Questions You Should Ask Before Repairing or Replacing an Item

Generally, we automatically toss inexpensive items when they break or become damaged. However, for expensive investments (smartphones, laptops, tablets, antiques, etc.), we try to repair them as soon as possible. Not all inexpensive items need to be replaced, and not all expensive ones need to be repaired.

You need to know when to repair and when to replace. Here are a few general questions to ask before replacing or repairing.

Does repairing it cost more than it is worth?

The $20 dress you bought online suddenly tears at the seam. It is your favorite dress, and no longer available online. Therefore, you decide to take it to a seamstress for an estimation.

The seamstress informs you that the dress will cost $50 to repair. As much as you love it, you know it’s not worth that price. In this case, you would replace the dress with a similar one.

If an item will cost you more than 50 percent of its original price to repair, then go ahead and replace it.

How bad is the damage?

A phone with a cracked screen is often easily fixed. Any product with very minor damage should just be repaired to save money. However, a phone with a cracked screen, water damage, and extensive cosmetic scratches may be too beat up to repair

This would be a case where replacing it might be the cheaper option.

How old is the product?

Some products have a long shelf life. Other products should be replaced every couple of years. Determine what category your product falls within. For example, most laptops should generally be replaced after at least five years, unless it is in perfect condition.

Products with lifetime warranties generally tend to last because the companies will always honor the warranties and fix any problems that arise.

Is it still under warranty?

Most products still under warranty usually cost anywhere from 0 to 15 percent of the original cost to repair or replace. Check how long your warranty lasts before deciding whether to repair or replace it.

Can I find an inexpensive replacement?

For tech products, stores such as Newegg offer discounted tech devices and daily deals. They also make coupons easily accessible through Groupon and other sites.

You may find using sites like Newegg a better option than spending to repair an old item.

Can I find an inexpensive repair service?

Check local repair shops to get quotes on the cost to fix your item. You may find a repairman that offers a fair repair price and does excellent work.

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