Old televisions are being taken to tips and offered free on Trade Me as New Zealanders prepare for the looming digital switchover.

Although the upper North Island does not switch to digital until December next year, the tumbling cost of new TVs has meant those seeking to offload their old set have little chance of a re-sell. A search for old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs on Trade Me yesterday brought up 1474 listings - many with a 50c starting bid or free with pick-up.

Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said the number of CRT TV listings actually fell 16 per cent last year as sellers struggled to find buyers.

"Plenty of people may have already upgraded and moved on, and sellers will have noticed that there is not an abundance of buyers for these old boxes." Sales of CRT sets were down 31 per cent compared with last year and the sale price had fallen 47 per cent.


"People are not prepared to bid as high for them now either, with the average sale price for one of these old tellys almost halving compared to a year ago," Mr Ford said.

Transfer stations and recycling centres have noted an increase in old sets being dropped off for a small fee, with at least one or two being given to the Devonport transfer station daily.

Greg Harford, national manager of Government-funded Going Digital, said there was no need to buy a new TV for the switchover. A set-top box and UHF aerial or satellite dish would enable all analogue TVs to go digital, and last year Going Digital enabled a 53-year-old TV to receive digital TV.

* Make it digital-ready with equipment such as a set-top box.
* Great with a retro 80s computer.
* Tune to static and use as a nightlight.
* Cover with a cloth and use as a coffee table.