As retailers and shoppers gear up for another highly-charged Black Friday, the sustainability organisation, WRAP, is helping consumers buy just what they need, first time, with their SMART guide to buying electricals.
Their advice is simple: plan ahead, keep calm, buy smarter, and keep the environment in mind. You’ll probably save yourself some extra cash along the way too.
Each year the UK buys 2 million tonnes of electrical and electronic products (EEE), and generates around 1.5 million tonnes of waste EEE (WEEE). With an anticipated surge in sales of electrical goods on Black Friday, shoppers can avoid getting carried along with the crowds, buy what they need and get the most out of their electrical goods, while reducing their environmental impact too, by remembering WRAP’s handy acronym:-
M Make a decision
Here’s WRAP’s guide explained:-
Shortlist. Spend time researching and working out where to be (in store or online), and when, to get the deal you want. Consider also whether each product on your list is fit for purpose; is it compatible with your existing technology, is it going to fit where you want it to go? This should help your decision-making so you can buy, and use the product that is right for you.
Make a decision before you go out to target a purchase, and try to think about the lifetime of your selected product and its true value for money. Some products are designed to reduce their overall environmental impact. These products are usually more than just energy efficient – they’re designed to last longer, or be cleaned, repaired, upgraded or recycled more easily. You can find out more in our Buying Better Products guide at www.recyclenow.com
Act! (But calmly) Stick to your plan to get the bargains you want, rather than impulse buying something you haven’t researched (and probably don’t need). Make sure you don’t go in for a toaster and come out with a television. Also with some retailers extending their Black Friday sales this year, you may have more time than you think to make your final decision.
Register your appliance when you get home as a safety precaution. In a small number of cases, manufacturers may identify problems with an appliance once the product has been in use for some time. Normally a quick in-home fix by a qualified technician will banish any risk, but it can be difficult to trace customers as they do not often provide contact details when they buy a product. Registering is made easy at www.registermyappliance.org.uk and registering with the manufacturer may also save you money by entitling you to an extended warranty or guarantee period.
Trade-in old products that you’re replacing to save some extra money. Did you know that Argos offer a Gadget Trade-in scheme where you can trade-in second hand tablets and mobiles in return for credit off future purchases? Our research shows UK householders have around £1 billion worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes which they no longer use – items you could sell to high street shops, sell online, or donate to a charity shop.
(Or, if it doesn’t work recycle it). Of around 1.5 million tonnes of electricals discarded in the UK each year, around a quarter ends up in the residual waste bin. But if your electrical item no longer works, there’s no need to bin it! Just take a look at our local Recycling Locator at www.recyclenow.com to see where you can recycle your old products.
Malcolm Waddell, Delivery Manager, Electricals and Circular Business Models at WRAP, said: “We’re working closely with leading electrical manufacturers and retailers to transform the industry and generate value through sustainability. But there’s a lot we can do as consumers too, to ensure we are switched on to value and getting the most out of our electrical items, which includes buying only those we will use.
“SMART buying is all about buying better, sensibly, and sustainably. Keeping a cool head, and our guide in mind, before you even step inside a store, or enter an online shop on Black Friday, should help you make the right buying decisions. But don’t forget to enjoy your new product! Take time to set it up properly and maintain it to get the best out of your purchase. And understand your rights for return. Although we hope that if you’ve done your research and been smart about your purchase, you’ll be happy with your product and avoid having to return it.”
So if you’re hoping to snap up some bargain electrical or electronic items in the Black Friday sales, remember WRAP’s advice and be SMART about it.
To find out more about WRAP visit www.wrap.org.uk/sustainable-electricals