What To Consider When Buying a Second-Hand Electronic Device

According to reports, electronic waste produced globally every year amounts to 50 million tons and if this situation does not improve, numbers could rise to 120 million by 2050. It is for this reason that we recommend consumers buying second-hand electronic devices to be more environmentally responsible. However, it is essential to consider several factors before choosing a second-hand cell phone, tablet, or laptop. 

Gumtree tells you what to look out for while buying these second-hand devices: 

Cell phones and tablets: 

  1. Ask for the soft or hard copy of the original bill to ensure it is not stolen.
  2. Steer clear from fake phones and tablets by checking the model number and other hardware specifications under the Settings menu.
  3. Inspect the phone and tablet from all quarters so you are aware of all the scratches and dents.
  4. Do a service code test to see if various features (vibration, sensor, LED etc) are in order.
  5. Test the ports and accessories such as chargers, and USB data transfers.
  6. Take your SIM along to make calls on the second-hand phone to examine the microphones and loudspeakers.


  1. Inspect the laptop body to ensure it is free from cracks or damage. Other things to check for include missing screws and loose hinges. 
  2. Switch on the laptop to check if the screen flickers or is discoloured.
  3. The keypad and trackpad are the most used parts of a laptop. Check for broken keys, pinch-to-zoom features and more. 
  4. Check all the ports including USB, headphone jack, SD card slots and all inputs. Other features that are essential are the webcam and speakers that must be used before purchase.
  5. Examine the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features to ensure they work effectively. 
  6. Older laptops may have shorter battery lives and it is essential to check this before purchase. Examine the power management settings of the OS to analyse the battery health status. 

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find electronics close to home.

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