My 3 Cents: Fix It or Nix It? A Gadget Conundrum


Your favorite gadget just broke, and is no longer under warranty. Should you fix it or nix it?

Repair prices have remained relatively flat over the past five years, while prices for comparable new products in almost every category have fallen. New televisions -- for instance -- have come way down in price and almost never break.

Sponsored Links

Any computer over three years old is probably a replacement no-brainer, though you may want to get something particularly affordable so you can spring for the latest and greatest tablet or smartphone too.

When it comes to iPods, the most common issue is battery life. iPod batteries normally last about 18 months to two years, For the average user, that's 250 to 500 charges. One of the major threats to battery life is heat, so keep your iPod out of the sun, and don't leave it in your hot car.

The experts' verdict on iPods: Repair them if you have a high-end model. But your iPod battery is something few of us can swap out on our own: You literally have to disassemble the whole thing to get to it, and Apple doesn't make that easy. Apple offers a battery replacement program for $65 -- well worth it if you have a player that would cost hundreds to replace.

My take:
Keep in mind, a free repair can be just a Google search away. Whatever problem you're having with you computer, TV, cellphone, or MP3 player, chances are, someone else has had the same issue. Look for websites and message boards that explain how to fix common problems.

As for whether to fix it or nix it, generally if a repair is going to cost more than half the cost of replacing something, the math doesn't make sense. Skip the fix and trade in your old model -- whatever shape it's in. Works like a charm in our home -- having used the site multiple times, strongly suggest They'll give you an instant quote and send a check within the week, You can use the proceeds to offset the cost of buying your next gadget.