Saturday, September 30, 2006

White elephant gadget pile

BRITISH consumers waste almost £2 billion per year on rarely-used labour-saving gadgets and now have almost 80 million "white elephants" in their homes.

The annual spend on revolutionary gizmos – such as electric grills, bread-makers and de-humidifiers – tops £1.75 ($3.29 billion) billion per year, according to eSure's unused gadgets poll.

It found that UK consumers have bought 80 million household gadgets that seemed incredibly useful at the time – but have ended up rarely-used and gathering dust.

The latest survey – which has been tracking household "white elephants" for four years – includes a range of new devices that consumers have snapped up with the best intentions, before they have disappeared to the back of a cupboard.

For the first time, internet technology has made an appearance on the list with voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) ranking number eight in the top 10 of unused gadgets.

One in ten households have bought VoIP or "free" internet phones in the past two years but more than half of those questioned have used the technology just a few times – if at all.

The top 10 continues to be dominated by kitchen gadgets, but with a new emphasis on health.

In previous years, sandwich toasters have led the poll, but this year they have slipped to third, with healthy grilling machines and coffee makers leading the list.

Juicers, electronic bathroom scales, electric slow cookers, bread makers, electric steamers and de-humidifiers also make up the top 10.

Other white elephants include hand-held milk frothers, electric manicure kits, plastic bag sealing devices, massage chairs, foot spas and fondue sets, as well as devices to make yoghurt, waffles, popcorn, candy floss, smoothies and ice cream.

Nikki Sellers, head of home insurance at eSure, said: "The 'unused gadgets' poll is a microscope on the dark and dusty corners of household spending – those items that people buy full of enthusiasm and zeal before rapidly losing interest in them.

"It seems to be more effort for people to unbox a gadget, find a home for it and then read the instructions than carry on the old-fashioned way."


yellowdog granny said...

sounds like someone needs to have a big as yard sale...

im sorry i havent been over as much as i would like..i have so damn many political blogs that i read now, im running out of fun time...will try and do better..

dom said...

It takes me longer to find my electric chopper-upper and set it up than it does to actually chop the food.
Would you like a chopper-upper before I put it on eBay ?