It seems that almost every day, a new gadget or gizmo arrives on the scene to tempt us to part with our hard earned cash in exchange for the promise to 'make our lives easier'. Of course, there's nothing wrong with this and as the electronics behind these devices becomes smaller and more intelligent, it means the gadgets themselves become smaller, faster, more efficient and more functional.
With the pace of electronic advances seeming to increase almost exponentially, the laptops, netbooks, digital cameras, sat-navs and iPods that have served us well for the last year or so, suddenly feel rather dated and cumbersome.
Take, for example, the recent clamor for the Apple iPhone 4. Even with months left on the contracts of existing phone users' contracts, their old 3GS's were being cast asunder to make room for the shiny new version of their beloved handset. If you were in the market for a second hand iPhone, the chances were that you were able to pick up a quite the bargain on auction sites such as eBay.
The desire to have the latest and greatest has started to spread quickly among the ranks of other consumer electronics products. With the prices of laptops, netbooks, MP3 players, et al, lower than ever before, these products have become almost 'throw away'. Gone are the days when we'd only upgrade our gadget when the old one was on it's last legs, the battery had seen better days, or it was several years old and becoming obsolese.
Of course, what this all means is that there are now drawings and cupboards across the land starting to fill up with old, unwanted, or broken electronic gadgets, gathering dust under piles of socks! Most people are probably under the impression that their device is so old it's worthless, and in some cases, they may well be right.
A quick trawl of eBay, or similar auction sites, is a good place to start to see if there's any intrinsic value left in that aging iPod you got for Christmas, all those years ago. Now, up until recently, this, or the classifieds, was pretty much the only option available if you wanted to try and get some cash for that old gadget. Worse still, if the item in question could not find a new home, chances are it was just tossed in to the bin, destined to end it's life decomposing in the earth beneath us.
Luckily, there is now another option. Like the raft of mobile phone recycling companies that have sprung up over the last couple of years, many of these recyclers will now buy or recycle that old gadget from you, so all is not lost. It's certainly the best option to take if you were just thinking of binning it as not only might you get a few quid for it, but more importantly, it will be either sold to customers in the developing world, or if broken, dismounted and properly recycled in line with the WEEE directive.