Is Refurbished The Future Of Consumer Tech?

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As a trend, global smartphone sales are down.

Mobile manufacturers are producing flagship phones with amazing hardware each year, but consumers are now more cautious to part with their money.

The reason? A thousand dollars for a new phone may prove to be too much for those who upgraded a year or two ago. But when faced with a lower-priced refurbished option, sales can still pick up.

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Growth For Refurbished Gadgets Are Up

Google Pixel, the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8 came out roaring in 2017 to the delight of fans around the world.

Unfortunately, the same consumers just bought new models a year ago and couldn’t possibly keep up with expensive smartphones just because they were “cutting-edge”.

Counterpoint’s data suggests that the refurbished mobile market improved by 13% in 2017, which equals 140 million products. The numbers are greater in terms of new phone sales.

U.S. coordinator Serge Verdoux states that the numbers are more like 22%. On the same line, the site saw how refurbished gained 10 times more sales than its European counterpart.

Reuse is also happening in the general tech goods as well. Startups, governments and corporations are opting for refurbished versions as its cheaper and just as reliable.

Consumers who are educated on what the term “refurbished” means tend to choose them, whether for TV, digital cameras or home appliances.

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Photo by Karol D from Pexels

Factors That Drive The Refurbished Market

Price is the leading reason why people and companies are choosing refurbished. As technology in smartphone goes up, the costs of production and manufacturing are increased, which is then passed on to the consumers.

A refurbished smartphone costs much less than its brand-new counterpart, and this appeals to those who want to upgrade to their favourite product or brand without breaking the bank.

Newer companies started seeing the trend and began offering budget-friendly smartphones. Established mobile manufacturers kept up by selling refurbished options of their latest models.

Increased awareness and government mandates encouraged the buying of refurbished units as a way to save the environment. People started turning to alternatives not just on cell phones, but in tablets, laptops and TVs as well.

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Changes In The Tech Goods Industry

The sluggish growth of the new phone market gave rise to refurbished. Europe and US companies and mobile networks started adding full-life cycle programs for refurbished products.

Recycling and take-back promotions make it easy for people to trade their old tech in exchange for credits or rewards, e.g., discounts, gift cards or trade-in options for tablets, TVs and appliances.

Global companies, including Samsung, Motorola and Apple have set their own recycling programs. Individuals can now head to the nearest authorised stores, have their old device appraised and use that credit towards an upgrade.

The Future Of Rising Refurbished Market

Consumers can contribute to being more sustainable and recycle their electronic goods by selling it online.

They now have options to sell their old gadgets- through online marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook or Amazon, via online recycling sites such as Plunc or by visiting the nearest buyback facility and exchanging their goods for cash.

Refurbished is definitely here to stay. IDC analysts state that the market should get a massive boost and reach $52 billion in 5 years’ time.

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Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Benefits Of Buying Refurbished

Refurbished electronics have a lower price tag but that doesn’t mean they’re inferior. The only difference is that they’re not shelf-new.

Increased awareness and the rise of refurbish sales may mean that all popular consumer appliances will have a refurbished price in the future.

Also, refurbished means a particular gadget won’t end up taking space in landfills and polluting the environment. Manufacturers won’t have to keep pace with production, which equals less water, fuel and carbon footprint.

Refurbished is the key to buying what you need at a lower price. While there are those who want everything “brand new”, the majority of consumers will start to prefer items tagged as “refurbished” because it saves them money without compromising quality, model or brand.

We can expect the costs of electronic hardware, especially in the smartphone industry to go up, especially if it has the latest processors and tech features such as AI, better cameras and high-resolution displays.

A refurbished counterpart and life cycle support will ensure that consumers can still enjoy the best and the greatest hardware without having to sacrifice an arm and a leg for it.

Cover Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

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Simone Ribeiro
I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications.

Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

I'm a Brazilian journalist based in West Midlands. In Brazil, I have worked with International Trade and Logistics publications. Now in the UK, I keep writing and I dedicate myself to a new project : Midlands Trade - a blog focused on business in Europe and Brazil. It's also supporting small businesses throughout the #MeetTheBusiness.

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