FrugalityPNG3692149756_ca17fc8325_z_thumbPacific Mall here in Toronto isn’t just a place to buy one of my favorite snack foods, vegetarian dim sum.

This local Asian shopping complex is also a paradise of cell phone and tablet cases, and the Beloved and I picked up a generic case for my new $50 Fire Tablet.

But that was far from our entire morning. We also made a pit stop at a second-hand store, and I was blown away by how many electronics they have these days.

I have written before about the coming onslaught of used media. But I had never considered the onslaught of used media players.

Here’s a sampling of the devices they had available:

  • A Sony E Ink Reader for $40 (Canadian money, like the other figures here).
  • A Kindle Touch for $40
  • Several Kobo tablets for about $80
  • Several Lenovo tablets, all about $130
  • An iPad 1st Generation for $150

The Beloved, my tech expert, is not a huge fan of second-hand computers, because of the moving parts. But he was cool with the idea of a second-hand tablet, for that same reason—no moving parts. He figures the bulk of these are perfectly fine, and were discarded when their owners upgraded to something better.

We’re happy with our current tablet set-up—we’re a little over-gadgeted at the moment, actually. But if we were in the market to shop again, I would definitely consider a secondhand device. We still don’t have a $50 tablet here in Canada. The cheapest new device at Best Buy is about $110, and it’s laggy.

So right now if you’re frugal like me and live in Canada or many other places, your best hope for a $50 device may be a secondhand store.

The future may be different, with prices of new devices going even lower.

“Why buy a used machine,” many might think, “when new ones are so cheap?” But for the moment, secondhand could be a good choice for the frugal and cash-strapped. Besides, if used machines are in less demand in the future, they may end up being even better bargains.

Coming up soon: My thoughts on my generic case for the Fire.

(Time stamp changed for optimal display during peak traffic period.)

Previous articleFairy Tale Fashion show in FIT fantasia in NYC
Next articleWil Wheaton says compensate, don’t exploit, creatives
"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. Ebay and CraigsList are also sources for second-hand e-readers and tablets. After you have turned it on to check that it works, the main issue with a second-hand e-reader or tablet is the battery. I bought a second-hand Nook Simple Touch in which, not surprisingly, the battery failed some months later. That’s what happens with older equipment. While it was not difficult to find YouTube instructions for replacing a battery, I found out that it was problematic to get the top and bottom covers re-aligned.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail