Should You Buy Second-Hand Tech?
Environmental impact can be significantly decreased simply by opting for recycled electronics
According to the Global E-waste Monitor, the world’s population is generating approximately 50 million tonnes of electronic waste each year. To a great extent, this waste could be either reused or recycled, but unfortunately most of it goes to landfill. As consumers, we have the power to act. And thankfully, there are plenty of ways to minimise our technological impact.
Current generations are extremely interested in the latest technologies to appear on the market, without realising the amount of energy and resources that go into making new electronics. Choosing to buy refurbished or second-hand devices as an alternative to new ones could be an act of benevolence for people wanting to reduce the environmental waste within production and selling.
Often, advertisements for mobile phones, laptops, televisions, household appliances and other constantly upgraded electronics can become overwhelming. Concerns about cosmetic damages, quality or performance of the products may stop shoppers from opting for refurbished or pre-owned electronics. In this plethora of modern options, an extra amount of effort might be needed when deciding to purchase second-hand tech.
Smartphones are the most commonly used devices in the world, representing gateways to real-time information and socialization. Due do their incredible practicality and the fast-paced upgrades on the market, people tend to favour purchasing new phones over re-used or refurbished ones. Consequently, it’s wise to look for a model that came out within the last two to three years, which will make it easier to install new features and apps. Battery life and memory capacity are some of the first things that start to degrade in a mobile phone. But the good news is, there are options to either carry a power bank or even replace some battery models.
Lifespans of laptops are typically longer, so when looking to buy one, even going for an older model is a reliable alternative. Factoring in the age, storage capacity, performance quality in correlation with the original cost are things to look out for that will help you get more years from a second-hand laptop.
New, used or refurbished?
Items that have been used before by a previous owner are usually not repaired prior to being sold. For that reason, their condition can vary and items may be faulty or damaged. Pre-owned accessories are a good option for devices that may come with missing ones. Used devices may sometimes come with no warranties from the previous owners, and if for some that feels untrustworthy, there are options other than new, such as refurbished or reconditioned electronics.
Refurbished gadgets are ones that may have been returned to the seller or used but underwent maintenance and should work exactly the same as new. Since they are restored and not coming straight from the factory, their prices are usually discounted.
Not recycling our own old electronics before buying new ones or doing it the wrong way, equally contributes to waste and pollution. As people become preoccupied with the latest devices on the market, they tend to overlook the environmental consequences. Resale marketplaces for used electronics along with repair services are almost omnipresent, and for some, hardware or software changes can be very minimal. The best practice is to focus on holding onto our electronics for as long as possible, opting to repair them, and when shopping, trying to buy second-hand.