A lot of people have been selling used electronics as of late; and while not necessarily a craze, it was borne out of three specific trends that have defined the current generation’s technological landscape.
The first trend is that of miniaturization. This doesn’t necessarily mean that electronic devices have to become smaller (a largely aesthetic concern, as demonstrated by the oversized iPhone that is the iPad, minus the telephony functions). Rather, it means that more processing power is capable of being packed into smaller and smaller silicon spaces. As a result, production costs have become cheaper, leading to more people being able to afford electronic devices.
Leading off from miniaturization, the second trend is inter-connectivity. As the internet further advances its scope and capabilities, it is gradually becoming a part of everyday life, helped in no small part by the proliferation of electronic gadgets. Because of the net’s status as an everyday necessity, more and more people are seeing fit to actually buy internet-ready portable gadget like tablets and smartphones so that they are never severed from the internet even when away from their PCs.
The third trend, and yet another that branched off from the first, is faster technology turnovers. Because production costs are cheaper, companies can devote more time, resources, and money to research and development, leading to technology being developed and further refined at an almost alarming rate. It seems that every other season, another electronic device comes along that renders its predecessor obsolete, despite the latter being on store shelves for only six months.
With these three defining the direction technology development is headed, things can only be looking good, right?
Not exactly. As with everything else, there will always be cons that come with the pros. In this case, the biggest con would have to be e-waste.
E-waste is pollution derived from discarded electronic gadgets. More than the expected pileup of plastic and silicon in landfills (the two already notoriously difficult to dispose of in their own right), e-waste also brings with it biohazardous chemicals like lead, cadmium, and beryllium which may leak from batteries, capacitors, and other electronic components. These chemicals in particular present a more direct and immediate danger to the environment, which is why people have been prompted to just sell used electronics instead.
A more efficient and green-focused solution is at hand, though: E-recycling. What e-recycling does is its designated recycling centers collect discarded electronics, which they then very thoroughly inspect. They identify which parts are no longer usable and dispose of these under the strictest green standards. They then restore the gadgets to pristine working order and sell them again to consumers at much lower prices than these devices were originally sold at.
Indeed, everyone comes out the winner in this. Not only do consumers avail of near-mint condition gadgets at cheap prices, but the whole world at large is for the better.
I think I’ll jump on this green bandwagon and sell my electronics too.