The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Remote Controls

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The Do's and Don'ts of Buying Remote Controls

Electronic devices in the home, such as televisions, DVD and Blu-ray players, TV boxes, surround sound systems, and so on, all come with remote controls. While there are generally basic control functions on the actual hardware, remote controls make it a lot easier to deliver commands to alter their settings as needed. All new purchases will come with a remote control as standard, but there are times when remote controls break or go missing, and therefore need to be replaced. In addition, there are remotes that can be used to control a variety of devices, known as universal remotes, and these can be very helpful in consolidating all the remotes in the home into a single controlling unit.

What to Do When Buying Remote Controls

When buying remote controls there are a few things that anyone should do. This will help to ensure that the remote they end up with is both affordable and fit for purpose.

Do Assess the Type of Remote

First of all, it will be important to consider exactly what type of remote is required. This might be a basic remote for controlling the television, or a more complicated one for controlling both the television and the cable or satellite box. Moreover, it is essential to determine whether the new remote is simply an addition to the current remotes in the home, or a replacement remote for one that has gone missing or been broken.

Replacement Remotes

For replacement remotes, remember to find the specific model number for the remote. There are 3 ways in which this can be done. First of all, check the remote if it is still in the house and see if it has a model number written directly onto it. If there is no model number on the outside of the remote, take off the battery cover and check inside. When this doesn't work, check the manual that came with the electronic hardware. Finally, the manufacturer should be able to provide the model number, so get in touch with them directly when there is no manual to reference.

Do Check Warranties

It is a good idea to check the warranty of the electronic device to find out if it is possible to get a remote for free. Call the retailer that sold the device and check whether it is possible for get a free replacement: if not, find out how much they charge.

Do Check Elsewhere

To save money, check around online for retailers that also provide the same remotes. They may well sell them at lower prices than the original retailer of manufacturer.

Do Consider Alternatives

Instead of buying a direct replacement, it may be a good idea to get a universal remote.. These come with a range of functions, controlling up to 20 devices at once. Cheaper versions will come pre-programmed to control devices like TVs, DVD players, and other common entertainment devices, while more expensive versions can 'learn' the commands of more or less any device within the home. As such, universal remotes can be either very cheap, or relatively expensive, with a variety of features to help simplify the process of controlling the electronic devices in the home.

What to Avoid When Buying Remote Controls

Buying the right remote control for any particular device, or a range of devices, doesn't need to be hard. Here are some things to avoid.

Buying from Third Party Manufacturers Without Research

Remote controls, as mentioned, can either be bought from the original manufacturer, or third party manufacturers. While many third party manufacturers are perfectly reputable, and will provide excellent products, others will sell low quality goods. If choosing one of these manufacturers, it is critical that some research is done. Check customer reviews, and look at feedback for the company to build a better picture of their reputation and reliability.

Buying Solely on Price

Price should be a secondary factor when searching for either replacement remote controls or alternatives, like universal remote controls. Functionality should be the primary concern: this will make sure that the remote actually works for its required role. Those who shop based on price alone, and who look for the cheapest deals, may end up with lower quality products and knock-offs. Consequently, these remote controls are likely to either not work, have limited functions, or break down quickly. As a result, it may be necessary to purchase another remote, thus negating any savings that may have been made.

Shopping for Used Remotes Without Researching the Seller

Used remotes will not always be lower quality than new ones. However, the condition of the remote and the reputation of the seller needs to be carefully researched to ensure that any used remote is worth buying. Purchasing a second-hand remote control that appears to offer a host of features and functions at a massively undervalued price may seem like a great deal. The reality, however, is that the remote may have been listed as needing repairs or in poor condition. Failing to check these details will, therefore, lead to a waste of money, and a great deal of frustration.

Paying for Unnecessary Features

Buying a remote control with a bunch of bells and whistles, when it only needs to deliver simple commands to the television, is a mistake, and one that could be costly. Any remote needs to be completely fit for purpose, and designed specifically to fulfil a certain function, or multiple functions, depending on its use. For example, buying a comprehensive LCD backlit universal remote, when the only electronic devices in the home are a simple TV and DVD player, is overkill. In addition, some of these remotes can be hard to programme and operate, particularly at first, meaning simple functions like changing the channel and increasing the volume suddenly become real chores.

Not Checking Compatibility

This is of particular concern when buying a multi-purpose universal remote. If going down this route, always ensure that the remote is compatible with the devices in the home before making a purchase. The majority of universal remotes will work with most makes and models of TV, DVD player, satellite box, and so on, but it pays to be sure before buying.

Buying Remote Controls on eBay

Both used and new remote controls can be bought on eBay. To find appropriate models, go to the eBay main page and then click onElectronic & Technology.. Next, click on theSound & Vision link and then the TV & Home Audio Accessories link.. One this page there will be a long list down the left hand side of the page listing a variety of different accessory categories for TV and audio devices. The final link to click will be Remote Controls,, and this will direct the page towards all of the listings on eBay for remote controls. If there are thousands of listings, filter the results by clicking on the tabs on the left hand side of the page relating to type, brand, condition, price, format, and so on. By clicking these tabs, the page will refresh with a more targeted list of results. For the most laser-focused list, however, use the search function at the top of the page by typing in specific words based on what remote control is needed. For example, for a new Samsung remote control, type in "Samsung remote control brand new". Now it is simply a case of looking through the various results and finding appropriate remote controls.


Remote controls are hugely important in making electronic devices easier to use and more convenient to manage. When they break or get lost, it will be important to find replacements quickly. This can be done via the original retailer, the manufacturer, third party retailers and manufacturers, and even second-hand on eBay. In addition, universal remotes can help to consolidate the control of the different electronic devices in the home into one. The above list of things to do, and things to avoid, should make buying a new or used remote control a breeze.

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