“Thrifting” is trending these days, but there are more ways to go used then just perusing the local Goodwill for designer duds. As recommended by experts, going used is a good idea for anything that can be tested and/or fully cleansed.
In other words, you’re safe unless you start looking at mattresses or a toaster at a garage sale that the seller won’t let you plug in and try. This means used phones and other technology can be completely legitimate.
If you’ve been burned by used tech before, it’s understandable you’d be wary to try again. Don’t assume your nightmarish eBay experience is the norm, though.
If you go with a reputable seller who specializes in used phones, laptops, or another niche technology, that’s more promising. You can check out their reviews and testimonials, as well as their Better Business Bureau status.
The major benefit of shopping used is obvious: You can save a lot of money, often on a barely used device. There are other benefits, however.
Used shopping is eco-friendly and green, since you’re not directly contributing to the manufacture of a new device from scratch. Depending on where you shop, you might also be supporting a small business.
There are other benefits besides good karma points. You give yourself a much bigger inventory to choose from.
If you go the traditional route with smartphones, you’re stuck with the few devices your carrier of choice has to offer. With so many models out there, why lock yourself into such slim pickings?
Used phones are available from your favorite older model to brand new options that have barely made it into stores.
“Used” options galore
Used phones might be truly used, or they may be refurbished factory seconds that are like new. They’re also more likely to be unlocked, which means you can choose your own carrier and rely on a SIM card instead of getting stuck with a contract.
Of course there are also used phones with a carrier connection, so you can browse the options your carrier of choice already has but spend significantly less.
Used shopping is smart shopping as long as you do the proper research to make sure you’re getting a good deal. There are plenty of shady dealers out there, unfortunately, so always go with a reputable source.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But if it sounds just sweet enough, you might have hit the jackpot.
The good news is that the stigma of being used is fading away, and frugality is getting the respect it deserves. Just how frugal can you be? Start honing your used buying chops and find out.