Smarter and Harder

7 Ways to Outfox Planned Obsolescence

Planned obsolescence is a practice where companies sell products intended, and sometimes even designed to fail over time.

The strategy is to trap consumers in an endless cycle of buying through a mix of low-quality product design, social pressure, and other tactics.

The fashion and tech industries are two of the most notable offenders, but planned obsolescence is now common in many other businesses.

Most products have a finite lifespan, but these companies intentionally embrace this idea to increase profits at the consumer's expense.

Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to outsmart planned obsolescence and break out of this tricky cycle.

1. Buy for Value, not price

Low prices make poor quality products seem enticing, but continually replacing them will often cost more over time.

2. Buy and Sell Secondhand

Thrifting is a great way to find long-lasting products at low prices, and to get money back for things you no longer use or want.

3. Digital Minimalism

Use your digital devices more intentionally, and take better care of them so that they will run better and last longer!

4. Use Refunds & warranties

Most companies make certain promises when they sell you a product. When that product doesn't work, remember you might have options!

5. Learn to Mend & Repair

Basic repair skills for things like clothing, furniture, or electronics can go a long way to extending product lifecycles for little to no cost.

6. Upcycle

Before throwing away an item that can no longer serve its initial purpose, consider if it would be well-suited to a new purpose.

7. Emphasize "owning" over "getting"

The rush of a new purchase feels nice, but wears off quickly. Focus instead on the storied possessions that have served you well and still bring joy.  

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