E-tailers find demand for refurbished goods growing

Shobha Roy/Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on April 30, 2018 Published on April 30, 2018


Sale of pre-owned and refurbished goods, including phones, white goods and furniture is gaining traction.

According to industry sources, the floating urban population looking to meet their short-term requirements for electronics and furniture and their urge to own high-quality aspirational products at affordable prices are the key factors driving the demand for such products.

Rising demand

Amazon India, one of the leading e-tailers in the country, witnessed “promising customer demand” not just for smartphones but across categories such as laptops, headphones, watches, small appliances and Kindle e-readers, said Vivek Somareddy, Director – Seller Services, Amazon India.

“The refurbished category is growing four times on a year-on-year basis, with over 70 per cent of orders coming from tier-II and III cities such as Kanchipuram, Secunderabad and Surat among others,” he said.

While mobile phones and headphones remain the popular categories for Amazon at present, it is witnessing a growing demand for other products also, including white goods.

E-com player, Snapdeal, which is into refurbished mobile phones, is looking to focus on product lines where branded items are available at low ASP and the supply is sustainable. The share of refurbished mobile phone sales account for nearly 5-6 per cent of its total business.

According to a Snapdeal spokesperson, the supply is getting strengthened as more organised sellers are entering the business and investing in superior device quality, robust outer box, best in class compatible accessories and warranty support paving way for growth and expansion.

A report put out by Quikr, the classified advertising platform, suggests that Indian households have a huge pile up of goods which are unused. Sale of these goods could be a boost to economy as they can be accessed by people who have a budget constraint.

With summer setting in, Quikr has witnessed a spike in sale of pre-owned air coolers, followed by air conditioners and refrigerators.

“The ecosystem (sale of refurbished goods and furniture) is fast developing. The stigma that was there around purchase and use of such second hand products is going away with millenials and the urbane youth going for these products,” Sarath Chandra Gudlavaletti, vice-president, QuikrBazaar told BusinessLine.

Developing ecosystem

When it came to buying pre-owned goods, buyers earlier preferred purchasing from within their locality or city as it would require them to inspect the product, make cash payment and arrange their own logistics to pick up the product. However, geographical barrier has become a thing of the past with e-tailers offering certified products, secure payment options and doorstep delivery facility.

In fact, both Snapdeal and Amazon have put in place stringent certification processes for refurbished products.

Amazon for instance sees to it that all refurbished products are worked upon by the original manufacturers or professional refurbishers to ensure quality.

The refurbishment process typically includes a full diagnostic test performed through industry standard applications, replacement of any defective or damaged parts, a thorough cleaning and data wiping process, and finally the repackaging in a brand-new box. The products come with a minimum of six months warranty offered by the brand or the seller of the product.

“Customers purchasing products through the “Certified Refurbished” program on our website get high quality, like-new products at a competitive price. In fact, they can save up to 50 per cent while purchasing a refurbished product as compared to the purchase of a new product,” Amazon’s Somareddy said.

Published on April 30, 2018
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