We know that producing electronics takes a terrible toll on the environment, from extracting and refining rare metals to fabricating and assembling new products. And buying new phones and computers takes a heavy toll on our wallets, especially now.
The easiest way to help the planet and save money is to go circular and shop for used electronics instead. But one of the biggest hurdles in buying anything pre-owned is quality assurance. Put simply: No one wants to buy something that doesn’t live up to expectations.
That’s where Back Market, an online electronics marketplace that works with more than 1,000 refurbishing specialists worldwide, comes in. The six-year-old company, which announced a $120 million fundraising round backed by Goldman Sachs, Aglaé Ventures, and others earlier this month, is on a mission to make buying used electronics safe, quick, and easy.
To ensure better quality for each product, the company requires sellers to go through an extensive vetting process, and checks in on products periodically. It also offers 12-month warranties on all products on its site, a virtually unheard-of perk in the refurbishing world. The company is even an official partner of Apple, so it’s a certified reseller of iPhones, AirPods, MacBooks, and more. You can find a 64 GB iPad for less than $150 on the site; an iPhone 6s with 128 GB of storage in mint condition for less than $250; or an unlocked iPhone 11 starting at about $630.
To make the shopping process easy, Back Market uses helpful product labels that tell you exactly what you’re going to get. Each product is assigned a category based on its exterior physical condition—from brand new (“Mint”) to beat up but functional (“Stallone”). When you search for an item, Back Market will pull up the best-priced option in each category so you can easily compare prices between a handful of products instead of scrolling endlessly, as you do on Amazon or eBay. Back Market also helpfully calculates the e-waste you’ll save from going into landfill with each purchase.
The prices are enticing: An Apple Magic Wireless Keyboard in mint condition goes for a cool $70 (regularly $99), and saves 8 ounces of electronic waste. A PlayStation 4 Slim in good condition comes with a 20% discount and saves 156 ounces of e-waste. A MacBook Air 11″ with some bumps and scratches comes in at less than $550 and saves 30 ounces of e-waste. Back Market also offers devices and products that you might not expect, including Mate X Foldable Electric Bikes, Dyson and Roomba vacuums, home cinema audio systems, and headphones, such as AirPods and Beats by Dre Solo 3.
Whether you’re an office dweller newly adjusting to working from home or a parent trying to set your kids up for entertainment and education, Back Market’s reduced-price, high-quality products make electronics more accessible—while keeping your footprint light.
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