10 tips for the buyer/owner of a good about repairability


I deliver a lecture about the right to repair. One of things I want to do is to give my audience 10 advices/tips. Is there somewhere an existing list or who has some ideas?
First of course: buy sustainable. Second: maintain your good. Third: how repairable is your good (greenpeace, ifixit,…) Fourth: …

thanks for your advices,


My personal view:
1- Do you really need to buy it? or could you lease it? does it need to be new? (could be 3 tips :slight_smile:
2 - If you need it, then I’d go to existing sites about sources, materials and repairability
3 - Ensure there are useful maintenance and repair manuals or online information … (and tools or a local repairer)
4 - and spares/ parts are economically available.
5 - keep it well maintained, and especially clean it now and again!!! (a lot of failures are just dirt and grime)
6 - and when you’ve finished with it, sell on, or donate … or give it to someone who can cannibalise the parts for future repairs
7 - post useful information to help others…


We would encourage people to increasing see products as hardware and software collapsed into one. Software support is crucial to the maintenance of so many things. So it’s not just “physical” repairability we need to watch out for. We need to know that we will have support for firmware and software support from manufacturers.

This is an area that iFixit and Greenpeace probably need to pay much greater attention to in their ratings in future, and an area that will probably require greater regulation.

Cambridge University researcher Ross Anderson talked with us about this growing issue

And we also talked to Alison Powell about our multiple “rights to repair” - one being “auditability” to understand how software is powering our hardware, and another being the “right to revert”.


These are great tips @Mark_Phillips

The part about maintenance is key, and it’s also about learning how does a product actually work, and therefore how to best take care of it.

Talking to a trusted professional repairer of the type of product you’re after is very helpful. They will know which brands might be easier/cheaper to repair, and which are reliable. And they’ll be able to share simple, crucial insights to increase durability. For example, when we last interviewed South London’s white good repairer Steve the Spin Doctor, we learned that the main thing for washing machines is to avoid overloading them and to regularly clean the filter, which I’m sure many people didn’t know existed, including myself :slight_smile:


… and how about the toxicity and recyclability of its component materials?


do we have reliable sources, available for a consumer, to know this?