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

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

Boston — With families looking for extra savings this holiday season, MASSPIRG released “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 MASSPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz. “This guide will help consumers make educated decisions about how to find a durable, like-new device and live by the mantra ‘reduce.’”

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.

“Back Market’s goal is to eliminate the risk that comes with buying refurbished tech. People know they can find incredible prices on refurbished, but the fact is that a deal is only as good as the reliability of the products,” said Serge Verdoux, Back Market US Managing Director, one of the outlets featured in the guide. “That’s why we put a lot of effort into quality and we stand behind it with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 1-year warranty.”

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. Buying used and using products for longer can help ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’. It’s all part of the MASSPIRG 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. 

“Right to repair for all products makes sense for Massachusetts and will go a long way in cutting the digital divide,” said state Sen. Paul Feeney of Foxborough, who is Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure and a leader on Right to Repair in the statehouse. “Especially amid the current economic downturn, expanded repair opportunities will benefit working people and those on a fixed income. It cuts waste, is good for small businesses in our communities, and benefits consumers who often have no choice but to purchase high-priced technology that is used in our daily lives. It is fundamentally fair to allow a consumer the ability to repair their own products or get them repaired and refurbished at a trusted, local business of their own choosing.”

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 — it both saves you money and reduces waste, which is better for the environment,” said Domenitz. “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.”

B-roll, usable with credit as indicated, for media covering the guide. 

A recording of the event is available here