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Target now sells used electronics returned to its stores

Many technology and gadget enthusiasts will be familiar with Amazon.com where you can buy both new and used electronics. Electronics fans will also be familiar with eBay where you can get both used and new items as well.

The problem with buying used electronics is that you never know how well they were maintained. Anyone who shops on eBay for long inevitably runs across a piece of used electronic equipment that wasn’t as advertised or just plain doesn’t work.

Target announced this week that it will trial a used electronics service. Target has three different categories for used electronics inside their electronics department. It lists iPods, video game consoles and TV/Video as categories. Reuters reports that Target claims the vast majority of electronics returned to its stores are in perfect working condition.

Target’s website says the electronics are checked, inspected and refurbished by an authorized manufacturer or a Target-managed third party. That should essentially mean the electronics bought used via the Target website are as good as new. In addition, with this service at Target the electronics all appear to come from Target store returns, which should make many users feel better about buying second hand goods than they might at eBay.

At the time of this writing Target lists several used iPods with pre-owned 30GB iPods going for $179.99, which is $40 off Targets list price. The only game console Target has listed is the very old Nintendo GameCube at $64.99. Target has a slew of TVs and other video electronics listed as well. You can get a 72-inch pre-owned Toshiba DLP rear projection TB for $2,799.99.

Selling used electronics is much better than simply shipping the broken electronics over seas, though if Amazon.com's used item sales have already been largely heralded as a success.



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Target is a good company
By JonnyDough on 11/23/2007 2:53:04 AM , Rating: 2
They take an active role in local community, and have standards that Wal-Mart and Meijer don't have, such as not stocking at night and not having pallets being used as shelves (and lots of other great standards).

I believe this is a more wide-scale opening up of older electronics recycling, they probably don't expect to make so much money off of this as they would through the good media exposure about how good they are. It's still a win, even if they break even on recycled crap - and it's a win for consumers and the environment.

I imagine if you get a 1 year warranty on something you buy and it doesn't work that you can get a replacement for it pretty easily. Target has good distribution channels and their own trucks, so if you return an item they'll probably ship it back the way it came. The same would apply to any electronics stuff you dropped off. I can't say for certain what Target's plan is, and this and this article doesn't really explain it too well either, but I imagine Target will be setting an example.

Let's just hope that they use something similar to Mattel's Global Manufacturing Principles to enforce standards on their partners. I'd hate to find out that Target's recycling program isn't as fantastic as it appeared.




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