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5 Smart Tips for College Students Who Want to Buy Second-Hand Tech

CB Community
Written by CB Community

More people are patronizing refurbished technology as the harmful effects of electronic waste spread. The biggest hook that lures people into buying re-certified electronics is the huge savings.

Refurbished gadgets are sold at a lower price compared to their brand-new counterparts and they look just as good and last just as long. And, when it comes to using technology at college, this is more than sufficient.

There’s always a risk when buying used products, especially if you buy them from sketchy stores. While you want to save on a great deal, it’s better to set your expectations—if something is too good to be true, then it probably is a scam.

If you want to continue having great experiences buying secondhand tech, here are some tips you should know:

Know the Difference Between Used and Refurbished

Used products are products with some wear, cosmetic damage or other signs of normal use. Ideally, used products sold online should be functional or operate normally.

However, that is not always the case. People who want to gain as much profit for their secondhand tech may exaggerate features or downplay damages, especially when peddling outside regulated sites like Amazon or eBay.

The advantage of used devices is that they’re sold at an even lower price than refurbished ones. Buying used products may all come down to luck, so it’s best to make transactions in person instead of online.

Additionally, complaints may not be addressed properly at all once the item is in your hands.

When you are using technology such as a laptop to help advance your college studies, you want something reliable and appropriate.

Refurbished gadgets are either used and returned because they’re faulty or surrendered because they’re no longer needed. Damaged parts may be repaired or replaced and undergo thorough testing. They also get cleaned and repackaged before they’re sold again.

Certified refurbishers add a new warranty and attach a discounted price on the item to sweeten the deal. Refurbished devices give you peace of mind because their functionality is ensured by tech professionals so you know that it will work perfectly.

Research Current Retail Prices

If you’re on the hunt for certain gadgets that you can’t afford at their full price, refurbished is the way to go.

Especially when you are a college student trying to save money as you study.

It is important to determine the current retail prices of the product you want to know its market value. When browsing through stores, make sure you’re looking at the exact make and model.

If you have an idea of the prices of goods in the market, you’ll know if certain deals are too good to be true. Steer clear from those and move on.

For example, you can get reliable and recertified laptops for a fraction of a price.

Computers with decent specs may cost about $100 instead of $200 or $150. They come with a warranty and can be equipped with extra features like extra RAM, SSD, hard drives, and more.

Buy from Reputable Sources Only

Most manufacturers are reputable sources of refurbished technology, so check those first before going online or looking elsewhere for said product. They usually have good deals too, so take advantage of those when you can.

However, stocks may be low, or the gadget you want may not be available.

Since refurb tech is getting more popular, there will be scammers waiting in the wings. If you’re unsure of a store’s reputation, you can look for trusted payment gateways like PayPal and Braintree.

You can also use a credit card so you can get refunds if you happen to get faulty products. Alert your bank for transactions like these.

Make Deals and Pay in Person

If you’re after tech that’s limited then chances are manufacturers may not have refurbished variants. If you’ve resorted to finding one on your own in the wilderness of Craigslist and other websites without buyer protection, opt to make the deal in person.

This is so you can test if the product works and personally see if it’s in an acceptable condition.

Besides, if a seller has nothing to hide, they will agree to these terms. Make sure to meet up in a public place. This is a smart way not to get conned out of your money.

Haggle If You Can

If you’re buying from an independent but certified refurbisher, you can try to haggle for the product if they don’t explicitly say it has a fixed price. Try not to go overboard by haggling a hundred-dollar product for thirty dollars.

Remember to respect the seller and not cause too much trouble. After all, they can always sell the product to someone else.

Do you have tips for buying secondhand tech? Share them below!

About the author

CB Community

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.