Marks and Spencer’s new gadget recycling scheme encourages customers to recycle their unwanted electrical items by offering vouchers in exchange. But to get the most value from your old electrical gear it pays to shop around.
The new M&S recycling website () lets you recycle your old gadgets – including cameras, mobile phones, laptops, mp3 players and sat navs – in exchange for M&S vouchers or a donation to one of six selected charities.
Once you’ve accepted an offer for your gadget, M&S will send you a pre-paid envelope to send it in – or a free courier if you’re recycling a laptop or more than five items.
Which? shopping and retail expert Sarah Dennis says: ‘Initiatives that encourage people to recycle more should certainly be welcomed and it’s great that the M&S site gives you the option to donate to charity.
‘However, if you want to get the most cash or vouchers for your old gadgets then recycling them with M&S won’t always be your best option.’
How does M&S Recycle compare?
We compared the ‘trade-in’ prices for three different items at M&S recycle and a variety of other online recycling sites and found that the money or vouchers on offer varied significantly from site to site.
M&S Recycle offered us £75 of vouchers for a Nikon D5000 SLR camera in good condition, which was more than double the £32 of M&S vouchers offered by Mobile Phone Exchange. However, we found we could get 18,500 Advantage Card points (worth £185) if we recycled it at Boots Recycle. Sell the camera on eBay, however, and you could rake in over £400 depending on the condition of the camera.
It was a similar story for a working Sony Ericsson W705 phone – with offers ranging from £29 to £39 cash, or up to £45 if we were willing to accept Debenhams vouchers (M&S offered £32 of vouchers). And offers for our first generation 32GB Apple ipod Touch ranged from £30 to £40 (M&S offered £34 of vouchers).
Best deals for recycling gadgets
Sarah Dennis advised: ‘Payouts will depend on the specific model you are recycling and the condition it is in, but clearly it pays to shop around when recycling gadgets, especially for the higher value items.
‘And if you’re gadget is in good condition you should definitely consider alternative options like selling it second-hand on a site like eBay. Used models of the Nikon D5000 camera that we compared recycling prices for sell for hundreds of pounds on eBay.’
Find out how to recycle electricals or read our guide to selling goods safely on eBay to make sure you get the best deal when selling online.