23 million people will gift second-hand tech this festive season

MPB Gifting Used survey
EOS M5+ Canon EF-M 22mm f-2 - 2 (Image credit: MPB)

Many consumers are still on the fence about buying previously owned technology, and some think it's embarrassing to purchase gear second-hand, but this couldn't be further from the truth. MPB's 2022 Gifting Used survey has revealed that 23.3 million (44% of) Brits are planning to gift at least one used or second-hand gift this year.

The research by the secondhand camera gear specialists shows that 60% of consumers interviewed would be happy to receive a used gift, with only 21% saying that they would feel embarrassed to gift someone a used item. This percentage is pretty positive and has dropped by half from 2021, when gifters feeling embarrassed by gifting used was 47%. 

Why I've only ever bought second-hand cameras

The cost of living crisis is heavily affecting the UK, with many struggling to heat their homes or put food on the table, let alone buy the latest gadgets. While purchasing second-hand is certainly helpful and a great solution during this time, it's not the only reason you should consider buying used tech.

The MPB survey reveals that 30% of consumers could not afford to buy presents in  new condition this year (up 13% from 2021) as the cost of living crisis has put extra pressure on their disposable income. Gen Z and millennials were found to be the most affected by the crisis, with 56% of participants agreeing that it has made them more likely to gift used this year.

(Image credit: MPB)

Not only are you saving yourself money when purchasing second-hand goods, but the environment will thank you for it too. By trading in your old and unwanted tech to places like MPB, you help breathe new life into perfectly good gear that could've otherwise have been thrown away.

The study found that the increase in gifting used tech may be driven by environmental motives, with 49% of the participants responding that they cared about the sustainability of gifts that they receive this year.

Even if your older devices aren't fit or functional enough to be traded in, lots of places now offer recycling or spare parts usage – which is far better for the planet than simply taking your old tech to the dump. 

Canon EOS 80D (Image credit: MPB)

"Given increasing environmental concerns around overconsumption, alongside the rising pressure on household income, it's unsurprising that many of us are looking for alternatives to simply buying new, and it's brilliant to see that the perceived stigma around gifting and purchasing used items is declining," said Matt Barker, MPB's founder and CEO. 

He continues, "There is an abundance of well-functioning products in re-circulation out there, and many items, such as photo and video equipment, have fantastic manufacture quality and are built to last. Moreover, used models cost a third less than the same model new on average. Buying and selling used is a win for your wallet and the planet alike, and putting more items into the circular economy is a win for the next owner too."

MPB is urging consumers to "join the used movement”, and also to ‘Pause, Consider and Act’ this year during Christmas shopping, to slow down and consider what they already own before simply buying new. It also has a continuing commitment to the One Tree Planted campaign, and will see a further 25,000 trees planted to help fight the effects of deforestation. 

MPB operates in the USA, UK and Europe - check out their site to see their range of secondhand gear.

You may also be interested in our picks of the best cheap cameras, and the best budget camera phone, as well as the best budget DSLRs and not forgetting the cheapest full frame cameras

Take a look at our guide to buying second-hand tablets and iPads and why MPB says that UK photographers are sitting on £19bn of unused gear

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.