PHILADELPHIA, PA — With families may be looking for extra savings this holiday season, PennPIRG released “Fixed for the Holidays,” a guide to buying refurbished electronic gifts. Part of the consumer group’s Right to Repair campaign, this guide helps consumers identify quality items, learn where to get them, and ensure they are getting the best deals.
“New electronics are resource-intensive to make and expensive to buy. You can get great discounts on electronics, which is especially important during a tight economy,” said Emma Horst-Martz, PennPIRG Advocate. “This guide will help consumers make educated decisions about how to find a durable, like-new device that will help them stay connected.”
Not only is the pandemic stretching holiday budgets, but also it’s led to manufacturing delays that can make purchasing new electronics a difficult endeavor. Luckily, the market for used and refurbished electronics can help consumers buy like-new products for prices lower than Cyber Monday deals.
Not only are these used products good for the pocketbook, they are better for the planet. The rapid pace at which we make, use and toss electronics puts a lot of pressure on the environment, but buying used and using products for longer can make a positive impact. It’s all part of PennPIRG’s Right to Repair program, which strives to keep products in use, push manufacturers to lower barriers to repair and give consumers and third parties access to the materials necessary to fix electronics.
“Holiday season gift-giving has increasingly included technology devices for family and friends. That makes it an excellent time to highlight the fact that in Pennsylvania — as in many states – people do not have the right to repair their own devices,” said state Rep. Austin Davis, who earlier this year introduced HB 2326, legislation that would require original equipment manufacturers to provide necessary information to assist consumers in repairing the digital devices they own. “The right to repair your own device, which you bought, is a commonsense move that empowers consumers. And I look forward to continuing to work to pass this legislation the year ahead.”
“Don’t get stuck feeling as if you need to get the new iPhone,” said Mac Frederick, owner of Phone Repair Philly. “Chances are your current smartphone works perfectly fine. Yes, the rumors are true of Apple updating their operating systems to slow the functionality and battery life of your current phone. Instead of buying that new iPhone for $1000+, why not buy used or refurbished? This will save you money and potential future headaches. When considering this option, you can look into 3rd party cell phone stores like Phone Repair Philly. We buy, sell, trade and refurbish devices. For example, you can trade in any used or broken phone for cash or trade-in-value towards a new phone. We have preowned iPhone X and XR 64GB Unlocked for $399. These devices you buy from cell phone stores are often used and refurbished, but they also typically come unlocked for any carrier, tested by the store, and can often save you 25-50% off that same phone if you bought it new-in-store.”
Most of the environmental damage from electronics comes from the manufacturing process. PennPIRG research found that if Americans each used smartphones for one year longer, we would reduce manufacturing material demand by 42.5 million pounds per day — which would be like cutting a jumbo-jet’s weight in raw material use every 17 minutes.
“Shopping refurbished is the greener option that saves you green,” said Horst-Martz. “Much of the damage done to the environment is a result of the manufacturing process, so this guide serves the dual purpose of helping consumers and their communities.”
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