Gadgets on a Dime: Recessionary Tech

Gadgets on a Dime: Recessionary Tech

Anthony Nguyen
Apr 4, 2011

We've been trying new out as of late. Well, maybe it's not that new, but it's new to us and we're definitely digging it. We're talking about purchasing gadgets and other tech used. All used. No exceptions.

We think one of the reasons behind our recent switch to 'all refurbished, used or nothing' is because we've been hanging with a couple of art school photographers who simply can't afford to purchase the 'best of the best' every time.

Their philosophy: "There's no such thing as an impulse by. You really need to research every product to the end and usually if it was useless to begin with, you'll figure it out pretty quick."

However, this doesn't mean they refuse to invest in some fancy equipment. One of the guys walked around with a Leica M8, a $4700 camera when purchased new. When asked how he could afford it, he basically explained, "I purchased it third-hand off Craigslist. I brought a friend with me to make sure it was the real deal and since it was it decent condition, it was good justification to sell off the car since I now live in the city near a reliable metro station."

Then comes the issue of supply and demand. Sure, you can wait for folks to pawn off their stuff on eBay (there's plenty of other ways too), but prices can and will fluctuate depending on how saturated the market is with a certain product.

My philosophy is to always purchase when 'everything feels right.' A few things go into this mental checklist:

  • Not a first generation product: It's always better to see how the tech pans out so you don't invest in a standard that'll disappear after a couple of years.
  • The source is reputable: Being ripped off sucks when you're trying to curb down spending, so read the reviews and pay honest folks when buying used.
  • It feels like renting: It's rare for tech products to last a lifetime these days, so it might not be a bad idea to think of the tech you use as purely 'renting' and not 'owning.' This way, you'll be less likely to hold onto products you don't need and be okay with 'trying out' different products.

There are a couple of things that I refuse buy used such as washers/dryers (high repair cost), mice (yuck), and hard drives. But as for everything else, I think it's fair game.

What technology do you think is worth buying used?

(Image: Art School Vets)

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