Pre-owned cars and smartphones find love again, India sees rise in demand for refurbished products

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Value consciousness and a rising middle-class has given boost to refurbished market in India with demand for second-hand cars, smartphones, furniture, and electrical appliances on the rise, according to industry players. 

Online classes and work-from-home have also brought a shift towards the demand, specifically for smartphones and laptops. Cashify, a leading platform to sell smartphones has seen a growing demand and awareness from smaller cities like Lucknow, Jaipur, Alwar apart from high sales of refurbished phones in tier-1 cities.

“While there are groups that have a high demand for iPhones and more aspirational categories, there’s also a huge number of customers who seek out devices from the budget category,” says Anupam Jaiswal, VP – Sales & Growth, Cashify. He adds that the recent chip shortage and low number of smartphone launches have also propelled consumers towards refurbished devices.

Leading e-commerce platform Amazon has also seen a surge for refurbished products. “In the recent past, sellers on have seen high demand for refurbished mobile phones and work-from-home products like laptops, headphones etc. We have seen an increase in demand for the refurbished products from tier 2 cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, among others,” shared an Amazon spokesperson.

With a longer waiting period for four-wheelers, many consumers looked towards the pre-used car market to fulfill their demands. The trend has continued post-Diwali too. Used car marketplace Droom has seen a 100 per cent rise in sales in the last two quarters against the same period. According to the company’s founder Sandeep Aggarwal, they are now selling nearly 8,000 to 9,000 used cars per month.

The recent entrant to the unicorn list, Spinny too has registered a surge in sales or pre-owned cars. “In 2021, Maruti, Hyundai, Honda (Hatchback, Sedan, SUV) were the three most popular car brands, while White, Grey, and Silver were the most-preferred colors among the modern-age users,” said Niraj Singh, Founder & CEO, Spinny.

In a recent report, Grant Thornton highlights that refurbishment and remanufacturing are set to be game-changers for the furniture and appliance industry in India. According to the report, the Indian refurbished furniture and renewed appliances market is expected to grow to nearly USD 9.8 billion by 2025.

“Rapid urbanisation and growing per capita incomes have ensured that most products which were considered aspirational in the past are now mere necessities. Add to this the markdown prices of refurbished products, the value-conscious Indian consumer seems to be in an advantageous place,” said Rahul Kapur, Partner, Growth at Grant Thornton Bharat.

IKEA, which has piloted in the refurbished market globally sees a scope and is incorporating the idea of repair in India, an executive shared at the opening of a new store in Mumbai.

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