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How much is your unused tech depreciating in value?

Did you know that 9/10 Americans have unused tech and/or mobiles in their homes? When you total this up, Americans are sitting on a staggering $43 billion worth of unused tech - that’s a lot of tech (and money) to have lying around!

To make matters worse, our tech and cell phones lose value every year due to depreciation. We found that collectively, Smartphones, Computers, Tablets, Games Consoles and Wearables depreciate in value by an average of 26% over the course of a year. That means the value of tech in American homes is expected to depreciate by $11 billion in the next 12 months.

At Decluttr, we surveyed 2,000 US adults to find out how much money they could be sitting on and how much it’s depreciating each year.

On average, Americans keep their unused tech for over a year.

  • 1 in 10 will keep it for 3 years or more
  • The average American could make $199 by trading in their old tech
  • 4 in 5 Americans are sitting on a mobile phone they’re not using
  • ...And 2 in 5 have 3-5 obsolete pieces of technology hiding in plain sight




How much money are Americans losing on old phones?

Typically, cell phones depreciate by 36% of their value in 12 months

  • Yet 1 in 3 didn’t know they could trade in their old phones for cash
  • On average, iPhones will lose $108 every year
  • Samsungs will lose $66 every year
  • Some models are depreciating by nearly 40% - meaning they’ll lose hundreds of dollars in value.

How much money are Americans losing on other tech?



Aside from phones, over half of Americans have all kinds of tech lying dormant (and losing money!) in their homes:

  • Macbooks can depreciate up to 41% ($140) of their original value each year
  • Wearables by $90
  • Tablets by $85 (so make sure you trade in iPad devices early!)

Are Americans recycling their tech as well as they should be?



1 in 2 Americans have said they’ve disposed of more waste in the past few months due to spending so much time indoors and decluttering. This means they’re not getting any money back for their old stuff, but are piling up landfills instead.

  • 56% have cleared out the backs of their closets and drawers to make more space
  • 9 in 10 had forgotten the older models of technology they tucked away
  • The most common places these devices end up: Drawers (51%, Closets (39%),Bedrooms (23%)
  • 1 in 10 have sold on old children’s toys for money
  • 1 in 5 have sold off clothing or sporting equipment

However, although 9 in 10 believe it’s very important to recycle phones and keep unused tech from landfill, 43% of respondents have tossed old devices in the trash.

What are the fastest depreciating devices?

For mobile devices, in particular, there’s a huge opportunity lost when it comes to waiting.

The following chart shows the current trade-in value for the top mobile devices sitting in people’s homes and the likely trade-in value should a person wait 12 months to take action.



Instead of buying new tech when it’s time for an upgrade, consumers can opt for refurbished cell phones or refurbished tech instead. Not only can they stretch their new earnings by recycling old tech (including an Apple Watch Trade In) and selling iPhones, but they can help the fight against waste caused by new tech production. Recycle old tech (using our Phone Trade In, MacBook Trade In and Tablet Trade In services) with Decluttr and get a fantastic price for your stuff today!

*This survey was fielded on March 17, 2020 and included 2,000 U.S. Adults. Consumer sample provided by mobile panel provider, Pollfish. A follow-up survey of 2,000 U.S. adults was conducted with OnePoll from May 19 to May 22, 2020