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Pros and Cons of Buying Used Electronics

Pros and Cons of Buying Used Electronics

There is no doubt we are living in the age of technology. This is evidenced nearly every day as you look around you. Almost every individual from teens to adults has an electronic device of some kind. Even children younger than kindergarten age know how to use them.

It’s also indisputable that technology has many advantages. For instance, you can talk to nearly anyone at any time from your smartphone. You can even use electronics, such as Amazon Echo, to run your house.

But many of these useful electronic devices come at a price and it isn’t cheap.  Consider that smartphones now cost several hundred dollars, a price that has more than doubled from just a few years ago.

This is why some consumers are beginning to look for alternatives such as buying products that are used rather than new. However, is buying used electronics the wisest option? Let’s explore the pros and cons of buying used electronics to help you decide what’s right for you.


Cost is Lower

Of course, one of the first pros of buying used electronics that comes to mind is price. However, just how much difference there is in the price depends on the brand of the used equipment you are considering. It also depends on the type, age, and condition of what you are buying.

Contracts May be Skipped

Another positive reason to buy used digital equipment, such as a smartphone, rather than new is that you may be able to skip the contract. When you have a contract on a new phone it can cost hundreds extra in charges each year.

When you purchase a used one, though, you could sign up with a cell carrier that charges much less. In addition, you might be able to pay month to month or for a certain number of minutes. This could save you hundreds each year.

Less Equipment in the Landfill

Buying used phones, tablets, computers, and other electronic equipment reduces the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill each year. Some of these products are not biodegradable. That means the more we put in the landfill, the faster it fills up.


You Could Get Scammed

I had a friend who bought a used phone not too long ago. The seller told my friend that she wouldn’t be able to use it until a certain time later that night after it was unlocked by the service provider. Sadly, the time came and went but the phone still didn’t work.

My friend continued to pursue the issue of why the phone was locked and found out there was still a balance owed on the phone by the previous owner. Meanwhile the previous owner began dodging her calls.

After a lot of hassle, my friend eventually reached the seller and got her money back. I’m sure other people who buy used phones are not as lucky and end up with a non-working phone and less money in their pockets.

No Warranty

The second con of purchasing electronics that are used is the lack of a warranty. Should something go wrong with the equipment, even shortly after you buy it, you may end up having to buy another one.

It is quite possible that by the time you pay for two pieces of used equipment in order to save money you will end up spending more than you would have for a single new one.

Equipment Life May Be Shortened

When you buy something used you really take a gamble on how long the electronic equipment will work. You don’t know for certain if it has been treated well or mistreated, which could shorten its lifespan.

Once again the end result is no equipment and less money for you.

When to Buy Used and When Not To

So, how do you know when to buy used and when not to? My opinion is that if you need the item under consideration to be dependable at all times, like a cell phone, buy it new. On the other hand, if it is more recreational, such as an e-reader, then by all means, buy it used if you dare.

Electronic equipment, depending on what it is, can be quite expensive when it is new. But as you can see, buying used has positives and negatives. Therefore, it is helpful to know some of the pros and cons of buying used electronics before making a decision either way.

Have you ever purchased used electronics and if so, how did it turn out?

About Kayla Sloan

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

One comment

  1. Oy, this is a tough one! I’ve bought used electronics before and I have to say I haven’t been happy. I’ve had success with manufacturer-refurbished items, though, like my Roku.

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