You might have spotted that I recently went on a wee rant about the price of things in Urban Outfitters. I’ve often heard retailers moaning about online leading to the extinction of the high street shopper, but in truth, it’s savvy shoppers looking for a deal and moving online is the real cause. Very often, shopping on the high street will cost you money and who doesn’t like a few bob staying in the pocket.
One day, back in 2015, I was browsing through a few bits in CeX; the granny’s drawer of high street gadget shopping. I came across a first generation Chromecast which, despite being second hand, cost more than a brand new second generation Chromecast. I was flabbergasted and at that moment I realised why so many high street shops are closing their doors; they’re an absolute rip off.
Three years on, I’m checking out CeX again to see if they’ve changed their ways and ask once again, do you really save money by shopping in CeX?
What is CeX – The Computer Exchange
CeX is a UK based company, founded in 1992 and eventually coming to Ireland in April 2011. CeX provides a service where customers can visit stores to exchange electronic devices for cash or store credit These items are then assessed and resold by CeX. The model has proven extremely popular, with the first Irish store achieving €1.3 million in sales in the first year and a further 24 branches opening since nationwide. Sounds like everyone wins right?
CeX Trust Pilot
The general perception around CeX is that it provides very good value. Consumer reviews website Trust Pilot states the retail exchange specialists have earned an 8 out of 10-star rating, supplied by customers of the store. A quick read through the comments left by customers does indeed suggest the vast majority of shoppers enjoy a good experience with CeX. One question remains, however. Is CeX good value?
Is CeX Good Value?
I’ve picked out ten popular tech gadgets from the CeX website to check them against buying from other retailers. The gadgets are considered to be in Class A condition which is practically as good as new. These are often at the higher end of the price spectrum but are still classed as “used items”. To check if a better price can be found, I turn to our friends over at PriceSpy. This price comparison website trawls the internet looking for the cheapest price on electronics.
Let me start with the gadget that started it all.
- CeX Price: €48
- Google Store Price: €39
Ironically enough, it looks like PriceSpy doesn’t take the Google Store into consideration. This is a pity as Google has just started paying attention to Ireland, launching the Google Home, Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL over here.
Regardless, I know the price of these in the Google Store and despite them being second hand in CeX, they cost €9 more. They’re not signed by a celebrity or anything either. That’s just you paying more for something that’s been used by someone else.
Apple TV 4th Generation
- CeX Price: €145
- Apple Store: €159
One all. The latest version of Apple TV is actually cheaper than it is to buy directly from Apple. You’ll save €14 by going with CeX. Of course, there’s a but. Don’t forget this is a used Apple TV. The big question is – would you rather buy something brand new or save €14 and get an Apple TV that’s been through the ringer?
Apple Earpods – Lightning Connector
- CeX Price: €29
- Apple Store: €28
Another win for CeX, but only just. You can save a whole euro when you buy replacement Apple Earpods with CeX and not straight from Apple.
But you know, used in-ear earphones. That’s gross.
- CeX Price: €170
- Apple Store: €179
Yet another win for CeX, but I do hope you’re seeing the trend emerging here. Save €9 when you buy used in-ear wireless earphones over buying lovely clean new ones directly from Apple.
Amazon Echo Dot – Second Generation
- CeX Price: €50
- Amazon.co.uk: €46 or €56
Amazon has just announced their third-generation range of Echo products so you’d expect CeX to drop prices accordinglNaturallylly they don’t which means it’s now cheaper to buy a brand new Amazon Echo Dot from Amazon.co.uk over CeX. If you want to stretch a little further, you get a brand new third-generation Echo Dot for just €6 more than last year’s model in CeX.
Apple iPhone 8 64GB
Here’s where things start to get a little silly…
- CeX Price: €815
- Apple Store: €709
If you want to buy a used iPhone 8 from CeX it will set you back over €100 more than a brand new one from Apple. Think of the warranty you’d get with Apple and knowing that phone is brand new versus one that’s been through the wars. I just don’t understand how CeX charges so much for used goods.
People are wandering in off the streets every day and buying phones at these mad prices.
Apple iPhone Xs 64GB
- CeX Price: €1280
- Apple Store: €1179
Apple’s latest flagships are the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. You can pick these up from stores on the high street, from CeX or directly from Apple. Naturally, many people will pick these up on a contract which does cost more than the direct price from Apple. It’s hire purchase, so networks make some money by spreading your plan over 24-months.
CeX, on the other hand, is again charging over €100 more for a second-hand iPhone Xs than Apple charge you for a brand new one.
CeX: The Verdict
There may be benefits to shopping with CeX, but I’ve yet to really find one. I’ve never shopped with CeX because it’s just so easy to pop into another store or grab something off Amazon. CeX is taking in items from the public in exchange for rather small sums of cash or store credit. Then, they drive up the price to a ridiculous high and wait for some poor soul to wander in without researching and make a purchase.
Take my advice:
- Shop smart
- Shop around
- Check Price Spy
- Never assume second hand is always cheaper