6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, when (and why) to keep that box

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – Consumer Reports deputy Tech editor, Chris Raymond, has been buying electronics for decades.

“One of the first electronic items I remember buying is a clock radio with a cassette player built into it,” Raymond said.

Along with decades of tech came stacks of boxes–reminders of bygone gadgets.

“You can probably go into any room in the house and open a closet door or look in one of the corners and you’ll find a box tucked there for a laptop, or a speaker, or a telephone,” Raymond said.

So next time you make a tech purchase, should you save the box?

CR says there are some times when it’s a no-brainer to hang on to a box, at least for a little while…like when there’s a chance you might return it. Depending on where you bought it, you may not get a full refund without the original packaging. So it may be worth keeping during the 14 to 90-day return window, especially for expensive electronics.

Another time to hold onto the box?

“If it’s an item that you think that you might resell, people are much more likely to buy it when it’s in the box,” Raymond said.

CR also says keeping the box while the manufacturer’s warranty is in effect might make it easier if you have to send an item back, though most will accept an item for repairs in any box.

Also a good idea: saving the box to store a device you may not use everyday or to keep track of its extra parts like a battery or a cord.

“That helps you, one, go back and find them but it also helps you remember what that cord goes to, right?” Raymond said.

If none of these apply, CR says feel free to get rid of that box.

To help you keep the boxes you’re storing from taking over your home, consider the one-to-one rule. When you get a new device and need to keep the box, get rid of an old one.