“Fixed for the Holidays” shows holiday shoppers tips to save money on refurbished tech

Media Contacts
Claudia Deeg

Oakland, Calif. — With families maybe looking for extra savings this holiday season, CALPIRG is releasing “Fixed for the Holidays,” a guide to buying refurbished electronic gifts. Part of our 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 Claudia Deeg, CALPIRG Campaign Associate. “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 Black Friday deals.

“As soon as someone opens the packaging for a new device, it’s considered used,” said Robert Baker, CEO of Source+ in San Jose. “We use a set of standards to ensure that the used and refurbished products we sell function just as well as their brand new counterparts, but cost a lot less.”

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 CALPIRG’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 our electronics. 

“Supporting reuse over recycling allows us to create more jobs, while saving precious natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, training people for higher skill careers in the information economy and increasing the availability of affordable devices.” said Brian Fox, Director of Reuse at Homeboy Electronics Recycling, part of the Homeboy Industries family of social enterprises, which is the world’s preeminent gang rehabilitation and re-entry program. “We encourage our politicians and leaders to stand behind Right to Repair reforms, which empower consumers and create meaningful social impact at both local and global scales.”

Most of the environmental damage from our electronics comes from the manufacturing process. Our 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 Deeg. “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.”




 CALPIRG is a public interest group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society. CALPIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.