Buy used technology (and reselling it later) is a win-win. It is good for the environment and good for your wallet. But to get the most out of your money, it helps to know which items tend to retain their value over time and which depreciate in the blink of an eye. This way, you can strategically plan your purchases in order to keep as much money as possible in your pocket.
Gadgets that have their value
When you browse sites like Craigslist, eBay, and others, it is clear that some products fetch prices closer to their original retail price than others. Apple is a prime example: “iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches are popular products to buy and sell second-hand,” says Sara Beane, Media Relations Specialist at Swappa. “The market shows that it values Apple products over time and that they tend to depreciate more slowly over time.” If you look at the data of the phones sold on Swappa, it is clear that iPhones stay closer to their original MSRP for the first two to three years compared to competing products. After that age, the gap narrows, as iPads, MacBooks, and Apple Watches continue to maintain their wide gap beyond these early years.
Beane notes, however, that there are products on both smartphone platforms that hold their value well. Samsung’s Galaxy line and Google’s Pixel line, for example, lag a bit behind iPhones, but hold their value better than many competing Android brands.
The same goes for other well-known brands which are bestsellers in the new market. “Typically, the best-selling items on our platform are well-known technology brands such as Apple, Samsung, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo,” says Brandon Vaughan, spokesperson for OfferUp. Even though there is a lot of supply, the high demand allows these products to sell well – so you can be pretty sure that there will be a buyer for that PS4 you bought just to play. God of the war. Even if your product category is a little more niche, you might find that the best brands in this hobby hold their value longer. I saw this anecdotally with some cameras and audiophile headphones, for example – but less so with audiophile speakers, as their size requires local sales where demand may be low.
Keep in mind that these things can fluctuate over time as well. The two spokespersons noted that video game systems have sold extremely well during the pandemic, thanks to strong demand from people staying at home, with the Switch soaring. above its retail price thanks to stockouts. So while brand name and popularity are a big part of long-term value, seasonal pushes and outside factors play a huge role as well. When a new iPhone comes out, for example, the latest generation starts to lose value quickly – so if you have a spare phone on hand, it may be worth selling the latest generation option a few weeks before you go. Apple is only dropping new models to pocket a little more money.
Gadgets that depreciate quickly
However, not all items are in such high demand. In many other cases, the sale of a used gadget can result in greater losses.
Take, for example, the Android phones mentioned above. While Galaxy and Pixel phones tend to hold their value decently, other low-demand Android phones depreciate faster. Looking at Swappa’s statistics on the LG G8 ThinQ, for example, reveals an average selling price that is slightly lower than that of the Galaxy s9—Even though LG’s offering is a more recent year and was priced higher at launch. The demand is simply not there.
From anecdotal experience, I have found that the same is often true for laptops. While popular and highly rated laptops like MacBooks can sell for decent prices, many Windows laptops – especially lesser-known budget or mid-range models – seem to lose a ton of value the moment you get them. move away from the proverbial lot. (I scored a brand new Acer Aspire 5 on OfferUp for less than half of its retail price a few years ago, although it still is today.) It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reasons for this. , but it’s likely that the Android and Windows ecosystems have so many manufacturers and product lines that demand for a specific model is lower than specific, high-demand competitors like MacBooks. So people tend to shop with more emphasis on price than on the specific item they want.