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MPB says UK photographers are sitting on £19bn ($23bn) of unused equipment!

MPB used gear
What's under YOUR bed? If you're six, it's probably monsters. If you're an adult, it might be a collection of potentially profitable camera gear. (Image credit: MPB)

More than half of UK adults could be sitting on a treasure trove of unused gear and have never considered selling their used tech, according to new research from online platform MPB (opens in new tab), a leading specialist in the selling and trading of used camera and video equipment. 

The survey was carried out in the UK, but if a similar pattern is repeated around the world, photographers could be sitting on assets that could be turned into huge volumes of cash.

Here are the key stats from MPB's survey:

• 83% of UK adults have at least 1 piece of unused tech in their home

• Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the adult population have never sold their old tech

• The average value of unused cameras and camera accessories a UK adult is holding on to is £293.50

MPB's survey reveals that little more than a third (37%) of respondents have sold an old piece of tech in the last ten years, and as many as 73% admitted they have never bothered trading in an old piece of kit to get a new one. 47% of respondents thought they wouldn't get much for it, and 25% thought they, or someone close to them, might need it one day. 

MPB used gear

Here's MPB's map of meanness. It turns out that Londoner's are sitting on the biggest cache of cash from unused camera gear. (Image credit: MPB)

Matt Barker, Founder and CEO of MPB, said: “Circularity should be a way of life but our research shows that this really isn’t the case when it comes to unused tech. There are opportunities online and on people’s doorsteps which allow them to give their unused items a new lease of life and they should grab them with both hands. 

He points out that some tech, like smartphones, might quickly date and become useless, but cameras have a much longer life. They can often be worth more than you think.

In fact, MPB found that: "from March 2020 to March 2022 the average piece of kit appreciated in value by 1.6%."

There are some interesting points here. Global supply issues over the past couple of years have made many new and desirable technologies hard to get or unobtainable, so the used camera market has become more important. Also, as we on DCW know, selling or trading in your old kit can soothe your conscience when you want to buy something new!

You can see the full results of MPB's survey online at https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/info/unused-tech-survey/ (opens in new tab).

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.



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