An affordable way to buy products and devices…
It is now possible to buy refurbished mobile phones, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, fitness products, television sets, washing machines and appliances that are as-good-as-new at prices which are cheaper by 30% to 50%. Mind you, these are not ‘second-hand’ or ‘inferior quality’ products and there are no inherent performance issues.
Availability of items of good quality at huge discounts has naturally attracted retail customers as well as educational institutions, NGOs and companies. Particularly for institutions and organizations savings are huge in view of larger quantities bought. Many buyers are from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, where price sensitivity is higher.
Among all refurbished items, maximum demand is for mobile phones and in particular for brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, LeEco, Yureka, Motorola and OnePlus.
How do these products originate?
Refurbishing companies source unboxed or returned products from e-commerce portals. There are various categories as stated below, with rising discounts as you descend:
(a) Surplus: Brand new product with original sealed box and warranty. This is excess inventory or unsold stock with the manufacturer or supplier and hence being offered at discount.
(b) Unboxed: Brand-new item but with box and seal opened. Product would be in perfect working condition. Returned by custoer on-the-spot due to minor issues like not liking colour or feel of the phone.
(c) Returns: Typically new but can sometimes have scratches, dust or cosmetic blemishes that do not impact product operability. Rigorously tested, certified and warranted. Often customers impulsively place ‘cash on delivery’ orders and refuse to accept product when it lands at the door.
(d) Refurbished: These are used products or factory seconds or in-transit damaged goods or products with minor defects or items received due to exchange programmes, which are professionally restored to perfect working condition.