Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Forget the Used Market for Electronics

One of the facts of life in this digital age is that there will always be a newer model. There will always be some new function or feature rendering obsolete your current TV, DVR, cell phone, GPS, laptop, scanner or camera. You fill in the blanks. For those of us in business it is especially problematic. You no sooner sign the purchase order or call in the order than you see a newer and better model introduced. It is a never ending battle and one that you really can’t win.

Even if you think you have the proper equipment or software you will soon hear those frightful words, “Oh, we don’t support that model anymore.” So what are you to do?

Well, keep in mind that “newer functions” and “a better model” are all relative terms Do you really need those new functions? Just like new automobiles, most electronic devices radically depreciate in dollar value before you get to your car in the Best Buy® parking lot. Many, however, will hold their practical value for you.

For example, laptop computers are very popular. Unlike their desktop cousins, the prices for these machines are still relatively high. There are some good reasons for the higher prices, since the manufacturer has to squeeze a bunch of stuff into a very small package. So do you have a choice? Can you get a laptop without breaking the bank?

The answer might be yes. Many corporations and businesses provide laptops to their “road warrior” employees. Often these machines are replaced every two years or so. There are companies that buy up these used computers, recondition them and then sell them to the general public. Many of these computers are top-of- the-line models that cost $2000 or $3000 new. Often they can be bought for $500 or less. I have several friends that buy used laptops because they can have a much better computer than they could ever afford new. I got one recently and it was a really good buy.

For sure there are some used electronic items that you may wish to stay away from. For example, if you were going to buy a new TV set you certainly would most likely not want to buy a large screen analog set in light of the upcoming analog cut off in February 2009. But it really does depend on what you want to do with it. If you needed a set and did not care about high definition programming or just wanted a big set for video gaming, it might not be a bad idea to get a used analog set. This is especially true if you are getting it for pennies on the dollar.

The good news is the modern electronic devices are very reliable. If they work out of the box, chances are that they will continue to work for many years. Eventually most every device will break and you will want to get rid of it. That brings up another issue.

When you decide to throw away that cell phone or other high tech gizmo, do it responsibly. Most electronics have lots of lead and other heavy metals. Regular and rechargeable

batteries are filled with all sorts of nasty things that can wreak havoc on our environment. Many stores have bins that you can use to discard unwanted phones and batteries. Not only will using these receptacles benefit the planet, it might also help someone else. Some retailers salvage old cell phones and give them to individuals who can use them for emergencies. For example, some go to battered women’s shelters for use by the clients to call for help if necessary.


Here are some places to find used laptop computers. I have used "Laptop Hotspot" and have found them to be very professional and helpful. I have not used "A-Hi." If you go the online route be sure to shop wisely and check out the references of the online seller.

Laptop Hotspot
9035 Colerain Ave.Cincinnati, OH 45241Phone: (513) 245-2600

A-Hi Computers & Electronics
4030 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati –
(513) 531-1111



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