How to Buy Used Electronics

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At a time when it makes more environmental sense to recycle goods and make use of used electronic stuff, looking for second-hand devices is a great idea. It is important to know how to go about buying used stuff it in order to make long-lasting purchases.

Is it any different from buying some of the other used stuff we buy online, you may ask?  The method perhaps may be the same, but you may need to have fool proof checks before you buy electronic goods online.  It is certainly not as easy or safe as buying used furniture and cars, for buying second-hand electronic stuff may be the riskiest of all. This is mainly because there is a possibility that the used electronic items you intend to buy will not come with a valid warranty or it could just be a defective piece.

Research is key

You could of course, make a safe purchase if you research the product thoroughly. Some products are designed to last a long time while some really do not last long. In some, there are known defects behind the failure of the product. It helps if you do your research thoroughly so that you make an informed purchase.

Online reviews of product

It is good to go through online reviews and even communicate with the owner. Once you are armed with details of the product and any known defects, you can quiz the owner for these problems in the product. Your initial homework on the product will guide you to make certain checks regarding the item.

You must also make a comparative analysis of the gains you will make buying an old used product vis-a-vis a new device. In some cases, the new device will have certain features the old one doesn’t. If that’s the case, you will be better informed to buy the old one at a well negotiated price rather than what is quoted.


You must ensure the product has a good enough warranty. This means you need to know the duration of the warranty as well as the extent of cover it provides. In some instances, there is a provision of an extended warranty. In that case, you can check the duration and the cost.  A warranty period can speak a lot about the product or the level of confidence a manufacturer has in the product. If the warranty is of a shorter duration, chances are the manufacture is not too confident of his product. This could be the reason the seller wants to dispose it. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Keep the receipts and warranty card in a place where you can easily retrieve it. This is required in case you need to repair the unit or order for a replacement.

Test the product

Important to test the product before buying it, especially if the purchase is not from a well known manufacturer or retail chain. You should ensure that the product you buy is in working condition.    

Always test the product before making a purchase. That is why it is best to find someone local, who you can meet and test the product yourself.

You must make it a point to read descriptions of the product carefully, especially if you are purchasing online, especially from sites like Craigslist and eBay.

Insurance and shipping

You must ensure you get insurance for shipping. This will put you in a better position to claim in case of receiving a product that is not working well or arrives to your doorstep damaged. You need to also know how much you are paying for shipping in the case of online purchases and if it is really worth buying the product at the total cost. Sometimes, you may end up paying too much for shipping and it doesn’t make sense to spend this additional amount when you can get your used electronics from a local seller.

One comment

  1. I thought you made a good point about how I need to make sure that any used electronics I would buy comes with a good warranty. Checking the warranty period would be a good way to find out about the product or the manufacturer. I want to make sure that I buy used electronic equipment that will last for a long time, so I’ll definitely make sure that I get an extended warranty.

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