Until death do us part? In-depth insights into Dutch consumers’ considerations about product lifetimes and lifetime extension

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Abstract

Long-lasting electronic products contribute to a sustainable society; however, both expected and actual lifetimes are in decline. This research provides in-depth insights into consumers’ considerations about product lifetimes, barriers to extending lifetimes, and responses to a product lifetime label. Results of interviews (n = 22) with Dutch consumers suggest a positive view on long-lasting products. Nevertheless, their products’ value depreciated during their lifetimes. Consumers consider themselves unable to estimate how long products should last, which can be detrimental as low expectations tend to negatively influence actual lifetimes. Also, use intensity and consumers’ care(less) behavior influence the lifetime. To extend product lifetimes, consumers often disregard the option of repairing malfunctioning products. They have limited knowledge and ability, and believe repair provides poor value for money. Lifetime extension can also be hindered by market-related factors, such as convenient replacement services, new technological developments, and (attractive) deals. We suggest a product lifetime label should contain relevant and reliable information; furthermore, we recommend including (extended) warranty information. When information about repairability is included, potential negative responses should be considered. Finally, raising awareness about the environmental impact of short-lived products via a label may have a positive effect but requires more research attention
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-922
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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