing up shelf space – and helping fight e-waste into the bargain. We make that a win-win-win.

Our research shows that, from forgotten smartwatches to laptops, your stash of unwanted gadgets could fetch between £1,304 and £6,331 on re-selling platforms like Gumtree, Mozillion, Spring, Music Magpie, Reboxed and eBay.

Indeed, many of us are already open to buying and selling used electricals. Yet one in five of us are still holding on to our unused electricals because we have concerns about data security. And, if you haven’t done it before, selling online might seem a bit daunting.

So here are nine strategies for selling electricals online – and uncovering the hidden value in your unused gadgets.

Nine top tips for selling electricals online:

  1. Shop around for the best place to sell: Consider the range of online marketplaces like Gumtree, Mozillion, Spring, Music Magpie and eBay to expand your reach and get the best deal for your items. See our guide to online marketplaces and re-sellers.
  2. Sell soon to get the best price: Electronics lose value over time, especially after the launch of new models. You tend to get better prices for more recent models. So once you’ve stopped using a device, don’t hang on to it for long.
  3. Look after your device: Keep your devices in good condition and you’ll tend to get a higher price. Make sure they’re well maintained, avoid drops and bumps, and use cases to prevent damage. 
  4. Clear descriptions and good images: When it comes to listing an item, write a descriptive advert title and provide as much detailed information as possible. Include brand, colour, size, model number, and any damage. High-quality images increase buyers’ confidence.
  5. Price fairly: Research similar listings, including in your local area, to understand the market rate for your item. Fair pricing boosts the likelihood of a quick sale.
  6. Be responsive and open to negotiation: Respond promptly and honestly to buyer inquiries. Negotiation is part of the second-hand shopping experience so be open to reasonable offers.
  7. Lean in to Sunday scrolling: Post your listings over the weekend when platform activity peaks. Sundays are when online marketplaces see the most engagement – hence ‘Sunday scrolling’.
  8. Include accessories and manuals: When selling electrical items, include all leads, cables and instruction books, if possible. In your description be transparent about missing parts.
  9. Delete your data: Old laptops, mobile phones and other smart devices contain mountains of valuable data. So, before finally parting with your tech make sure it’s fully unlocked from accounts like iCloud or Google, and completely remove your data by performing a factory reset. See our detailed guide to deleting your data, including expert tips from We Fight Fraud’s Tony Sales.

Safety checklist – when listing electrical products for sale:

  1. Provide comprehensive instructions and make sure all necessary parts are included: Your listing should include clear and detailed instructions and all the components required to help buyers use the product safely and effectively.
  2. Display the CE Mark prominently in photos: This tells potential buyers that your items comply with European safety standards, giving them confidence that your electricals are safe and of good quality.
  3. Be clear about the safety features and assurances of your product: When potential buyers ask about your product’s safety, be open with information. Tell them about the safety standards it meets, and provide relevant details about safety features.
  4. Verify the product’s recall status using official channels: Take the initiative to check whether your electrical product is subject to any recalls by using the official Product Checker. Being proactive demonstrates your commitment to selling safe products and tells buyers you’re taking all necessary precautions.

What if you don’t want to sell your electrical items?

There are other great options. Donating old electricals to someone who needs them will make sure these valuable goods stay in circulation. The Recycle Your Electricals donate page lists organisations that welcome donations of unwanted electricals.

Finally, remember that anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled. So if your old electricals are not in a condition to be sold or donated use our Recycling Locator to find your nearest electricals drop-off point.

With thanks to Spring, Mozillion, Gumtree, and Music Magpie for their insights into selling electricals online – and their support for our Cash in Electricals campaign.

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