Are you a gadget hoarder? Survey says it's likely


What do you do with your old electronics? If you're like most Americans, you've probably stashed them away in a drawer or the back of a closet.

Doing this is called "gadget hoarding" – and it affects 68 percent of Americans, according to a survey by the online electronics marketplace, Usell.com.

The website says you're a gadget hoarder if you've owned a device you haven't used for two years or more.

Richard Holmes told the Grand Forks Herald that he's owned a Betamax VCR and an RCA video disk player since the early 1980s and has cellphones dating back 10 years.

“I’m an electronic hoarder,” Holmes told the newspaper. “If it’s made of transistors and silicone, I’ve got to have it and keep it forever.”

While most people may not save electronics as long as Holmes, the survey did find that 70 percent of Americans have multiple gadgets they haven't used in the past three months.

Usell.com says it's usually a combination of guilt and laziness that leads to gadget hoarding.

“People feel guilty throwing them away because they had value once, and there are a lot of environmental effects of dropping them into the landfill,” Nik Raman, uSell’s COO and co-founder, told the Grand Forks Herald. “And people don’t really want to go through the effort of a Craigslist or eBay listing.”

Fifty percent of those surveyed said they keep their old gadgets because they don't know what to do with them. CNN has some tips on how to go about getting rid of your old electronics. Among them:

– Selling them on websites like Craigslist, eBay, Amazon, among others.
– Trading them in for credit, which can offer a better deal than selling them. CNN says websites like Amazon, and stores like Best Buy, Target and GameStop offer trade-in programs.
– Donate them for some good karma. Local schools, Goodwill and other organizations can benefit from old laptops and other electronics.
– If your device is too old to sell or donate, it's time to recycle it. Most counties offer options for electronics recycling, which keeps dangerous chemicals out of landfills – just be sure to recycle any batteries separately. Stores like Best Buy, Office Depot and Staples also allow in-person electronic dropoffs, while some manufacturers have mail-in options.

Hennepin County offers free electronic drop offs, but only at its Bloomington location. Ramsey County also lists several options for residents on its website.

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