How popular are refurbished smartphones and which brands are in demand? Find out
In metro cities, there is a higher demand for smartphones in the higher average selling price (ASP) range, particularly brands like OnePlus and Apple, with prices ranging from Rs 12,000 to 18,000 in the refurbished segment.
India's refurbished phone market is projected to experience 18 per cent year-on-year revenue growth, significantly outstripping the anticipated 7 per cent growth in new phone sales. This surge in demand for refurbished devices is mainly in metro cities. According to Saket Saurav, Co-founder & CEO of ReFit Global, a refurbished marketplace that refurbishes smartphones and other tech devices, the sale of refurbished smartphones in India has seen an impressive year-on-year growth.
Here are the edited excerpts from the interview:
Q Refurbished Smartphones: Which brands are in demand?
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Saket Saurav: In terms of demand, there are distinct preferences among Indian consumers based on their location and budget.
In metro cities, there is a higher demand for smartphones in the higher average selling price (ASP) range, particularly brands like OnePlus and Apple, with prices ranging from Rs 12,000 to 18,000 in the refurbished segment. However, in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, there is a significant demand for smartphones in the price range of Rs 7,000 to 8,000. This price point accounts for approximately 60 per cent of total sales, encompassing both metro and tier 2 & 3 cities. Specific brands that people are gravitating towards in the refurbished segment are OnePlus, Apple, and select models from Oppo and Vivo.
In terms of volume, ReFit Global observes a higher contribution from mid-range Samsung phones, as well as devices from Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi. Xiaomi, and Samsung in particular, accounts for approximately 60 per cent of the total sales volume.
Q: What kind of growth refurbished market has when compared to new smartphone sale?
Saket Saurav: The market for refurbished and used smartphones is thriving, with a projected 18 per cent growth, amounting to 35-45 million units sold, while new smartphone sales are anticipated to decline by 7 per cent. This trend isn't just about affordability; consumers are choosing to upgrade to more capable, branded smartphones in the Rs 10,000 to 15,000 range, whether used or refurbished. These devices offer better specifications, extended battery life, improved camera capabilities, and powerful chipsets compared to lower-priced new 4G smartphones. This shift in consumer preference reflects a significant change in the smartphone market landscape.
Q: Why refurbished smartphones are more in demand and does it go up during the festive season?
Saket Saurav: The demand for refurbished smartphones is on the rise, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in recent years. This surge in interest is driven by a multitude of factors, including the anticipation of the festive season and the irresistible allure of premium devices. Consumers are increasingly turning to refurbished premium smartphones, recognizing them as a practical and cost-effective solution that meets their needs.
As the festive season approaches, we've noticed a heightened interest in refurbished smartphones. To cater to this demand, we're offering enticing discounts to make our refurbished devices even more accessible and appealing to consumers. We're committed to providing sustainable and budget-friendly rates, ensuring that the festive season is truly enjoyable and affordable for our valued customers.
Q: What are the things that buyers should keep in mind while buying refurbished smartphones?
Saket Saurav: Refurbished smartphones provide a cost-effective option for consumers, but it's essential to be well-informed when making a purchase. Look for certified refurbishment sellers with a proven track record and ensure the phone comes with a warranty for peace of mind. Pay attention to the device's condition, compatibility with your network, and the health of the battery. Check for ongoing software updates and understand the return policy. Compare prices and consider certified refurbished models that undergo rigorous testing. Additionally, confirm the included accessories and verify the phone's IMEI/ESN to avoid potential issues. These considerations ensure a reliable and satisfying refurbished smartphone purchase.
Q: Share some latest trends related to refurbished smartphones.
Saket Saurav: I'd like to highlight some of the latest trends in the refurbished smartphone market. Firstly, there's a growing trend towards sustainability, with more consumers choosing refurbished phones to reduce electronic waste and minimise their carbon footprint, contributing to the industry's impressive 17-18 per cent YoY growth. Furthermore, there's an increased demand for refurbished smartphones, driven by the desire for high-quality devices at more affordable prices. Manufacturers and retailers are also expanding their certified refurbished programs to provide customers with assurance regarding the quality and reliability of these devices. With the global deployment of 5G networks, an emerging market for refurbished 5G smartphones is gaining momentum, offering faster connectivity at a lower cost. Trade-in programs, where customers exchange their old devices for refurbished ones, are becoming more popular, often accompanied by discounts on newer models. Additionally, e-commerce platforms and dedicated online marketplaces are playing an increasingly significant role in the buying and selling of refurbished smartphones, offering a wider range of options to tech-savvy consumers.
Q: How reliable are these refurbished smartphones and what kind of warranty or guarantee do buyers of these smartphones get?
Saket Saurav: Refurbished smartphones undergo a comprehensive refurbishing process, which includes careful testing, quality assurance, and the use of premium replacement parts. ReFit Global makes smartphones go through a 47-point quality check process, which is facilitated by our in-house diagnostic app. This process ensures that each device meets our strict quality requirements. To increase our clients' trust, we offer a generous 6-12 month doorstep warranty at no extra fee. After 12 months, you can still rely on ReFit Global for support, although there might be extra charges. The company's innovative Zero Dead Stock model has been the driving force behind its continued success, with no dead stock recorded in the past five years.
09:28 AM IST