Renovated? Is it reliable? – Law and money

Buying a refurbished electronic device saves you money and is more environmentally friendly. But are these products reliable?

If you buy a new smartphone, the production process accounts for almost the entire CO² footprint (95%). This corresponds to an average emission of 85 kg in the first year of use. To reduce this print, you can try to extend the life of your device. By having it repaired, for example, even though it is only an important argument for 3% of consumers when choosing a smartphone, shows an international study by Deloitte, which also surveyed 2,000 Belgian consumers.

The alternative? Choosing a refurbished device, a term used mainly for smartphones, tablets and computers. It’s about giving showroom models and used or returned appliances that are still under warranty and in good condition a new lease of life. For example, professional computers come back into circulation after three or four years. Refurbishment reduces the mountain of digital waste and as a consumer you get a piece of the pie, because you can buy a well-functioning device 20 to 40% cheaper.

Who is responsible for the audit? Of course, companies that are familiar with this matter. Specialized technicians clean and restore the device, ready for reuse. Please note, refurbished does not mean ‘like new’. There may be some scratches on the case or screen, but they should remain invisible when the device is turned on. And then there’s the battery. “We replace them when the capacity has dropped below 80%,” they explain at Swappie, a Belgian company active in renovation. Swappie products are sold with a 24-month warranty. By law, sellers must offer a warranty of at least one year on refurbished units.

Consumers are not yet ready for sustainable digital behaviour.

No trust. Refurbishment makes up only 15% of the smartphone market today. “The lack of trust in sellers of refurbished devices is an obstacle to sustainability,” said Vincent Fosty, technology and media manager at Deloitte. “We see a behavioral paradox in relation to the environment. Consumers want more sustainability, but they are not yet ready for sustainable digital behaviour.”

Where can you find refurbished appliances? Unfortunately, some sellers create confusion by also using the term refurbished when selling used appliances that have not been refurbished, according to Test-Aankoop. And it is difficult to find your way to platforms that sell refurbished smartphones. But according to the consumer organisation, you can find good refurbished units at Renewd, sold via Coolblue and at Swappie. Retailers such as Vanden Borre, Mediamarkt, Krëfel, Fnac, bol.com… (and others) also score well in terms of selling refurbished white goods.

If you buy a new smartphone, the production process accounts for almost the entire CO² footprint (95%). This corresponds to an average emission of 85 kg in the first year of use. To reduce this print, you can try to extend the life of your device. By having it repaired, for example, even though it is only an important argument for 3% of consumers when choosing a smartphone, shows an international study by Deloitte, which also surveyed 2,000 Belgian consumers. The alternative? Choosing a refurbished device, a term used mainly for smartphones, tablets and computers. It’s about giving showroom models and used or returned appliances that are still under warranty and in good condition a new lease of life. For example, professional computers come back into circulation after three or four years. Refurbishment reduces the mountain of digital waste and as a consumer you get a piece of the pie, because you can buy a well-functioning device 20 to 40% cheaper. Who is responsible for the audit? Of course, companies that are familiar with this matter. Specialized technicians clean and restore the device, ready for reuse. Please note, refurbished does not mean ‘like new’. There may be some scratches on the case or screen, but they should remain invisible when the device is turned on. And then there’s the battery. “We replace them when the capacity has dropped below 80%,” they explain at Swappie, a Belgian company active in renovation. Swappie products are sold with a 24-month warranty. By law, sellers must offer a warranty of at least one year on refurbished units. No trust. Refurbishment makes up only 15% of the smartphone market today. “The lack of trust in sellers of refurbished devices is an obstacle to sustainability,” said Vincent Fosty, technology and media manager at Deloitte. “Regarding the environment, we observe a behavioral paradox. Consumers want more sustainability, but they are not yet ready for sustainable digital behavior.” Where to find refurbished units? Unfortunately, some sellers create confusion by also using the term refurbished when selling used appliances that have not been refurbished, according to Test-Aankoop. And it is difficult to find your way to platforms that sell refurbished smartphones. But according to the consumer organisation, you can find good refurbished units at Renewd, sold via Coolblue and at Swappie. Retailers such as Vanden Borre, Mediamarkt, Krëfel, Fnac, bol.com… (and others) also score well in terms of selling refurbished white goods.

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