In a boost for sustainable endeavour, recent research has revealed consumers are now increasingly likely to purchase pre-owned or refurbished gadgets. The survey, commissioned by LaptopsDirect.co.uk, asked 2,001 British adults about their technology-buying habits with 48% now opting for pre-owned gadgets such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.
It’s a trend that is perhaps expected as technology becomes more robust and durable. Indeed, as things like phones have longer lifespans it’s understandable we’re happy to purchase pre-owned tech. And, with price being one of the most important factors, pre-owned or refurbished technology often provides better value.
The news is perhaps more interesting following iPhone’s decision to release the iPhone X at a retail price of £999. It’s a price bracket that’s unaffordable to most consumers, and unnecessary for many others. Moreover, the survey revealed more than half the responders listed price as the main factor for choosing second hand products because it’s a cheaper option than buying brand new.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, brand new gadgets weren’t the best option for 45% of those surveyed who felt new or updated features, such as facial recognition, augmented reality and wireless charging, didn’t satisfactorily upgrade older models.
65% said they were happy getting hand-me-downs from family members or friends, while a quarter revealed they had purchased second hand gadgets from online marketplaces like ebay.
One in five surveyed said they kept their old gadget as a backup, while just over half said they had sold or traded-in a gadget to offset the cost of a brand new model.
Mark Kelly, Marketing Manager at LaptopsDirect.co.uk, which sells a wide range of new and refurbished laptops from leading brands, said the survey showed that while people were still interested in new gadgets, appetite for those that “just do the job” was rife.
“Given the recent hype surrounding the launch of the new iPhone X, it is quite surprising to see that consumers are increasingly opting for preowned models of their favourite technology,” he remarked.
“The research shows a clear picture of how spending patterns on gadgets are changing with the times, as we become less inclined to have the most up-to-date gadgets on the market.
“Evidently, more of us are recognising the strong advantages of purchasing pre-owned devices, but it is clear there will always be those who do desire to have the newest gadgets.”
While we’re positively contributing to our carbon footprint through pre-owned gadgets and the longevity of our tech, the survey did point out one area we still need to improve. Less than one in six (13%) said they had recycled their old gadget.
Yet, the enthusiasm for pre-owned and refurbished goods is a great way to positively contribute to our carbon footprint by reducing waste and making use of consumer goods for a longer period of time.
It’s also a market that can save you money. With new versions being released every year, older models rapidly drop in value making them a more attractive option for the cost-conscious (so most of us!).
As journalist and blogger Kara Gammell notes, “Buying things second hand is a win/win situation; it can save you a fortune and help keep junk out of our landfills. Refurbished electronics can look as good as new and function perfectly.”
With the cost benefits to buying second hand, many major brands even offer 12 month warranties to provide peace of mind. “Amazon.co.uk offers up to a third off on refurbished products from brands such as Kindle, Apple, Dell and Samsung. The pre-owned readers have been tested and certified to look and work like new, come with a 12-month warranty and all come with relevant accessories,” writes Gammell.
“A quick look on the Apple website shows discounts of as much as 20%. For instance, a refurbished 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi 32GB – Silver) sells for a saving of £150. What’s more, each item comes with a one-year warranty and the option of purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan for a further three years’ reassurance.”