Revealed: Each person generates 23.9kg of e-waste per year in the UK

An image of wastage, Leadership, Revealed: Each person generates 23.9kg of e-waste per year in the UK

If the recent news about electrical waste from Amazon has got you thinking, the experts at the UK’s largest privately-owned IT hardware manufacturer, Stone Refurb, are sharing their advice on why we should all be considering a refurbished laptop.

Director of IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) services for Stone Refurb, Craig Campion, has revealed the benefits of buying refurbished tech and what to look out for when searching for that perfect item.

What are the benefits of buying refurbished? 

Higher performance, lower cost 

If you opt for the latest laptop upgrade, you might have to come to terms with the hefty price tag of buying brand new. First, consider the age of your current device. If it’s more than a few years old, last year’s refurbished model will already be a significant upgrade on what you have now at a fraction of the cost. A second-hand laptop could have a larger screen, increased storage or added programs that might be out of your budget buying new. You’ll very quickly get more bang for your buck. 

Environmentally friendly

Buying a refurbished laptop means that you are reusing old technology instead of supporting new technology manufacturing. Stone Refurb uncovered that worldwide, over 50 million tonnes of e-waste heads to the landfill each year to support the need for the latest and greatest gadget upgrade. Unfortunately, many of these devices are in perfectly good condition and may release harmful chemicals into the soil when they are disposed of. Buying your laptop second-hand keeps a device in circulation and out of the dump for a bit longer.

Reviews

When you buy a new product, you won’t find thousands of reviews out there. You are left to simply trust the “buzz” around its release and the reliability of the brand and manufacturer. Shopping for used or refurbished products means you will find millions of reviews out there already. Do some basic research, and you can figure out if the device will meet your needs. Dig a bit more, and you’ll find out if it’s easily repaired, user friendly, and a good buy overall.

Like new

In some cases, your refurbished laptop will arrive in the mail completely unscathed. Many companies purchase technology and upgrade from year to year, and the devices are unused. In other cases, buyer’s remorse sets in, and gadgets are simply returned and exchanged after light use. In some cases, you do end up getting a practically brand new machine.

Five Things to know before buying

If the opportunity to reduce e-waste has sparked your interest in refurbished tech, here are five things you need to know before making that purchase.

Trusted sellers

Consider looking at seller ratings when you go shopping for refurbished laptops. Never buy from a vendor that is not authorized or certified. It would be smart to check their reputation through feedback and customer ratings.

Was it a refurb or an open box? 

A typical open-box product was purchased and opened but returned before it was ever used. Maybe the buyer or recipient didn’t want it, or maybe the packaging was damaged, so it was returned as a precaution, even though it worked fine. 

If the product is a refurb, check with the seller the level of refurbishment that has been performed and the quality of the finished product. This can often be shown as a grading system (A-C) being ranked from great to well used.

Does it come with everything needed?

That feeling of opening your latest tech to discover there is no charger is not something you want. So whether you are buying from an individual seller or a retailer, always check your refurbished product comes with every item it needs to work at its full potential. 

What do you need the product for?

If you need a laptop for tasks like web browsing or word processing, get a refurbished laptop. You can save more this way and avoid regretting spending so much on what, in essence, is an office laptop. In addition, you get a great cost-performance ratio with refurbished laptops. In the UK, 1.45 million tonnes of electrical waste produced by households and businesses can be re-used or recycled per annum.

If you’re already a student and still without a laptop, get one. The price is reasonable, especially for the typical student. Even an old model will still work well for note-taking during lectures. Some companies will also provide a student discount, showcasing the best options for different types of students. 

Warranty

Your refurbished laptop purchase should come with an assurance that the seller guarantees the product. Items sold as new, or open-box will come with the manufacturer’s standard one-year warranty. Some refurbished laptop warranties may be shorter for grade A-C products and typically do not cover battery life. Still, each vendor is different, so read the fine print before adding the item to your shopping cart.

Also, check the seller’s return policy. The return policies will be different for changing mind and faulty products, which can often be covered within the warranty conditions. 

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About Stone Refurb

With over 25 years of experience, Stone Refurb are the safe and trusted choice for buying cheap, quality, professionally refurbished laptops, desktops, monitors and accessories. Stone Refurb is part of the Stone Group, the UK’s largest privately-owned IT hardware manufacturer dedicated to supplying the UK Public and Private Sector. 

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An image of wastage, Leadership, Revealed: Each person generates 23.9kg of e-waste per year in the UK

Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech

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