Gadgets Guide, Technology & Electronics, Softwares & Reviews

Is It Worth Buying Second Hand Technology?


A favored old adage of many a parent and grandparent used to always be ‘buy cheap, buy twice,’ but now, the phrase that seems to be taking over from that is, ‘don’t buy new, buy old.’

Purchasing second-hand goods, and especially technology is becoming quite the thing. The market is as flooded with people selling their old iPhones, as it is with consumers clamoring to buy the latest Apple-based upgrade.

If you’re keen on looking into upcycling, rather than buying new next time you need a computer or phone, here’s what to look for and what to avoid.

Phones and smart devices

If you’re looking to buy a second-hand phone, then try to buy one that has been made within the last three years. Once you go beyond that, as the consumer specialists at say, battery life may be poor and other components may start to fail.

You also run the risk of not being able to run the apps you like. However, if you only want a very basic phone with no bells and whistles (basically just to make calls and texts), this rule really doesn’t apply. So long as it’s in good condition, the only factor is making sure the battery has a good life – and if not, can it be replaced?


Laptops tend to have longer lifespans than mobile phones. It can, therefore, make more economic sense to opt for a second-hand model if you’re on a restricted budget, or you require financial assistance in the form of small loans from cashlady to make purchases.

If you’re thinking about buying a laptop, then try to opt for a model that was quite expensive and top of the range when new. You’re more likely to get longer out of it, as it was built with a higher spec. Buyer beware things to watch out for are the battery life and making sure that it comes with the original power cable and plug.

Desktop computers

A desktop computer can often have a longer lifespan than a laptop, as they tend to be easier to repair and find replacement parts for. One element that is worth upgrading on a computer is the hard drive. It’s now becoming more common to use SSD (solid state drives) instead, as these extend the lifespan of a machine for a low cost. If you’d rather do that than buy a second-hand machine, that’s a viable consideration.

However, as with laptops, it’s all about the spec. If you want to buy a second-hand desktop, look for one that had a high spec when it was new. Sometimes machines that are built for gaming can be useful as second-hand computers for this reason.

Buy used, or buy refurbished?

There can be some confusion over whether buying used is the same as buying something that’s been refurbished.

Used items are ones that are being sold by the previous owner. They have not been tested prior to sale, so you’re relying on their honesty when you view and buy. Condition of items can vary a great deal, so it is a case of buyer beware.

Refurbished items often come directly from the manufacturer themselves, and they usually have been repaired by them, which will result in them having a fresh warranty. However, in some cases, they are being sold as used, but have only been unboxed by the consumer and then returned to the shop. You stand a greater chance of being protected as a consumer by buying refurbished.

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