Save the Earth (and Your Wallet) by Shopping for Used, Open-Box and Refurbished Items

How to Save the Environment and Your Wallet By Shopping for Used, Refurbished and Open Box Electronics- Tips for saving money and the environment when shopping for electronics.

how to shop for open box electroinics

Katie is sharing tips for buying used, Refurbished and Open Box Electronics and how it can greatly impact our environment.

I am an Environmentalist.  I recycle and only buy local, organic produce. I even keep bees, for goodness sake! And yet, until a few years ago, when it came to purchasing clothing, electronics,
and various other items, I only bought them brand-new. Mine was an error of ignorance. I had no idea that you could buy “like-new” items online and I certainly didn’t know what the term
open-box meant. (This article does a great job defining the differences between used, refurbished and open-box items if you want to learn more about the differences between the three.)


Save the Earth (and Your Wallet) by Shopping for Used, Refurbished and Open-Box Electronics

You may not realize that overstock products are often returned to manufacturers unused and in perfectly good condition. Unfortunately, rather than being being resold, these usable items end
up going to waste,which can have devastating effects on our environment.

How do Unsold or Returned Goods Affect the Environment?

Overstock and returned items either end up in dumpsters, or are destroyed so that someone else won’t discover them and attempt to sell them for profit. These discarded items, especially electronic goods that contain toxic chemicals, can pose real threats to our water supply, air and soil! E-waste, which is just one of the many growing problems related to unsold overstock, can even have severe health implications in developing countries that handle e-waste from developed countries.

If overstock items aren’t discarded, more than likely these items end up being shipped around the country (can we say major carbon footprint) only to end up at liquidation warehouses, where
they await to be sold to discount shops at dirt cheap prices. This means that there are a lot of products that don’t get into the hands of consumers and inevitably end up in landfills.

How Do I Shop for Used, Open-Box and Refurbished Items?

When you purchase from a company like, you are directly contributing to a greener environment by giving a refurbished or open box electronic a second chance. This also translates into deals for you, the consumer, because these items are often available at a fraction of what the same item would cost new and they work just as well! Follow the guidelines below to shop for gently used, refurbished, or open-box items and your wallet (and Mother Earth) will thank you!

Do your research

If you’ve got an item in mind, do your research. See what the retail value of the item is in brand-new condition, and then use a tool like Google Shopping to price-check the item with various
online retailers. Often, you’ll find that a refurbished or open-box item will pop up with the biggest savings.

Buy from a trustworthy site, for example, offers shoppers a commitment to quality by professionally inspecting items, and only products that meet the highest standards are made available for sale to you; a generous return policy is a must, too! . Look for sites that have credentials like a Google Trusted Store badge or Stella Service rating, and plenty of customer reviews. Doing this type of
research will allow you to shop with confidence!

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

This doesn’t work everywhere, and there isn’t a lot of wiggle room online; but if you’re shopping for gently used, refurbished, or open-box items in stores, don’t be afraid to haggle. Often stores
will offer an additional discount for items that are in less than perfect condition, on top of already reduced prices. If you’re shopping online, check if they have a best price guarantee. Some sites will match prices found on other sites!

Now What? Sit Back and Watch the Savings Add Up! Buying gently used, refurbished, and open-box items allows you to contribute to a more sustainable planet, and all with the click of a mouse! I’m going to sound gushy right now and I don’t care — you’re literally giving a great product a second chance and keeping one less thing out of our already overflowing landfills, oceans, and natural areas. You’re not just saving the environment, you’re saving hard-earned money, and just maybe inspiring others to go green as well. Now that’s shopping you can definitely feel good about!


Katieheadshot Katie is an avid online shopper and frequently shares her money saving tips on BLINQ Bytes.

One Reply to “Save the Earth (and Your Wallet) by Shopping for Used, Open-Box and Refurbished Items”

  1. This is such a great article! I totally agree there us big savings in buying open box, used, and refurbished Electronics. It can impact the environment big time and it’s such a waste to.
    I own a website thar is similar to it’s called DMG Electronics
    we sell open box and used products as well and it is definitely worth it.
    If I was buying as a customer I would definitely be looking to buy open box and used products because of the big savings on the products I never like paying full price so why not buy open box products most of them are like new just open box but same quality.
    Thank you for posting this great article many people wonder about buying open box and used electronics.

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