How to Save Money: Tips and Tricks

How to save money!

Want to save money? Here’s how!

With the increase of all significant bills within the UK, things have become difficult for us all; in this article, I aim to go over valuable tips and hints to help save money.

To start, it’s essential to understand precisely how much we have to work with, which is why I highly recommend sitting down and calculating the exact amount your bills come to; this will help us outline the amount of money you have left after all your bills are paid.

Once you have done so, it’s time to re-assess specific bills, perhaps you’re paying higher on direct debits to your gas and electricity providers (for example), and it’s time to re-adjust these bills to a more representative amount. Perhaps you’re paying for something you no longer want or use, such as a streaming service (little bills add up and are easy to forget about)

So, you’ve adjusted what you can,  now what?

Here comes the fun bit.

Now that you’ve fully outlined the exact amount you have free at the end of the month. Did you know that you can pay to fuel your car with an Argos card? That’s right! In theory, you could fill your car with petrol at a Sainsbury’s petrol station and pay with an Argos card, essentially giving you the option to slowly pay it off in manageable instalments with low-interest rates. If you are required to drive to work, this could be an excellent option!

You can also use the same Argos Card to pay for your groceries; this option can only be used in Sainsbury’s in-store but works in the same way and concept as paying for your fuel or anything other purchase with the card; using said card gives you the option to spread the cost, effectively and efficiently. Again, this is because Argos is owned by Sainsbury’s, it may not be the best option in the world, but if it helps make a monthly shop less daunting and allows you to spread the cost, I believe this is invaluable to know during these times.

Speaking of groceries, another fantastic way to save money is to buy the budget brands of your favourite items; home brand items are not only cheaper overall than the branded items but usually made within the same factory as said branded items and are precisely the same product made with the same ingredients.

Do you need new furniture? Or other household items?

Why not check out selling sites online and buy second-hand items! Preloved items come with a story; the items have been used and loved by another family, and because of that, they’re cheaper than brand new and, therefore, can save you money. In fact, many buying and selling sites online frequently have free items available online, and so the only money you may spend is the fuel to come and collect the item/have it delivered to your address.

Want to make extra cash on the side?

Why not assess what items you own that have decent resale value? Old phones and tablets, for example, are still worth reasonable amounts of money; selling them to us at Gecko Mobile and other companies like us is an excellent way to make extra money; for example, if you have an iPhone X, you could sell that to us for around £155! We accept many devices, including Apple Watches, Huawei, iPads and even Samsung! Check out our website now and see how much you could make


5 Reasons Not To Sell Your Phone On eBay

It may at first seem like a good idea to sell your old mobile phone on eBay. But with mobile phone trade in websites making the sale process quicker, easier and risk-free, there are 5 reasons why you should consider not selling your phone on eBay.

1) Returns

eBay allows buyers 30 days from delivery to return phones for any reason under their Money Back Guarantee.

Buyers are allowed to return items under the eBay Money Back Guarantee regardless of your return policy (even if you state that returns are not accepted).

PayPal (eBay’s only payment processor at time of writing) allows buyers 6 months to open a dispute for a refund, and the main card issuers (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) all allow buyers 6 months to open a chargeback for a refund. It is almost impossible to successfully dispute a PayPal case or chargeback; the system is biased heavily in the interest of the buyer.

In conclusion, eBay returns can really eat into your postage costs and time, and PayPal cases and chargebacks can unexpectedly come back to bite you in the future.

2) Scammers

Scammers are notorious on eBay. They seem to come up with new tricks every day: returning rocks instead of phones, falsely claiming the item didn’t arrive, collecting the item but then claiming it wasn’t received, the list goes on…

These risks can be eliminated by selling your phone to a legitimate mobile phone recycling company, who will pay you via irreversible bank transfer once the item has arrived and been processed.

3) Fees

There are many hidden costs when selling on eBay. These include:

  • 10% final value fee
  • Listing fees
  • Fee to sell your listings faster [promoted listings] – typically around 5% extra
  • Postage fees

With a mobile phone recycler a pre-paid postage label is provided, and all postage is at their expense. There are no hidden nasties when selling to a mobile phone trade in site.

4) Effort

Your listing is a needle in a haystack on eBay. You need to spend time listing it in the correct category, with relevant keywords in the title and accurate and complete information in the listing specification section.

You also need to make your product sound appealing (without mis-selling it) and get your buyer to trust you with their hard earned cash – this is difficult and time consuming in itself as you have to build a reputation and positive feedback profile.

It takes such little time and effort to go onto a mobile phone trade in website and complete a simple form and allow them to help you do the rest.

5) Time to sell & timewasters

It takes time for a phone to sell at a good price on eBay. Your listing is one of thousands of similar items, some being sold for next-to-nothing. You’ll have to wait to get a good price. This could take weeks.

You could always speed up the process by auctioning your phone, but then the problem of timewasters comes into play – people who win your auction but then never pay. This wastes your time as you have to relist the item for another duration of time – before you know it it has been weeks and still no cash in the bank.


In conclusion, if you’re looking for a quick, easy, risk-free way to sell your old iPhone or smartphone, the better option may be a mobile phone trade in website like Gecko Mobile Recycling vs a marketplace like eBay.

iPhone 8: Price, Release Date & Rumours

That time of year is here again. Apple is scheduled to shortly unveil the latest iteration of its flagship product: iPhone. On the 12th of September the tech world will hold its breath as Apple executives announce a device expected to be dubbed iPhone 8. This year’s release is said to be a significant upgrade from the iPhone 7, not least because it is iPhone’s 10th birthday. Here is what we know so far about the iPhone 8 release date, price and other rumours…

iPhone 8

iPhone 8 Release Date

Although the new iPhone will almost certainly be announced on September 12, we need to wait for Apple to confirm the release date. According to TechRadar the iPhone 8 will be released at the end of September or October, with the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus being released beforehand in mid September. Demand for the new models is expected to be high, so we recommend pre-ordering your new phone as soon as you can.

iPhone 8 Price

According to a recent report by the New York Times, Apple’s new iPhone is set to be priced at an eye-watering $999 (£780) for the base model. If true, this is a significant increase from the £599 32GB iPhone 7.

Like its predecessors,  you will need to cough up extra if you want more storage for your iPhone 8. Rumours suggest that the new phone will come in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB storage configurations. This would make sense as the latest iPad boasts the same storage options, and will be welcome news for anyone who stores lots of media on their device.

iPhone 8 Features & Design

iPhone 8 Rear Housing

According to MacRumours the iPhone 8 is a big departure from its predecessors in terms of design. Apple are said to be doing away with the outdated LCD technology used in its previous iPhones, and replacing it with OLED technology in at least the premium iPhone 8 model. This will allow for a thinner device that uses less power, with a much higher quality display than previous models. The screen size of the new model is said to be 5.5″, the same as the iPhone 7 Plus.

In addition to an OLED display, the new iPhone is rumoured to boast an all glass enclosure (not great if you have slippery fingers!). It is yet to be seen whether Apple will do anything to strengthen the housing (for example using Corning Gorilla Glass, or sapphire as they have in their camera lenses and home buttons of the past).

Speaking of home buttons, the iPhone 8 is set to shun its main button. The rumoured edge-to-edge glass display will take its place, with face recognition replacing the function of Touch ID.

Fans of Samsung’s wireless charging will rejoice as the iPhone 8 is reportedly set to adopt the technology. Leaked images from Foxconn – who manufacture Apple’s devices – show an induction charging coil, adding weight to the rumour.

Leaked images of iPhone 8 induction charging coil.

Under the hood, it may come as no surprise that Apple has kitted the iPhone 8 out with the latest silicon. The new A11 chip is both faster and more energy efficient than earlier iterations.

Sell your old iPhone

iPhone trade-in prices are set to plummet after the iPhone 8 announcement, as supply exceeds demand. Here at Gecko Mobile Recycling we are planning to drop our prices steeply in response to increased trade in volume. We suggest registering your sale before the 12 September announcement to lock in the price. You can sell your old iPhone here.

5 Best iOS Tricks You Didn’t Know Existed

We all know the iPhone is a powerful little tool. We’ve grown up with the various generations, from the early first generation, to the brilliant iPhone 6S. One of the best things about the smartphone is that it keeps on surprising us! You can use an iPhone for months, and still find new functionality along the way. That’s what today’s post is all about. We’re looking at all the various tips and tricks that Apple have snuck into the new iOS program. (Most of the tricks we’re looking at are on the latest iOS, so some older models might not apply).

  1. Medical ID

This is not only one of the coolest tricks, it’s also one of the smartest. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it. But if you do, it might just save your life. Using Medical ID, your phone can show all your important medical and contact info without opening the lock screen. If you’re involved in an accident, doctors and paramedic can see all the crucial info. You can add everything from blood type to prescriptions to allergies. You can also input emergency contacts. You can set all this up in the health app.

apple medical ID

  1. Apple Pay

Apple Pay is growing quickly. More and more shops and stores are accepting this as a valid form of payment. There are even rumours that they’re eating into PayPal’s market share. Using Apple Pay, you simply pay wirelessly for real life goods. You can also use it to pay for apps, rather than linking up your bank account. Once you’re inside the app, you can quickly and easily make extra purchases too.

Apple Pay

  1. Use the headphone cord to take pictures

How often do you find yourself stretching to take that perfect selfie. Maybe you’re trying to get a whole group of you in the frame! Tricky, isn’t it? But, did you know there’s an easier way? All you have to do is plug your headphones in, and use the volume button. Much more flexible. Much easier. It’ll change the way you take pictures.

take photos with Apple earphones

  1. Siri, remind me…

Siri has come a long way from its early introduction. It’s turned from something that was fun to mess around with, to a super useful tool. One of our favourites is asking Siri to remind you to do something. Let’s say you got an email about a meeting. Just say “Siri, remind me about the meeting with John at 3pm”. And Siri will give you a nudge at 3pm. It’s that simple. You can do this for just about anything.

siri remind me

  1. Find my phone

If you’re anything like us, you misplace your phone all the time. That’s where ‘find my phone’ comes in especially useful. Make sure you activate the ‘find my phone’ setting, and connect it to your iCloud account. Then, simply use your laptop to trigger a beep or vibration to your lost phone. Simple!

find my iphone

Now you know all the secrets, you can impress your friends! Do you know any more tips and tricks that we’ve missed?

Man Follows Stolen iPhone Across The World, Becomes A Celebrity In China

These days most of us can’t live without being no more than a few feet away from our mobile phones. They are tools that help us to be more productive and efficient in our lives.

They allow us to communicate with others online through email and instant messaging. Mobile phones also help us to better organise our lives. It comes as no surprise that having our mobiles stolen can be devastating.

With devices like the iPhone, the good news is that most of our personal data gets backed up in “the cloud”. That means we can easily transfer that data onto a new device. Because of their high value, the Apple iPhone is a sought-after target for thieves.

Most stolen iPhones end up in the Far East, in places such as Hong Kong and China. And that’s what happened to the iPhone belonging to one man from New York.

8,000 miles away

Matt Stopera is a staff writer for the BuzzFeed website. He recalls how his remarkable story began one evening in New York. Back in February 2014 he went for some drinks to a local bar. To his horror, he soon discovers someone had stolen his iPhone from the table where he was sat.

matt stopera buzzfeed
Matt Stopera

His efforts to try and find his phone were futile, with the device going straight to voicemail. Fast-forward a year later and he’s rocking a new iPhone. The weird thing is, he notices that photos of some Chinese guy keep appearing in his Photo Stream.

brother orange

Both he and a friend soon deduce that his stolen iPhone has ended up with this person. Various photos are of the man next to buildings with Chinese writing on them, so they work out the iPhone is in China.

Matt becomes something of a celebrity when he posts up a story on BuzzFeed asking who the man is.

Brother Orange

Soon after an international search gets carried out to track down this Chinese man. Matt discovers his story got translated and posted up on the social network Weibo. People start referring to the man in the photos as the Orange Tree Man. That’s because some of his photos got taken beside orange trees. Later on, that man would become known as “Brother Orange.”

Once the man got found, thanks to the power of the Internet, Matt signs up to Weibo and starts chatting to him. It turns out the man, Li Hongjun, got given the iPhone as a gift from his cousin.

matt stopera weibo
The first day Matt joined Weibo (Chinese equivalent of Facebook) he gained 50,000 followers!

The pair chat to each other on Weibo for some weeks and then “Brother Orange” invites him out to China!

An extraordinary turn of events then ensues. With the help of BuzzFeed and a couple of translators, Matt flies out to meet Brother Orange. The pair get treated like celebrities. They are often seen on Chinese social networks and the media!

matt meets brother orange

For the next few days, Matt strikes up an unlikely friendship with Brother Orange. The pair spend several days together, and Matt feels like he’s with a long-lost brother! And, yes, Brother Orange gives Matt back his stolen iPhone.

Today, Matt and Brother Orange are the best of friends, albeit of the long-distance kind.

Does It Matter That HTC ripped Off The iPhone?

The Apple vs, Android debate has raged wildly for almost a decade now. Each corner fights fiercely to dominate the market. While their respective fans and customers will argue their merits until they’re blue in the face. But, the whole debate came to a big, public head this week.

HTC released its latest successor, the HTC One A9. On paper, it’s a fantastic addition to their line up. It has one of the best cameras on the market, improved graphics, and Android’s new Marshmallow operating system. It’s a brilliant phone.

But critics couldn’t help but notice one small detail. It looks exactly like the iPhone 6.


Has HTC purposely copied Apple’s flagship design? Or is it purely an accident? A byproduct of inspiration and current trends? Well, the jury is decidedly in Apple’s camp, if you read the myriad blogs and articles on the internet. Meanwhile, HTC are claiming it’s Apple that are copying them! It’s getting heated over in Silicon Valley, that’s for sure.

Apple vs. Android

The division between Apple and Android users is almost tribal. A blind loyalty exists among the two biggest mobile operators. Apple generally has the upper hand in terms of design and usability. But, arguably, Android is the more powerful operating system. And loyal Android customers love the customisation. It’s always been fairly amicable between the two, but this issue is stirring things up!

What exactly has HTC copied?

Well, take one look at the new A9, and it’s not hard to see the similarities. The HTC has the same sleek design as the iPhone 6. The rounded corners have obvious connections with the new Apple design. And, most incriminating of all, the protruding camera lens is suspiciously similar. There’s also an antenna on the back, which Apple famously changed in previous iterations. Not to mention the familiar looking range of metallic colours which mimics Apple’s latest design.

Or is it the other way round?

The biggest argument coming from the HTC camp is that Apple actually copied them. They have called their HTC a ‘design worth imitating’, and they clearly think Apple have done exactly that. They maintain that they were the first to introduce metallic designs. They also claim to have been the first to put the antenna on the back of the phone. They might have a point on the antenna, but the rest of the argument falls distinctly flat. It seems the internet is having trouble believing HTC’s claims!

Does it matter?

At the end of the day, Apple and Android have been borrowing ideas from each other for a decade. Apple adopted Android’s keyboard shortcuts and their split screen mode. They also stole Google maps (though quite frankly, Apple can keep Apple maps). The point is that tech companies take inspiration from everywhere. In the end, it helps create better products. Is this is a step too far? Maybe.
What do you think, readers? Is the new HTC a blatant rip off? And do you care? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and rants in the comment section.

12 iPhone Camera Hacks To Step Up Your Photography Game


Did you know that you can use your iPhone camera as more than just a selfie machine? That’s right, folks. You can actually produce professional quality photos and artwork with your camera phone. But, if you want to get really good, you’d better learn these 12 iPhone camera hacks, and step up your photography game.

  1. Burst mode – How many times do you take a selfie, and then take it again because it wasn’t right? And then again… And again… Instead, simply hold down the shutter button when taking a photo. It will take a burst of photos. You’re guaranteed to get at least one good one, right?


  1. Sunglasses filter – The latest iPhone comes with a pretty good range of stock filters. Instagram has another good set. But, why not get a really unique look by using your own filter? Just put your tinted sunglasses in front of the lens. Easy.


  1. Tights filter – Everyone’s using the hazy filter these days. You can show off by making your own instead. Simply stretch a pair of tights over the lens while you take a photo. I know you’re all going to go and try this now.


  1. Binocular zoom – Let’s face it, the iPhone zoom function is pretty terrible. That’s because it’s not a real zoom. It just crops the photo and enlarges it. You need a real optical zoom instead. Try putting a pair of binoculars in front of the lens.


  1. Underwater photos – Wait, what? Yep, you really can take underwater photos with your iPhone. It might sound crazy, but here’s the trick. Simply put your iPhone upside down in a clear glass. Submerge the glass slightly, and you’ll capture the underwater scenes.


  1. Tripod – Did you know that you can use your earbuds to take a photo from a distance? Just use the + button on the wire. It means you can make a little cardboard tripod, and take better photos from far away.


  1. Tap focus – The iPhone autofocus is super frustrating. Turn it off, and use the self focus. All you have to do is tap the screen where you want it to focus.


  1. Use your own lenses – There are tons of extra lenses you can buy for the iPhone. A separate fish eye lens is pretty cool. You can also use a tiny macro, held in place with some tape.


  1. HDR – Not many people know this feature exists. Turn it on, and your camera instantly takes higher quality pics. (It does take up extra space in your camera roll though).


  1. Panorama fun – Panorama shots are great for scenery. But, they’re also great for messing around. See how many times you can appear in your friend’s panorama photo. Just remember to run around the back so you don’t end up with super stretched limbs.


  1. Water drop macro – If you can’t afford an additional macro lens for your phone, use a water droplet. Put a tiny (tiny!) drop of water on the lens for a smudgy, unfocused effect.


  1. Try a time lapse – Put your iPhone in time lapse mode. Now leave it in one place, and let it take photos over a long period of time. When it’s finished, you’ll have an awesome slow-mo effect.


Got any iPhone camera hacks of your own? Let us know!

Turn Your iPhone Into A Satellite Phone

iphone satellite phone sleeve

These days, we all take mobile phone coverage for granted. No matter where we are in the world, we expect to get a signal. It is thus altogether worrying and annoying when we are in an area without a decent level of phone coverage. There was a time when, if you wanted the ultimate level of coverage, you would need to get a satellite phone. Those days are long gone, though, because you can now transform your existing phone into one of these devices.

What is a satellite phone?

You might be wondering what a satellite phone is and rightly so. These incredible devices are not always available on the mainstream market. That means that not everybody knows that they exist. Unlike standard mobile phones, this type of device connects to satellites in space. You may already know that there are many satellites orbiting the globe at this moment in time. If you plan on travelling to areas where there is unlikely to be phone coverage, it is worth having one of these devices. They can offer you an unimaginable level of coverage no matter where you are.

When would you need it?

Much of the time, people use satellite phones when they are out exploring the world. For example, if you plan to trek across the desert, you might want to have one of these devices on you at all times. That way, you can be sure that you can communicate with the rest of the world whenever you need to do so. Of course, if you are in the middle of nowhere, this is the type of device that could save your life. If you tend to worry about losing signal when you need it the most, it may be worth getting one of these phones. Alternately, you can now turn your iPhone into a satellite phone in just one simple step.

What is Thuraya SatSleeve?

The Thuraya SatSleeve is one of the most exciting new gadgets on the market. As the name suggests, this device is a simple sleeve that you slip over your current phone. At the moment, you can get this gadget for both iPhones and some Android phones. Once you have put the sleeve on your phone, you can start accessing satellite phone coverage. You can use all the normal features on your phone, and so you don’t need to worry about usability. It is crucial that you are cautious when using this system, though, or it could cost you a small fortune.

How much does it cost?

The sleeve itself costs around £400, which is quite a lot when you consider the average cost of a smartphone. Once you connect to a satellite, calls and messages will cost you much more than they do on your current plan. That is why it is crucial that you only use this gadget when you need to do so. The specialist technology is not for day to day use, but for extreme circumstances. Regardless of the cost, the fact that this brand new technology is available to everybody is exciting news.

iPad App Grounds Planes

pilots using ipads on flight deck

These days, we all need technology to aid us in our everyday life. There are so many apps on the market right now that you can control your entire life with your smartphone or tablet. It is not just citizens who use apps all the time, though – professionals also need them in their daily activities. It might surprise you to learn that some of the most technical career people, such as pilots, use this type of technology to help them. When the tech fails, though, there are catastrophic consequences.

Until as recently as 2013, the major airlines in the world tended to use paperwork on board. Pilots would often have to carry reams of paperwork with them, which seemed a little unnecessary. That year, American Airlines made the crucial decision to go paperless. The change would save trees and also save a whole load of cash in fuel each year. Aside from being better for the environment, this move made each pilot’s job easier than it was before that time. With the use of an online database and a simple app, the entire staff had access to all the information they needed. With much of the modern world using new high-tech gadgets, it made perfect sense that the professionals would too.

iPad Software

When the company chose to go paperless, they gave each of their pilots an iPad, loaded with all the apps they would need. While in-flight, the tablet means that any pilot can access a wealth of flight information, maps and features. In essence, this technology should mean that there are never any technical glitches. As we all know, though, no software works like clockwork. In fact, much of the time, it can fail you when you need it most.

App glitch (April 2015)

Last month, there was a glitch with the some third-party software, which caused the pilots’ iPads to stop working. American Airlines were quick to point out that the problem was with the app itself, rather than Apple’s software. The app in question was FliteDeck – a specialist piece of software that is only available to people within the industry. Unfortunately, the app stopped working for a brief period, which meant that many planes could not fly. According to sources, a duplicate database in the application caused it to malfunction. Without the app, there was no way for the pilots to continue in their jobs. That in itself just goes to show how much faith people put in technology.

Quick fix

When the problem arose, the officials at American Airlines were quick to act. The management team told each pilot to uninstall and reinstall the app so that it might work. Some people found that doing so solved their problem altogether. Failing that, pilots flying certain routes had to use PDF copies of the database so that they could navigate the flight.

Most airlines around the globe have now switched (or are now switching) to paperless systems. That means that the majority of planes will need to use modern technology on board. The move is one that should mean flights are safer than they once were because the app offers pilots timely updates.

Apple Sells 61.1 Million iPhones In Q1 2015

apple q1 2015 sales by product

The iPhone has always been a high-selling product. As one of Apple’s most popular lines, it is no great surprise that the phone makes the company a large percentage of its income. Annual iPhone sales are always extremely high, but in Q1 of 2015, the company surpassed expectations. In the first quarter of this year, Apple sold 61.1 million units. There is no denying the fact that the iPhone is one of the best-selling phones of all time, and now Apple have the figure to prove it.

Record sales in 2015

This quarter has been Apple’s second most successful quarter of all time. That means that there have been record-breaking sales in short periods. This period came second only to the last quarter in 2014 when the brand sold 74.5 million phones. It is, of course, understandable that in the lead up to Christmas there was a peak in sales. Despite that, nobody expected the high level of sales to continue into the new year.

In the same quarter last year, the numbers were nowhere near as impressive as they are now in 2015. In fact, at the time some investors complained that there was a decrease in sales. There has been a mind-blowing increase in sales between 2014 and 2015. In fact, in Q1 of 2014, Apple sold a just 43.7 million units. That means that in this quarter, the brand sold 17.7 million more iPhones than it did in the same quarter last year.

Users switching to iPhone

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has commented that there has been a noticeable trend in people switching to iPhones. While there is a broad range of smartphones on the market, it would appear that many users favour Apple over the vast competition.

Boost in Chinese sales

America has always been Apple’s biggest market and thus one in which the company promotes itself greatly. For a long time, though, Europe came a close second, but recent numbers show that times are changing. An enormous boost in Apple sales in China has meant that the country is now the second largest market for Apple products. The change follows the company opening five new Apple Stores in the region. The move is just one aspect of the company’s plan to grab the Chinese market. By 2016, there should be 40 new stores in the country, which will help to boost Apple’s Asian sales.

iPad Vs. iPhone

Despite the growing popularity of the iPhone, it would appear that the far less fashionable iPad is lagging behind. Apple has sold over 250 million tablets since they released the iPad back in 2010. While at first that number might sound impressive, it is a mere drop in the ocean when you compare it to iPhone sales.

Experts believe that the growing trend will continue, and Apple will keep selling record amounts of iPhones in Q2. With no new iPhone releases on the horizon, though, some customers might wait it out until the next iPhone comes out. That issue means that Apple could see a decline in their sales, at least in the short-term.

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