Buying used electronics can get you a great deal, it’s no secret to anyone. Because used electronics have little to no mileage; that are simply goods customers returned for an upgrade, more likely than not. In those cases, the manufacturer or retailer may refurbish the item and even offer the new buyer coverage or a warranty in case of any future issues.
What many may not know, is that purchasing used electronics is not only good for your wallet, but it’s also good for the environment. By extending the lifespan of electronics, manufacturers reduce the need for new products to be manufactured using new resources and the number of products in landfills.
Buying used products is also an alternative when there is a shortage in the market. Rather than rush to the crowded stores running out of products, you can get a refurbished one that works just as well. In times of shortages, brand new products will likely become more expensive, making used products more attractive.
While you may get good deals and play a part in keeping the environment pristine, buying used electronics comes with risks. You may end up with a faulty product or lose money in the long run. Here’s how you can reduce the risks of buying used products.
Table of Contents
Ensure It Boots
Before you buy any electronic product, you must ensure it functions. If purchasing the product online, ensure the pictures show the device working. You can run the images through Tineye and Google Image Search to ensure that the seller did not pull the images off the internet. If you do meet the seller, turn the device on; don’t be rushed through the purchase. If anything doesn’t work as it’s supposed to, walk away from the deal.
If you buy a used computer, and it starts to slow down, you may ask yourself, why is my computer so slow? The reasons may be numerous, and most of them are solvable. If you take your used computer to a reputable repair shop, they can provide the necessary fixes and upgrades. With the proper care, your computer can be working like new again.
Since you are buying a used product, you expect to make some savings. But it would be best if you were realistic about the savings you would make. You may be looking for a price that doesn’t exist. Do your research and find out the product’s market price when it’s brand new. That will give you a starting point.
After that, you will have to get the price point of the used market to get the average price. You must compare apples with apples, you should look for the exact product, or your pricing assumptions will be skewed. You must compare the device’s make and model of the same product. Keep in mind that other factors like condition, accessories, packaging, warranty, and so on all play a part in the pricing.
There are reputable used electronics resellers, just as there are reputable sellers of brand new products. Using a reputable store may be slightly more costly than buying from a guy off the streets, but it will come with peace of mind.
You can also pay using payment gateways like PayPal, credit (not debit) card, and Braintree, which participate in flagging suspicious products and sellers. They also provide refund services for faulty goods.
Platforms like eBay and Craigslist, which have an extensive used electronics seller’s market, often provide tips on how to avoid scams. It’s in your interest to pay attention to the advice and use it. You can also use reviews to check the seller’s history and filter your results into verified or official refurbishers.
Ask for a Receipt
A popular phrase among sellers of used electronics is “barely used,” or something along those lines. It’s tempting to buy something barely used for a considerable discount, but you should be wary. The seller could have had the products for years. One way to tell if they are being honest is to ask for a receipt; that way, you can tell how new and unused the product will likely be.
Ask About Warranties
If you are lucky, you may purchase the product while it’s still under warranty. That means you can still use the original warranty after your purchase. You may find it helpful in the future, giving you peace of mind. So ask the seller for it.
Buy Used Electronics the Smart Way
There are numerous benefits to buying used electronics, including saving money and the environment. It can also be a good alternative when there are shortages in the market. As beneficial as used electronics may be, take precautions to avoid a bad purchase.