Looking to pick up a new piece of technology without tearing into your savings? Then there’s a simple solution to your situation, and it’s got nothing to do with some fancy new store or a great coupon. When you’re looking for a new cellular phone, forget the mall, big box outlet, kiosk, or online store, and start thinking about what you can get in the second-hand economy: the booming world of used, traded, swapped, and donated technology that can save you a staggering amount of money.
Right now, thousands of Canadians are buying iPhones, Galaxies, and other top-tier smartphones for a fraction of their retail price by navigating a great online directory, which meansthey’re purchasing from their fellow consumers. This puts money back into the hands of Canadians and in so doing helps our economy. The more money you save, and the more Canadians that end up with your cash, the better for us as a collective — and since our GDP isn’t doing so well, a little bit might go a long way.
But it’s not all about saving money on a second-hand purchase. If you feel like upgrading to a brand new smartphone, but find yourself hesitating due to a troublingly high price tag, remember that you can save on your purchase by first selling your current phone to someone else. Too many people forget that each time they want to upgrade to a new product, there’s a golden opportunity to subtract a considerable dollar amount from the retail price by selling their item online. You’d never simply ditch or walk away from a used car, so use the same logical approach to more minor tech purchases, and make a few extra dollars before you buy the latest technological marvel.
According to a Gartner poll, 64 percent of old phones are already given a second life. Forty-one percent are sold or traded while 23 percent are passed down. Clear financial motivations keep these figures high, and ever climbing, but there are other benefits to selling second-hand. It might not be immediately obvious to you, but selling your phone is also a great idea for the environment. Those who smash and trash their investments are adding more garbage to our ever-shrinking landfill spaces, or are taxing more resources and energy through recycling plants. With every new phone ordered, precious resources are extracted from the earth and pollution is released into our air, water, and earth. The cleanest and greenest way to dispose of your old smartphone is not to dispose of it at all, but pass it along in what Kijiji calls the “virtuous cycle of reuse.”
Aside from the eco-friendly benefits of reusing consumer products, you also might be helping out someone who could never afford to buy an iPhone or Galaxy at retail prices. Your passed down phone might really make someone’s year, or be the perfect gift for a family that has trouble getting by. Either way you look at it, reusing an item is a good deed done, even if it’s only a one-time deal.
If you’re at a loss as to where to look either to buy or to sell, make sure you check out Kijiji for used cell phones in particular. Not only is Kijiji the largest, most frequently used website for used tech products, but they’ve also spearheaded some exciting research behind the way Canadians shop for previously enjoyed materials. In a free PDF called The Kijiji Second-Hand Economy, they show how buying and selling in the alternative marketplace is great for consumers, local communities, and our environments. It’s a landmark piece of writing that’s sure to shake up expectations, and encourage more people to think about the long-term impacts of their purchases. So no matter what you’re interested in—a new computer, cell phone, or something entirely different—make sure you consider what buying, selling, and swapping on the second-hand economy can do for you, and for others.