Suggestion: Buyback + Refurbishing Program

I’ve mentioned it in other threads but figured I would go ahead and make a dedicated thread to see if people can poke holes in the idea. I’ve seen a few comments about how Framework should implement a buyback program for old/last gen motherboards but this largely seems to be in the context of recycling the old equipment. This seems unnecessarily wasteful in my opinion. Apple seems to have made it their de facto policy now to keep old models alive to penetrate lower price tiers instead of killing off the last gen as they used to do.

This should be emulated. Sure, Framework can’t give a “fair” price for the usefulness of the old board but I’d chalk that up to essentially paying Framework to dispose of the old board. Given that the chassis is essentially identical, it should be relatively simple (I realize it’s more complex than I make it seem), to buy back old boards, drop them in new chassis after a refurbishment process and sell it again at a lower price. Now Framework can profit twice from the same board and reach lower price tiers that want to buy in but can’t afford to. The drop-in nature of the board upgrades is what makes this approach viable for Framework and not other OEM’s. This provides a competitive advantage and should be capitalized on. When the refurbs are so old as to be essentially worthless to sell, they can be donated or recycled (preferably donated), potentially acting as a tax write-off although I won’t claim any particular knowledge if that aspect is viable or not.

This closes the loop on Framework’s products, providing a more sustainable product, opens up more supply with comparatively little cost/investment from Framework and increases install base/market penetration. What do you guys think?


I don’t catch up on other RTC threads well. But in my assumption, the suggestion to increase Framework’s revenue stream is in the context of the RTC issue, and if we can find a great idea of how Framework executes a buyback program, by our collective knowledge, Framework can execute it in a better way. That gives an option to current users having the 1st gen mainboard, right?

That’s a great perspective. Thanks for creating this dedicated thread.

Interesting. What made you have the opinion?

Actually I wasn’t thinking of the RTC battery problems at all, although this certainly gives Framework an easy out that both doesn’t piss off customers and gives them an opportunity to fix the boards (if possible) and re-sell them without losing much if any money in the process. I was actually referring to threads related to the environmental impact when I wrote this.

I think Framework appeals to the “hands on” crowd who are happy to get their hands dirty.

What Framework should seriously consider is a marketplace with seller/buyer ratings and allow people to sell Framework parts easily by providing shipping labels etc (cheaper corporate pricing) to make trades easier, and mediate disputes, fraud.

With a good service manual and replacement parts program this will be a fantastic moat that no other company (other than perhaps Lenovo) can threaten.

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@GhostLegion It may be helpful to change the subject of this topic to something like “Suggestion: Buyback + Refurbishing Program”, to make the content clearer.

I wholly support the suggestion, by the way.

Hopefully the buyback program will be added as a continuation of the news in this topic!

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Sounds good but not sure as of present, the small team of Framework can support this. Perhaps working with certified 3rd party refurbishing stores might work, though they would need to be audited and vetted often.

Also, I am unsure of Framework’s board/component failure statistics. Considering the age of the 1st Gen mainboards and the 2nd Gen ones. This would determine the cost and ROI of such a move.

Lastly, this program works if there’s a significant demand and I guess for now, it is a chicken and egg issue, too little demand, this program is a waste of time and money, but without investing in it, is hard to get demand. Of course, this is assuming there is demand.

I am all for going green but it has to be more or less financially sustainable without overreaching. Doing too many things at once might drag it down to its demise.

Given that the refurb models are essentially sold out in the US, I think it is fair to say that there is demand. Although it is my understanding that the “refurbs” were mostly returns and not anything that required any real repair effort. I continue to expect that buyback credit would be dependent upon condition of the board. Board-level repairs are not economical at scale for this kind of program. Failure-rate cannot be that high or FW would go under from warranty replacements. I’m talking about buying back boards from an upgrade cycle of 1-2 years within the warranty period for most people.

Just pointing out a potential flaw, because normally companies like ASUS/EVGA etc has statistics on their historical products based on their QC and whatnot, to determine pricing/warranty etc. Framework doesn’t have as long of a history so there might not be sufficient data to be really sure.

Regarding demand, my impression was that there wasn’t that many units out in circulation. It is something like Intel Arc sales volume vs Nvidia/AMD, except that people are snapping up Framework much more in this instance. The question lies is the demand really as high or was production limited. I am kinda leaning on the latter given the size of Framework.

@SlashFuture Yes? That’s what I said in the original post? And the title?

@GhostLegion Yeah, apologies… Lack of reading comprehension failed me that time, but agree with the idea 100 percent…

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Coming here after they announced a new panel + webcam (and the 14th gen Intel CPUs)

I may be interested in getting the improved webcam, for example.

But I’d feel guilty to throw away the old one, and I guess that in my country there aren’t enough FW owners that are in need for a webcam replacement and might purchase mine.

It’d be really cool if framework accepted to buy back parts from users, estimate their value and credit that amount back. It would grow business while keeping your enthusiast/tend-to-update-often customers happy and giving more people the chance to try your products for lower prices.

You disrupted the market with the repairability idea, now it’s time to take it to the next level - this would also give us a very strong sense of community, and further increase brand loyalty.


I have a Fairphone and their policy is with a 30# module, the time effort, cost financially doesn’t work and it’s more environmentally damaging returning than it is disposal.

Let’s consider the camera module: Gen 1 $15 | gen 2 $19 and no doubt soon to be reduced given there is a Gen 3 on the table.

  • Shipping costs; Are you going to pay to send it to do you expect Framework to do that
  • Unpacking, testing. Don’t forget some won’t be working within specs so will have to be dumped. So even if you pay they do all the work there after at a loss.
  • Warrantee on second hand parts: and if they fail the whole thing goes in a circle.
    Environmentally the shipping and packaging uses ‘energy’ mostly fossil and nuclear and who is going to sweat over the testing?

So I don’t think it’s a great idea: Nice marketing for those that are not looking too deep.

And your idea is that you get credit ?? I really think that is unrealistic, but who knows what people will do.

Take care.

Maybe consider giving it away

I admit I don’t have any idea about the CO2 impacts of all this and dunno the numbers of shipping VS destroying.

Giving parts a second life is a bit tricky where I live due to the very small user base. It would probably work quite well in the US or larger markets, tho

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@fw13amd the only parts worth testing and refurbing for me is the mainboard and the expansion cards, the rest is too delicate (like the display) or not worth it(webcam etc) to bother. Just my opinion tho and Framework isn’t likely to start up this program any time soon I don’t think.

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