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A third of lockdown purchases now gathering dust

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Sewing machines, patio heaters and hot tubs are the most regretted purchases from previous lockdowns.

New research from GoCompare home insurance reveals that more than one in 10 people regret some of their lockdown purchases, and a third (32%) of these items are now not being used and gathering dust.

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During the pandemic and UK lockdowns, a third of people took up a new hobby or a side hustle and spent an average of £232 buying equipment for these new pastimes. With homes being the only place people could go for months, many people also spent money on indoor and outdoor bars, patio heaters and hot tubs to make their surroundings more comfortable.

Now, the research reveals that many of these items are now gathering dust around peoples’ homes and 12% of those surveyed said that they regretted making the initial purchase of at least one of these items.

  1. Patio heaters (18%)
  2. Sewing machine (16%)
  3. Hot tub (16%)
  4. Musical equipment (10%)
  5. Fire pit (9%)
  6. Bread maker (9%)
  7. Pizza oven (9%)
  8. An outdoor or indoor bar (9%)
  9. Gym equipment (8%)
  10. Desks / office equipment (6%)

Of the items GoCompare asked about, the top ten lockdown items that people have regretted investing in are:

Ceri McMillan, from GoCompare Home Insurance commented: “During the UK lockdowns, people were understandably investing in items to make their surroundings more comfortable and, with extra time on their hands, they were also looking to start new hobbies and even side hustles. It was well documented at the time that more people were baking, sewing and turning their outdoor spaces into sanctuaries.

“And while some people will still be making good use of these gadgets and various pieces of equipment, it appears from our research that a lot of these items are just sat around gathering dust.  If this sounds like you, it might be worth looking into whether you can resell these items.

“On the other hand, if you’re loving your new purchases and intend to keep them, you might want to consider whether you have the right level of insurance cover in place to protect them, in case the worst should happen.”

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“When you take out a contents insurance policy, you will be asked about the amount you need to cover all of your possessions.  It’s important that you don’t underestimate or overestimate the value of your contents, otherwise you may end up paying for cover you don’t need, or if you need to make a claim, you might not have enough to cover you if you need to replace your belongings – even the ones you don’t use,” Ceri added.

GoCompare home insurance has the following tips to help people work out the value of their home contents:

  • Walk around your property and make a list of your possessions – including carpets, curtains, garden furniture, plus any possessions you keep in the attic, shed, garage or outbuildings.
  • Estimate how much each possession costs. If you’re not sure, do some research to find what similar items are worth.
  • For any expensive single items, such as jewellery or gadgets, get an up-to-date valuation and look into personal possessions insurance.
  • Add the total cost of all your possessions combined to work out the amount of cover you need.
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Llanelli

West Wales car dealership to double in size

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Dafen-based Llanelli Motor Company have broken ground on a new development that will see their forecourt double in size over the coming months.

Led by Managing Director Ian Jonathan, the two-phase project will see the independent car dealership increase the number of used vehicles it has on sale to over 400 by January 2023.

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“It’s certainly an exciting period for the business,” said Ian, “and with the significant changes to the used car market, we felt now was the right time to start the project, which has been in the pipeline for over five years.”

Although the business was potentially looking at 2020 as a start date for the developments, the Coronavirus Pandemic put the brakes on the project.

However, since the easing of lockdown restrictions and the delay in obtaining new vehicles, the used car market has seen an unprecedented spike in demand.

Dafen based Llanelli Motor Company is planning to double in size
The company have broken ground on an expansion that will see over 400 cars on sale by the end of January 2023

“The last 12 months have been exceptionally busy,” continued Ian.

“No sooner are we finalising our 140-point safety check on vehicles before placing them on the forecourt, than they are being purchased within a matter of days”.

With the ability to stock 150 nearly new vehicles of all makes and models at the moment, the 1-acre expansion will increase this to 250 by September before more than doubling it to 400 by the spring of 2023.

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In order to facilitate this growth, the company will also be entering a recruitment phase and looking to employ at least 10 new members of staff across its sales, workshop and admin teams as well as taking on new apprenticeships.

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Lifestyle

Swansea man’s delight as he scoops combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize

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A Swansea man who was feeling lucky during the working week was left in a state of delighted disbelief on finding out he had won a combined £37,000 cash-and-car prize with online competitions company BOTB.

Anthony Brain from Swansea could not believe his luck when BOTB’s Christian Williams picked up the phone to let him know he was the winner of its Midweek Lifestyle competition.

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Anthony, who works for Swansea-based automotive products company Marelli, scooped a brand new BMW 128ti, as well as a cash prize of £2,000.

After recovering from his initial shock, Anthony said: “It’s absolutely unbelievable – I’m over-the-moon and still on a real high from it. It’s rare that I take part in the Midweek Lifestyle Competition – I think I’ve only entered it once or twice before – but I was feeling lucky during the working week, so thought ‘why not?’ When I got the call to say I’d won, I was stunned.

“Being a car enthusiast, I’m really excited about winning the car but the cash is brilliant too. We’ve already booked some holidays with some of the winnings, including to Italy and Florida. It’s nice to have something to look forward to.”

Anthony said his prize win has prompted colleagues to throw their hat in the ring and give BOTB’s competitions a go.

He added: “The thing is you’ve got to be in it to win it – and I think once you know someone who has won, you feel more hopeful that you could be in with a chance. I’d encourage anyone thinking about entering to try it for themselves.”

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Other recent winners have bagged a motorbike, a luxury holiday to Barbados and £15,000 in cash. 

The company, listed on the stock market, was founded by William Hindmarch in 1999 and has given away more than £47m worth of cars so far. 

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Food & Drink

Winner winner, weekday dinners: Morrisons introduces midweek dinners for under a fiver in its cafés

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Amidst the cost of living crisis, supermarket giant Morrisons is introducing a ‘meal of the day’ for under a fiver to its cafés nationwide.

Every weekday from 3pm, a ‘Daily Special’ will be discounted, offering a saving of up to £3.89 on the individual product price.

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The meal on offer will rotate each day and customers can choose from British roast chicken served with chips and coleslaw, a hearty chicken tikka masala, a 9-piece breakfast brunch, a succulent British cheeseburger served with chips and coleslaw and the ultimate beer-battered fish and chips.

The offer includes a drink and vegetarian alternatives are also available.

Each meal will be priced at £4.99, which the supermarket chain says makes them cheaper than the same evening meals at Wetherspoons, Harvester and Beefeater.

Morrisons also say that kids can also eat free all day with the purchase of any adult meal, meaning a family of four can enjoy a meal out together for just £9.98.

Ali Lyons, Head of Morrisons Cafés, says: “We know how hard it is for our customers at the moment and we want to make sure they are still able to enjoy a meal out, even on a budget. We’ve handpicked these favourites so that no matter what day it is, our customers can enjoy a saving.”

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Morrisons £4.99 offer will be available in its 406 cafés nationwide after 3pm every weekday. The ‘Daily Specials’ on offer are:

MondayRoast Chicken served with Chips & Coleslaw or Cheese & Onion Quiche served with Chips & Coleslaw 
TuesdayChicken Tikka Masala or Mac ‘n’ Cheese 
WednesdayBreakfast Brunch or Full Vegetarian Breakfast 
ThursdayCheeseburger served with Chips & Coleslaw  or Vegetarian burger served with Chips & Coleslaw 
FridayUltimate Fish & Chips

(Lead image: Morrisons)

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