Shopping For Electronics? Best To Compare Price, Features And Planned Obsolescence Of Each Brand.

Electronic WasteWired posted an article, “Copyright and Planned Obsolescence: The Shady World of Repair Manuals,” about the need for free online product manuals and how it may conflict with a manufacturer’s copyrights – especially if the manufacturer prefers that you replace your electronic device rather than fix it. But is that in the manufacturer’s best interest?

Probably not and that’s why Jubbling decided to share our experience buying and selling electronics by offering some shopping tips:

  1. The savviest shoppers go to industry related blogs and find out how a future purchase performs. Following a thread is a great way to track defects and how they are handled by the manufacturer. Sample: home theater, cameras etc.
  2. Check IFixit for repairability information and manuals.
  3. If you’ve done your research and narrowed down your brand, contact the manufacturer or visit their website to find out if they have a local service center – especially for televisions. There’s nothing worse than re-boxing and shipping 42″ TV with a bad power supply across the country for repair.
  4. Make electronics purchases with American Express. Not only will AMEX add a year of warranty to the manufacturer’s standard warranty but if it breaks, they actually want to help you get it fixed.

Ultimately, it is in the best interest of electronics manufacturers to build a quality product so they will keep you as a customer for life. Offering service manuals online is a no-brainer and should have nothing to do with copyrights. Products should not be designed with planned obsolescence in mind – it’s not how you build brand loyalty.

As a kid, I remember my parents getting the call from Sears checking to see if we wanted to buy extended service contracts on their “almost out of warranty” appliances. The conversation went something like this:

Sears Rep: “Would like to buy an extended warranty on your Kenmore dishwasher?”


Parents: “No thank you.”


Sears Rep: “So what are you going to do if your dishwasher breaks outside of the warranty period and you’re not covered?”


Parents: “If we can’t get it repaired, I guess we’ll have to go out and buy another one. Only this time, we won’t be buying a Kenmore.”


Prior to ordering, Google your next electronics purchase by part # and put “repairs” at the end. And always keep in mind that the retailer isn’t concerned about the durability of the product you purchased. If it breaks, you’ll come back and buy a new one and your sales rep will get to say “chi-ching” as you walk out the door with your replacement purchase. (Don’t be a chi-ching.) [Wired]

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Apple And EPEAT Reconciliation Cemented With The Gift Of Gold.

Gaddafi vs Retina MacBook ProSince the release of the Retina MacBook Pro this summer, EPEAT and Apple Computer’s relationship has been a tumultuous one. First they breakup then they makeup and now comes news that the Retina MacBook Pro has received a gold rating on EPEAT’s registry. With a gold rating, the Retina MacBook Pro is considered an “environmentally preferable product” allowing the Federal government, which requires that 95% of their purchases meet this standard, to start buying up the Retina MacBook Pro. How did this happen? Didn’t iFixit refer to the Retina MBP as “Unfixable, Unhackable, Untenable.”?

Wired.com posted a great article, from the perspective of iFixit’s CEO Kyle Wiens, about the EPEAT’s epic caving and how it’ll compromise the registry that encourages more sustainable manufacturing and recyclable products. [Wired]

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