Nothing in this world is built to last forever. One thing we have to remember is that the things we buy have life cycles—meaning, that they will only be fashionable or functional for a set period of time. And in the time that elapses, businesses push new products, new technologies, and faster purchasing to their consumers.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of quickly discarding an item when it’s broken or out of shape, and getting a shiny new replacement.
This toss-and-replace kind of mentality proves costly to both our budget and the environment. Impulse-buying and panic-buying drive several industries to consume and manufacture continuously, and this adds to the waste being accumulated in factories and landfills.
It’s worth asking: how can we make a difference in the life cycles of the things we own? Will it save a lot of money to repair instead of replace?
To answer these questions, it’s important to consider how refurbishing can become a long term solution to this kind of problem. Here’s a briefer on going about repairs and which commonplace items you should opt to refurbish in order to save money (as well as the environment).
Repair vs. Replace: The 50% Benchmark
If you have a broken item on hand and you’re debating between repairing it or buying a new one, a good thing to base that decision on is the 50% benchmark.
To do this, you should calculate the cost of repairing the device versus the cost of replacing it. If the cost to refurbish item to full capacity is less than 50% the price of getting a new one, your best bet is to refurbish it.
On the flipside, if the item has broken down more than once or if you will be needing an upgrade in terms of technology or functionality, then that’s when it’s better to acquire a replacement.
5 Items to Refurbish and Use Like Brand-New
You’ll be able to tell the difference between superior and sub-par products of the line based on how long you can extend their life cycle. Here are five examples of products whose usefulness you can extend via repair, and that can work as if they’re brand-new.
1. Ink cartridges
At the top of this list are ink cartridges. You can score huge savings from making use of remanufactured ink instead of buying new cartridges from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Contact a supplier who can refurbish cartridges with compatible ink for your printer model. The ink will ensure printing that’s equal in quality to branded ink, without the expenses or additional plastic, metal, and oil waste.
Fans of this up-and-coming technology know that new drone models are costly, and thus know how to take care of their gear. Although models like the DJI Mavic Air can set you back almost a thousand dollars, refurbishing your old drones can cost as little as $149. You’ll be able to get your drones back up in the air in no time.
3. Outdoor gear
Top-quality outdoor gear, such as hiking backpacks, are typically manufactured to last for a long time and to weather the elements. It will make a lot of sense to extend the life cycle of your outdoor gear by refurbishing buckles and straps as needed, and using the gear for the long haul.
A little wear and tear won’t ruin well-made furniture. Instead of buying new tables, chairs, shelves, or racks from the store, look into refurbishing your best pieces. Get the wood polished or the leather re-upholstered. Not only you, but your children could save on furnishing costs if they inherited repaired furniture as family heirlooms.
On the subject of heirlooms, another type of item that can be refurbished and passed on is timepieces. It’s easy and cost-efficient to extend the life of a watch by replacing batteries, gears, or straps. You’ll be able to increase the value of the watch, and pass on a precious piece of jewelry to your kids.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” as the saying goes—but if it is, you should! With these items, it’s likely that repairs are the best option. Don’t hesitate to take them out for a tune-up and extend their life cycles for as long as possible.