We’ve all been there: found a much cheaper version of an electronic product online and instantly gone for it without a further thought. While money saving is smart, here are a few reasons why buying cheap electronics can be a bad idea.
As good a bargain as cheap electronics can seem, there’s usually a reason for the price. Occasionally you may find some that are discounted just because they’re old or because the shop got too much stock and wants to get rid of them, but more often than not it’s because they don’t work correctly.
What Can Cause Issues
One reason can be that the products have not been thoroughly safety tested. While this does make them cheaper, it also means they can pose a substantial risk to your home. They can overheat and catch fire, spark, or even explode (to a certain extent). This tends to be more of an issue with electronics purchased online, as most in-store need to go through rigorous testing processes.
Manufacturers may also use cheaper parts, meaning they are likely not as safe as a more expensive version. Again, overheating may occur, or the device itself may just flat out break, wasting your money.
The products could also be cheap because they were slightly defective. Perhaps not enough to completely write them off as unsafe, but enough that they can be reduced in price. In this case, there’s still the potential for the device to overheat or short, increasing the risk of housefires or electrical issues.
What To Look Out For
In some cases there are certain things you can look out for. When buying extension cables, make sure they have surge protection and heat protection. This effectively means that if they get too hot or too much power tries to go through them, they’ll stop. Try to get the ones where each individual plug socket has a switch so you can only turn on individuals. Not only is this good for preventing overheating, but it’s also great for your energy consumption.
It’s also important to try to buy from well known brands, or items that have safety approved stickers on them. The safety stickers mean that the items have been thoroughly tested, and the same tends to be true for known brands as well. Unfortunately, this can make the products a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it to make sure they’re safe.
So, as tempting as it is to save money and buy cheap electronics, I’d definitely try to avoid it. There are so many issues that can arise from defective products or products that aren’t quite up to standard that it’s best to just leave them alone if you can.