Buying a washing machine, mobile phone or computer fixed by the manufacturer or with a cosmetic defect has many environmental and financial benefits.
According to United Nations’ (UN) Global E-waste Monitor 2020, 74 million tonnes of electronic waste ("e-waste") will be produced globally by 2030. Refrigerators, washing machines, light bulbs, computers, TVs, mobile phones and other electronic devices are usually disposed of at the end of their shelf life. Recycling or processing them incorrectly can harm the environment and contribute to climate change.
In recent years, a new alternative that reduces e-waste through cheaper but reliable and fully functional devices has been flourishing. We’re talking about reconditioned (or "refurbished") electronics.
What are reconditioned devices?
They’re worn down or broken electronics that manufacturers or specialized companies refurbish. They’re products that were once used in displays or testing, or returned because of buyer's remorse or some manufacturing, cosmetic or packaging defect.
Once checked, repaired and restored to factory standards, they're put back on the market at a lower cost than new models.
What's the difference between "reconditioned" and "secondhand"?
While reconditioned and secondhand electronics might look the same, we need to know how to differentiate them. The two most important differences are:
Three tips for buying a reconditioned product
Reconditioned products are an excellent way of saving money and cutting down on e-waste. However, when choosing a mobile phone, video console, robot vacuum cleaner or other products, be sure to take a look at their features and history: