The Safest Tech To Buy Pre-Owned

Staying up to date with the latest and greatest tech can really take a toll on your wallet, but if you're willing to hang back on a few of those items, you can actually save yourself a fair bit of cash.

This article has been sponsored by numobile.

I'm not saying you need to buy all of your tech second hand, but it's a great way to get a decent bit of kit without the enormous price tag attached to most top-of-the-line products. There are other advantages, too, like letting early adopters be the guinea pig on new tech for a change, all while you sit back on an established model you know works well.

Here are some pieces of tech to consider purchasing pre-owned.


Laptops

Image: Gizmodo Australia

Fresh and new laptops can be really goddamn expensive, especially if you're going for something with a lot of processing power or just about anything released by a brand named after a certain fruit. At the end of the day, it all boils down to what you need it for.

If you want new on a tight budget, you'll have to settle for something that might not be as strong as you were hoping. But if you don't mind picking up something refurbished, you could get a lot more bang for your buck.

Whether it's a brand new beast or a slightly older beast, it's still going to run what you need it to run, right? Exactly.

The key here, however, is to make sure the unit has been rigorously tested by the provider so that it's in working order and, at the very least, digitally sanitised.

If you pick up a lappy from, say, Gumtree, it may still contain the old user's files and settings, which can be a pain to wipe and start fresh if you don't know your way around the operating system installed on it.

Pre-owned units from the original manufacturer or authorised third-party reseller will often come with some form of warranty as well, which means you won't be left in the lurch if it stops working as soon as you get it home. At any rate, you should always check things like battery life, wi-fi/Bluetooth connectivity, and cosmetic damage to ensure everything's in working order before you make the purchase.


Smartphones

Image: Raul Marrero (Gizmodo)

Probably one of the most common items folks tend to purchase pre-owned. Pre-loved smartphones can save you a ton of cash, especially if you time your purchase right. It's amazing how cheap you can pick up a previous generation of just about any phone as soon as the latest model is announced.

Looking back at the past few iterations of the iPhone, for example, the latest model is generally a little faster, has a slightly better camera, and maybe one or two new features compared with its direct predecessor.

While it's always nice to have the newest bit of gear, a model or two back will still do everything you need it to just fine. Hell, at the time of writing, the latest iOS (12.3) is supported all the way back to the iPhone 5s, which came out in 2013 and can be purchased right now for less than $200.

Again, you'll wanna make sure the unit has been thoroughly tested, as it'll come with certain guarantees you won't get with a straight-up second-hand purchase from Gumtree or eBay. Some manufacturers even offer their own pre-owned phones, so you can rest easy knowing they've been repaired or spruced-up by the best possible people. Apple does it from its own store, but you can visit sites like mResell as well.

Tablets

Much like smartphones, refurbished tablets can save you a heap of money and at the end of the day they'll offer the same experience a new version of the same model would. Put it this way, no one's going to be able to tell if you're using a refurb unless you tell them.

To use Apple as an example again, you can pick up a pre-owned 128GB Wi-Fi iPad (6th generation) from the company itself for $509, whereas a brand new one will set you back $599. That's a very decent 15 per cent discount for a product which comes with the same 1-year warranty as a new one, all the same accessories, a new battery and outer shell, and a new white box.

Of course, there are plenty of other tablets out there and plenty of official and third-party retailers who will happily sell you a pre-owned one. On that note, when you're dealing with third-parties, it's a good idea to check and make sure they're an authorised re-seller of the device you're looking to buy. For tablets, Renewd is a good place to check out.

Cameras

Image: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

Expensive cameras are expensive for a reason. They're packed with a lot of fragile moving parts which can be difficult to repair if broken, so while buying pre-owned can be a little dicier than other tech items, it's not completely out of the question.

You know what I'm gonna say here by now: go to an authorized reseller or a manufacturer that refurbishes their own products to take advantage of the warranties that come with them.

Brands like Canon, for example, provide a list of authorised resellers, so anyone on that list who offers pre-owned cameras is likely a safe bet. You can also check out numobile, which offers a huge range of phone plans with pre-owned handsets.

If you're new to the wide world of cameras, it might be worth taking someone with you who knows what they're doing, not only so they can guide you in the right direction, but so you have someone to verify that the camera and its accessories are in good working condition.


For all of the products above, the advice is fairly uniform - you'll always get the best pre-owned units from the brand itself or one of its authorized resellers, and even if you do cop a dud (hey, it happens) then you can just take it straight back under warranty. Outside of that, it's the Wild West out there, so be careful.

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