reBuy sustainable refurbished brand

Lizet Wesselman - 02/04/2023

reBuy sustainable refurbished brand

Lizet Wesselman - 02/04/2023

Technically rebuy isn’t really a brand, but more of a platform where you can buy sustainable products. But because the impact of the platform is so great and I’m such a fan myself, I still wanted to share it in this series. reBuy is a platform where you can buy refurbished electronics. They refurbish used products so you can buy some great second-hand items. You get a warranty and you don’t have the hasstle of having to sell stuff on your own, or buying from people who lied about the quality of the product.

What does reBuy sell?

On reBuy you can buy all sorts of electronics. From cameras to laptops and accessories such as headphones and ereaders. Of course, it does depend a bit on what’s available. For example, unfortunately, I couldn’t find laptops of brands I wanted to buy because they only sell MacBooks. But I did get my new camera and lenses from here, and I’ve actually been buying my camera equipment here for years.

Again, what is offered depends on what people are selling on reBuy. Because besides being a shopping platform, it’s also a platform where you can sell your old phones, cameras and game consoles yourself. You can easily request a quote by answering a few questions about your product. The item still gets checked afterwards, so sometimes your amount may turn out to be lower than you might have hoped. But then you do get the chance to decline and have your product returned for free.

Which aspects make reBuy sustainable?

We live in a world where most people often want the latest and newest electronica, resulting in electronics being discarded after only a few years of use. This is such a shame, because often the products are still perfectly usable! Sometimes they can use a little fixing up, but then they can last for a few more years. The problem here is that the production of electronics consumes a lot of energy and thus has a great impact on the environment. If you then use that laptop, phone or camera for 10-15 years, that impact isn’t so bad, comparatively speaking, because it’s spread over all those years. But if you buy another phone after 2 years, the impact is of course much greater. For example, the production of a smartphone emits about as much as your car over a distance of 250 km. That’s quite a lot.

By buying refurbished products, you can reduce the emissions from your electronics by an average of 75%! So that other 25% is the emissions it costs to refurbish the device so that it’s as good as new again.

It also reduces e-waste. That’s the waste created by many electronic products not being disposed of properly. Many electronics are made with materials that are bad for the environment, and often for human and animal health, such as lead and mercury. And on top of that, many of these used materials aren’t endlessly available in our soil, s0 we deplete the earth quite a bit, taking this out of the ground.

So producing electronics costs a lot more than just emissions from manufacturing, the impact of our favourite products is very big and by buying refurbished items we are making big sustainable steps.

Is reBuy an ethical company?

In terms of ethics, Rebuy doesn’t really work like other companies either, since they don’t make the products. The products are refurbished in Rebuy’s premises in Germany, where they themselves do have a whole ethical workplace playbook and work against discrimination and bullying, for example. But besides that, of course, they have nothing to do with the actual production process of the electronics themselves, and that’s where things often go wrong. So it would be wise to put the brands themselves under the microscope to find out about working conditions in the factories of those electronics brands.

General verdict on reBuy

I myself have been using reBuy for years for my photo equipment and have been very satisfied! It’s incredibly easy to sell items. I personally find the prices for this to be reasonable. The price of a “new” item at reBuy are always higher than the amount you get for it when you sell it to them, but of course that makes sense. There are obviously costs involved in refurbishing the equipment and they have to make some money on it. They do take over the hassle of trying to sell it yourself, which to me is totally worth it.

In terms of purchases, it’s definitely a better alternative than second-hand. You are 100% sure that the products work properly and have no damage (unless specified). Moreover, you have 21 days to return the item, in case you don’t like it after all, or you get a 3-year warranty if you do keep the product. You don’t get that through a second-hand sales platform, of course.

I do hope that they will expand in terms of what they offer. For example, I don’t really care for MacBooks and they’ve chosen to offer only that brand of laptops. Isn’t the product available on the website? Then you can’t sell it either. But therefore also not buy it. And there is definitely room for improvement there.

It also pays to compare prices with new products. Sometimes demand is so high that the price is little different from a new product. The sustainable aspect of a refurbished item is the most important thing, of course, but it has to remain interesting as a second-hand option. My new camera was offered for €979 at one point, while the new price was €1099 with a 5-year warranty. Luckily it dropped after a few days.

But in general, it has really become my go-to for new equipment and I always check what is offered on Rebuy before looking at a new item.

Which countries does reBuy operate in?

Rebuy currently operated within the following countries:

  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • France
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • Italy

The UK website has been taken down, I’m not sure why, but hopefully they’ll come back soon.