The reason why refurbished phones are so popular


Keynotes:
– The refurbished phone market has seen growth at an exponential rate over the past two years.
– The iPhone 7 is one of the most popular refurbished models in the UK.
– 98% of all refurbished phone sales by Quick Mobile Fix are Apple products
The competitive market allows room for price wars and is a buyers market right now.
– The quality of refurbished phones has rapidly exceeded expectations with near-original quality
parts and further factory original parts being available to restore & refurbish mobile phones.
– On average, customers will happily spend between £200 – £350 on a refurbished device.

Why are refurbished phones so popular?
It’s no hidden fact that the refurbished phone market has seen growth at an exponential rate
over the past two years. But is this just due to bargain hunters jumping on the bandwagon? Or
is there a deeper reason for this rapidly increasing market? The answer may surprise you.

The reality is, there are multiple factors that contribute towards this sudden jump. There is no
one reason as to why more and more consumers and turning towards buying a refurbished
device rather than splashing out on the latest smartphone flagship.

How much do refurbished phones cost?
Let’s start with the most obvious contributor first – the price point.

On November 3rd 2017, Apple announced the release of the iPhone X. For the first time, a
smartphone had the hefty price-tag of nearly £1000 which at the time had been widely
considered entirely ludicrous and unnecessary for a device that is purely for convenience.

But that’s just it – mobile phones have become such an integral part of our day to day lives that
a phone has become so much more than a digital contact book and the ability to play snake
when you’ve got a spare few minutes. They’re multimedia monsters enabling users to become a
writer, pocket photographer, music artists or just to be entertained at the flick of a finger.

So it’s no wonder that this attractive package is desirable, but not at that price. This is where
refurbished mobile phones play a huge role – enabling a customer to be able to have all of those
fancy features, at a price that suits them.

As of late, there has been high demand in the refurbished phone market for Apple’s previous
model, the iPhone XR, and understandably so.

According to Quick Mobile Fix, a ‘new’ iPhone XR will still set you back £629 from Apple.
Whereas a refurbished iPhone XR in ‘Excellent’ condition will only cost you £507.99 – a whole
£120 more you can save to use at your local coffee chain.

Their findings also suggest that one of the most popular refurbished phones the avid internet
shopper tends to sway towards is Apple’s iPhone 7 which released in 2016. This raises a couple
of interesting points – the first being that it’s very clear that the iPhone 7, even nearly four years
later, is still an incredibly popular choice among would-be shoppers. In fact, Quick Mobile Fix
reports that on average, over 1000 orders a month for their refurbished iPhone 7 models. That’s
an utterly staggering number.

Looking past the next most obvious reason, being the price of the Apple devices which can
largely be outside of the price-range consumers are looking for – There are far more iPhone’s
available in the refurbished market due to their popularity with consumers over the past few
years. Interestingly, however, this statistic is slowly changing with more users switching over to
Android with brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Honor and countless more bringing some
serious competition to the market.

Interestingly, according to Quick Mobile Fix Director Chinedu Emechebe, not only is the iPhone
7 one of the most popular in the UK, but Apple products appear to be on top in general – this,
however, is not reflected in Europe where the majority of refurbished phone sales are attributed
to manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei and the like.

Quick Mobile Fix has also reported that out of its 178,000 orders over the past two years, a
whopping 98% of refurbished devices bought from their site (per year) are Apple products – A
number which, for the most part, certainly translates across the industry. Why is this? Well, that
could well warrant an article of its own – but the long and short of it is that historically, Apple is a
premium and desirable brand, which naturally gains more interest than it’s Android rivals in the
refurbished market.

Samsung is currently dominating the Smartphone market with their device sales making up
nearly 22% of the global market – Huawei follows behind at 16%, with Apple trailing in third
place with 10% market share for Q2 (According to research completed by counterpoint).

What are the conditions of refurbished phones?
The professionalism of refurbished phone retailers is also having a big play in why customers
are leaving high-street providers and switching to refurbished mobile brands. In recent years,
the quality of refurbished phones has rapidly exceeded expectations with near-original quality
parts and further factory original parts being available to restore & refurbish mobile phones.

For the majority, most refurbished phone retailers will use a grading system to let you know the
condition of the device you’re looking to buy. For example, Quick Mobile Fix uses an easy to
understand system which translates across the entire industry.

Pristine Condition – Near factory condition. No signs of use and almost identical to a brand
new device.

Excellent Condition – Minimal signs of use, often with very light blemishing.

Good Condition – Fair condition with more obvious signs of use and wear.

Naturally, these different conditions allow further choice for consumers to pick the right
refurbished phone for them. Pristine condition not quite in your price range? No problem, good
condition device is the perfect choice for you. QMF state that the most popular condition they
see being purchase is Good to Excellent condition mobiles which is to be expected at such an
attractive price. This variety of options allows consumers to really nail down and find exactly
what they’re looking for, and with such a competitive market with price wars happening daily
across the industry, it really is a buyers market.

Coincidently, this competitiveness has awoken the bigger brand names to invest heavily in the
refurbished phone market in recent months.

Quick Mobile Fix Director, Chinedu Emechebe said: “Bigger brands are looking to enter the used
market. Five or six years ago, we didn’t see many manufacturers getting into the refurbished phone
market at all, but that has changed recently. We’re also seeing customers becoming more
environmentally aware. They genuinely don’t want to keep harming the environment with harmful waste
from phones – but ultimately, it’s the customers pocket which is the deciding factor right now.
People are seeing that these latest smartphones are getting very expensive – and because they’re
expensive, when the time comes to renew their contract, those contracts have gone up from around £40
per month to prices as high as £80 – that’s a huge jump.
So what a lot of people are doing now, they’re holding onto their existing device and opting to repair them
if they’re faulty. But at the same time, if the customer does want a new phone, they’re choosing
refurbished phones rather than buying a brand new. ”

This sudden spike has not just increased awareness of the effect that refurbished phones are
having on the market right now, but also brings in more interest and trust into refurbished
devices as a whole. More consumers are flocking to the idea of refurbished phones with big
players such as Apple even offering a trade-in service, refurbishing those devices and then
redistributing them back into the market.

The future of the refurbished phone industry
Of course, as mentioned previously, the cost is a major factor in what causes many customers
to buy refurbished instead of opting for a brand new device. Quick Mobile Fix discovered that on
average, customers will happily spend between £200 – £350 on a refurbished device –
depending on the model, make and condition.

Despite the refurbished market already being very established in terms of its main key players –
more and more high-street brands are joining the bandwagon with companies such as Curry’s,
O2 and Argos all trying to grab a piece of the refurbished market. It will certainly be interesting
to see what new milestones the industry achieves with Black Friday and the Christmas period –
and 2020 in the new year.

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