Is Buying a Used Tech Device Worth it?

By Sean Williamson

Purdue University

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Technology isn’t cheap and you have to dig deep into your pockets to get the latest one. Techies love new gadgets but they can be really costly. New generation phones cost more than $1,000 and a good laptop and printer could set you back a few hundred bucks.

So should you or should you not buy a used gadget? Almost everyone asks themselves this question when deciding to buy a device for the first time or upgrading an existing one. Yes, it’s really tempting owning the latest device or gadget but there are a lot of advantages of purchasing a used one too. If you go looking you’ll find incredible deals and second-hand devices in the market that will serve just as well as a new one would. However, the question to ask would be is buying second-hand always a good idea?

Let’s take a look at the pros of buying pre-owned tech and some of the reasons why getting a used device may be a better option for you.

Do Your Research

First and foremost, research the product you want to buy. Does it have life left in it? Does it need parts to be replaced? Does it have mechanical parts that are wearing out? Is its software still supported by the manufacturer? Ask all these questions before just jumping in to buy any used tech product. As an example, a smartphone will usually become obsolete sooner than other appliances and devices that don’t need to update their software. Also, one should be especially aware of certain products that were shipped with a fault already.         

You can go online to look for reviews about the performance and durability of a product. If you’re buying from an owner ask questions if the product came with manufacturing defects. Take a look at the device to check if these defects are present. A bit of research will tell you a lot about a product.

Moreover, see the difference between a used and new device to understand if there is anything missing. That means you can negotiate the price for any missing components or documentation.

Easier on the Pocket

The major reason to buy a used device is its lower price. Since they are second hand they tend to be cheaper than the new ones. Consider this: a new iPhone can cost upwards of $1099, but the same used version can cost $800. You can get one even cheaper if you purchase an older version and you won’t be at too much of a loss as there will only be a slight difference from one model to another. You’ll still get the features you want and at the same time save a ton of cash. You can even buy a second-hand cordless phone with all its functionality intact. To get crystal-clear voice quality on your landline connection however, you must get services from Windstream Phone that will bring you great savings and unlimited nationwide calling.

Saving the Environment

When purchasing a used device or gadget you’re minimizing electronic waste, thus contributing towards saving the environment. Millions of electronic equipment are discarded every year that may potentially release harmful chemicals into the environment. It’s inevitable when you buy a new device or appliance, you are likely to discard the old one. These devices aren’t biodegradable and usually end up in landfills, garbage and people are even callous enough to throw them into streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. A used gadget stays out of a landfill longer, thus preventing harm to the environment.

More Choice

If you aren’t one of those who want the latest devices you have the option of going for a used one. There’s a vast selection of used gadgets to pick from as vendors often have the latest devices that were slightly used and were still in pristine condition with all their features intact. The plus, these devices are cheap.

Do You Really Need a New One?

Before you buy a new device ask yourself, “Do you really need it?” A lot of people don’t want to spend money on the latest gadget as it still has the features to perform all the tasks you want it to. An older generation piece of tech will function just perfectly even still. So for most folks, a new device won’t make much of a difference. This applies to computers, phones, and cameras too. As an average IT person, a mid-range computer won’t make a big difference, so a used computer would be perfect.


If you intend to purchase the latest smartphone, computer, camera, tablet ask yourself do you really need to spend that kind of money on a new gadget. Most of the times used and second-hand devices still have the same features as the new ones offer. However, when buying a used device make sure you buy from a dealer or vendor with a reputation for selling quality second-hand devices. Not only will you get a fully functional device you’ll actually save a ton of money in the bargain.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Sean Williamson (2019), "Is Buying a Used Tech Device Worth it?,"

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