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Urban Indians driving demand for refurbished smartphones, electronic gadgets

Urban Indians driving demand for refurbished smartphones, electronic gadgets
Photo Credit: Pixabay
17 Jan, 2023
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The increase in the price of smartphone and other electronics gadgets is driving Indians towards refurbished products. A new global report published by YouGov, an internet-based market research and data analytics firm, headquartered in the UK, on Tuesday, shows that six in ten urban Indians have either purchased refurbished electronic products (20%) or would consider buying them in future (40%) in the coming year.  

The study that draws insights from over 19,000 respondents across 18 global markets  and 1000+ in India, reveals that globally, there is an appetite for buying refurbished electronics with more than two thirds (69%) of consumers across the globe who have either already bought a refurbished/recycled electronics item (28%) or would consider buying one (41%). In contrast, one in three are not open at all to the idea of buying pre-used technology and would never consider it. 

The highest proportion of refurbished buyers fall within Great Britain, US and Canada, with India ranked at number 15. Nonetheless, the trend suggests a strong interest overall, as well as an opportunity for manufacturers, and retailers to convince more consumers of the benefits of buying recycled tech, said the study.  

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Gurugram-based refurbished electronics seller Cashify for example, is expanding its retail presence in India eyeing tier-2 markets. The company said that it is planning to take its total number of stores to 250 by March 2023 from the current 170, the company told Mint in an article published on November 30, 2022.  

Among Indian consumers who have purchased electronics devices in the last 12 months, 36% said that reassurance of the product being guaranteed for at least a year is most likely to encourage them to buy recycled or refurbished products, followed by a reputable seller (33%) and reduced price (25%) are reasons that promoted to buy a gadget.  

The study further shows that users want assurance that the devices are functioning well despite being refurbished and hence communicating the cost-benefits of repurposed tech, in conjunction with the quality reassurance of the product will be key elements for brand manufacturers and retailers to focus their refurbished marketing messages. 

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Unlike the first-hand smartphone and electronics market, which is going through a demand slump due to the economic downturn, the refurbished smartphone market has been growing, believe experts, as a November 2022 report by International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that in Q3-2022, the average selling price of smartphones in India jumped 15% year-over-year, and 6% from the previous quarter. 

According to a September 2022 report by IDC, shipments of used and refurbished smartphones will rise from 283 million in 2022 to 413 million in 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3% from 2021 to 2026. In 2022, used smartphone shipments of 283 million represented an 11.5% increase over the 253.4 million units shipped in 2021, the tech analyst firm said.