Should You Keep The Box For Your New Gadget? Maybe

Never throw away the box if you have a cat. (Jan Giesen)

Never throw away the box if you have a cat. (Jan Giesen)

We’ve already established today that when you buy a new gadget at a brick-and-mortar store, you should tear open the box before leaving to ensure that it contains the thing that you paid for. Once you get your new toy and its box home, though, how long should you keep it? That depends on a few factors.

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself before tossing the box, courtesy of CNET:

1. Are you within the return period? This doesn’t just apply to electronics with computer chips: it applies for items like kitchen electronics too. You’ll have an easier time returning a toaster that died after toasting a few bagels with the original packaging than without. Some stores accept returns without boxes, but to be safe, don’t throw it out.

2. Will you re-sell it in the future? If you plan to sell, trade, or the item as a gift in the future, keep the box. Receiving a 2-year-old used iPhone in an unmarked original box really classes up the transaction.

3. Are you moving soon? You don’t exactly need the original box to move your smartphone to a new place, but storing the box to your TV in a closet or basement can be a good idea, since the box and its built-in handles protect the item and may make it easier to carry.

4. Do you keep too many boxes around? If you still have boxes from printers and DVD players that you no longer own around, maybe reconsider your hoarding tendencies. Or you could clean out the old boxes to make space for new ones. Either way, be sure to turn boxes inside out or recycle them somewhere other than your curb in order to avoid announcing, “HEY, I GOT A NEW LAPTOP OVER HERE!” to passing thieves.

Four questions to ask before throwing away a product box [CNET]

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