Over time, most things that you own will require repairs or replacement. Sometimes it will be more cost-effective to handle the repairs yourself. But in other instances, the time and labor aren’t worth the effort. You may discover that it would actually be cheaper to buy something new. So if you are looking at a difficult DIY project and debating costs, you should know that these 5 items are often more expensive to repair than purchase.
5 Items That Are Much More Expensive to Repair Than Purchase
In the past, it seemed like there were local repair shops that could fix any household appliance at a reasonable cost. While there are still many experienced technicians and repair shops around, the scope and costs of their services have drastically changed since the late 90s.
Not only have parts become more expensive, but manufacturers have made it harder to find replacement parts for cheaper items. Other industry roadblocks, such as trademarking components and only allowing repairs through authorized dealers, have made it more expensive to fix damaged goods. Furthermore, the influx of cheap products from China has also changed consumers’ mentality and influenced the decision to replace things instead of repairing them. All of these factors have led us further down the path toward a disposable society.
But, the budget is an important factor. If you don’t have the skills to repair things yourself, it may leave you with few options. And as many people are finding out, these 5 items can be much more expensive to repair than purchase new.
With the increased dependence on the internet and technology, smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives. Today’s devices have incredible capabilities and provide an impressive leap in technology, but it also comes at a price.
Long gone are the days when the owner could switch out batteries and replace individual parts on their own. Nowadays, it requires special tools and knowledge to perform simple repairs. And since many of the high-tech components are encased in glass, it makes them extremely fragile and more prone to breaking.
However, the biggest issue is how quickly they devalue. After a few years, the operating systems become slow and the model obsolete. And when Apple limits you to authorized service dealers and doesn’t make parts available to the general public, it drives up the cost of repairs. While repairs make sense for new models, it would be a waste of money on outdated technology. Until more is done to make smartphones more durable and repairable, they will probably be cheaper to replace than fix.
2. Small Appliances
Small appliances like toasters, microwaves, food processors, and vacuum cleaners have made life much more convenient. They save you a significant amount of time by handling mundane chores. However, they can present a huge headache if you need to get them repaired.
Although the parts may be relatively cheap and the repairs simple, the service bill will probably be more than you originally paid for the item. And, the manufacturers don’t always make parts available since they earn more profit when you purchase a new one. Luckily, sites like iFixit.com are working to give consumers more options. It provides schematics for all types of appliances if you want to try to troubleshoot and repair the items yourself before ditching them for something new.
3. Large Appliances
Large appliances have seen many impressive advancements in construction and design over the last 50 years. Many are now fully digital, so they no longer rely on timers and switches. Other changes have made them more eco-friendly so they use water and electricity more efficiently. And, high-end appliances even offer internet-connected touchscreens and integration with your smart home apps.
However, these conveniences come with a trade-off in reliability and durability. Older models were easier to repair since it was simpler to replace mechanical parts than the more modern plastic or nylon pieces. Modern appliances also have expensive electronic parts on the circuit boards which are sensitive to moisture and shock. When they malfunction, it could cost you hundreds of dollars to replace these components.
When you invest in large appliances, you expect them to last for years to come. And, they often do. But, it’s a good idea to look at the warranties and extended service contracts before you buy. However, if you are already experiencing issues at the 5-6 year mark, it may be more worthwhile to purchase new appliances.
Due to the lack of infrastructure and public transport in several major cities, cars are a necessity for many American workers. Fortunately, modern cars offer more comfort and conveniences, but they also come with more costly repairs.
Like large appliances, many components are reliant on computers and electrical systems. Therefore, they have more opportunities for issues to occur. And since each vehicle comes with dealer-specific software, it may prevent those who are mechanically minded from fixing it themselves.
With the increasing inflation, supply chain issues, and lack of available cars, many car owners are finding that repairs on older vehicles may exceed the car’s value. If you are having problems with the engine or transmission, it can easily put you in this predicament. And, it will become even more expensive when the problems compound and several systems need maintenance. At this point, you have to decide if it is better to continue investing in repairs, trade it in, or scrap it altogether and buy a different vehicle.
5. Lawn Care Equipment
Having a large yard is one benefit that new homeowners look forward to. However, few understand the expense of buying and maintaining the equipment required for the job. While many city ordinances require regular upkeep, it can become a major expense.
For those who can’t afford to pay for these services, it will be up to you to do the work. And this means you’ll need to have the right tools for the job. While most gas-powered equipment will be fairly reliable, skimping out on quality may cost you more in the long run, especially when you are facing expensive repairs. Rather than paying to fix low-budget equipment, it will probably be more worthwhile to invest in better quality equipment that will withstand the test of time.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.