Help the planet and boost your bank balance with our top tips to selling old clobber
RECYCLING old gear, from clothes to spent lipstick and furniture, is good for the environment AND your wallet.
Lots of us sell used items and gadgets, and now you can pocket £5 vouchers at High Street stores including M&S and H&M by recycling your old clobber, while you can save hundreds of pounds refreshing your home decor by trading in old pieces at Ikea.
But with some items, such as top fashion labels, you could make more selling it on eBay.
It is a great way to do the right thing for the environment while also benefiting your bank balance.
Here, we look at how you can do it.
Clothes and shoes
H&M – £5 off £25: Most stores will want clothes in good enough condition to be worn.
But fashion chain H&M accepts any unwanted clothes or textiles — even odd socks, towels and sheets.
You get £5 off a £25 spend in the form of points via its digital loyalty scheme.
Marks & Spencer – £5 off £35: Donate any of your unwanted clothes to Oxfam and as long as one item is M&S-branded, you get a voucher that is valid for one month.
You get one voucher for each donation.
But the clothes you are giving in must not be damaged and you cannot donate swimwear, under-wear or socks. But bras are OK.
Monsoon – £10 off £50: Take old Monsoon clothes to its stores and get a voucher for £10 off your next £50 spend with its “clothes for life” plan.
New Look – 15 per cent off: Donate clothes to support your local hospice to get a 15 per cent off voucher, which is valid for a year.
Take them to one of 85 Hospice UK shops.
To find one near you, see newlook.com/uk/hospiceuk.
In that store you scan a QR code and fill in a form to get hold of the voucher.
Schuh – £5 off £25: Take any unwanted shoes to get a £5 voucher at Schuh under its “sell your soles” scheme.
The footwear can be any brand and need not have been bought at Schuh.
But they must not be damaged and you need to spend at least £25 when using the voucher.
John Lewis – £5: Don’t bin empty Head & Shoulders bottles or used eyeliner pencils.
The retailer’s BeautyCycle scheme gives you a £5 voucher off your next beauty purchase when you return five empty make-up and skincare containers.
They can be any brand but you need to sign up to the free My John Lewis loyalty scheme.
Boots – £2.50 off £10: This scheme is less generous and does not include used bottles of shampoo that can go in the household recycling.
Just return five empties to get your voucher for 250 bonus Advantage Card points, worth £2.50, off your next Boots £10 spend.
MAC – free lipstick worth around £17.50: Return six used MAC containers — to a MAC counter in a department store or post them — to get a free MAC lipstick.
It excludes limited-edition ones.
MAC lippies normally cost around £17.50.
Perfume Shop – 10 per cent off: Get a discount voucher for your next purchase when you bring in old scent bottles from any retailer.
The store’s Advent Calender — with miniatures for him and her, from brands such as Hugo Boss, Paco Rabanne and Versace — costs £79.99. Get it for £72 instead.
Kiehl’s – £10: Return empty full-sized Kiehl’s containers and get points towards a £10 off voucher.
Each empty gets 15 points, and you need 120 for the voucher. You also need to be a member of its Family Rewards loyalty scheme.
Ikea – get £££s: Trade in old Ikea furniture for a voucher off new gear.
Used products returned in as-new condition with no scratches will be bought for 50 per cent of the original price.
But with minor scratches it is 40 per cent and if it is well-used with several scratches, 30 per cent.
The second- hand items are then sold on at stores’ Circular Hub area, previously known as the Bargain Corner.
Smart new ways to boost your home's security
BURGLARIES rise in the winter as crooks find it easier to spot when you are out – but new gadgets can help protect you.
Cameras, lights and alarms all come in “smart” versions that you can control and monitor from your smartphone.
You can have your lights turn on and off so it looks like you are home, plus see who is lurking in your garden, for instance.
Burglar alarms used to cost thousands but smart versions are cheaper since they are much easier to install.
We look at some of the best . . .
Amazon Blink outdoor or indoor, £49.99: Great value.
New version still has HD recording and motion detection but is cheaper thanks to less snazzy design. For use indoor or outdoor. Wire-free.
Good for those with an Echo Show – the Alexa device with a screen.
They link up easily so the Show can display what the camera sees. No ongoing costs.
Security camera and light
£169.99, from arlo.com: Top-end security camera and light in one unit.
The light turns on when it senses movement to scare off intruders, plus it can also record what they are up to.
It is wire-free, with six months’ battery life, and a monthly subscription for extra features
You will get an alert on your phone too. It is down from £259.99, with a free solar charger, until November 18.
Smart light bulbs
Philips Hue starter kit of two bulbs and hub, £69.99, John Lewis: These are smart lights that you can control, turning them on or off or changing their colours with your phone.
And for when you are away, the “Presence” feature turns lights on and off as if you are there, varying the timing so it is different each night.
As market leader, Hue has a huge range which also includes spotlights, strips and lamps, plus outdoor ones that can act as security lights when linked to motion sensors.
Netatmo smart alarm with camera, £319.99, Robert Dyas: As well as detecting burglars before they get in, with sensors on doors and windows, the separate camera can spot unfamiliar faces, while the 110-decibel siren warns off intruders.
It can also play “domestic” noises such as a Hoover as an extra deterrent. No ongoing costs.
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