Refurbished Device Market: Status After Pandemic

By: Liliana Andersson - February 08, 202263 Views

Smartphones are an irreplaceable part of our daily life today. Meeting more than just demands of efficient communication, smartphones have pretty much weaved into our daily lives right from the time we open our eyes till we fall asleep. In short, a life without them is hard, especially for a population that has enjoyed its bliss. This answers the general trend of regularly upgrading their smartphones in two to three years to keep up with the changing technology.

But that was before the pandemic! The pandemic has taken a toll on every sector, and the cell phone industry is not oblivious to it. Though the percentage of new users may not see a significant dip, the percentage of people upgrading their phones is expected to fall. A staggering 55% of people said they wouldn’t be upgrading their smartphones amidst the economic crisis. Likewise, the refurbished sector has plummeted 9%, raising serious questions on whether or not the market will see a resurrection after the pandemic is over.

Challenges amidst the booming pandemic

Refurbishing a device calls for restoration processes that includes repair and resetting, making the device good enough to be used again. An effective restoration process includes quality testing to ensure that the device is restored to its original functioning. However, the restoration market faces some imminent setbacks owing to the pandemic and the subsequent crisis. The challenges are:

  1. China holds most of the manufacturing units. Since the country is the epicenter of the pandemic, there is a large shortage in sourcing the parts required for the restoration process.
  2. This shortage leads to another significant factor -the cost. As the shortage of commodities increase, it is difficult to restore phones at the same budget. The disruptions in the supply chain and lack of parts further lead to wastage of a lot of time before the refurbished product reaches a consumer.
  3. The pandemic has forced people to their homes, with people barely stepping out even for the essentials. During these times, many would prefer to switch phones rather than repairing or reselling them to the shops.
  4. With the lockdowns curbing the opening of the non-essentials, the market has lost many of its customers.
  5. The lack of a skilled workforce is also a daunting task for many refurbishing units. With many migrating to their hometowns and others switching jobs, the economic crisis has decreased the workforce in many units.

Why there is still hope!

According to Mordor Intelligence, the market for refurbished phones is expected to rise at a CAGR rate of 12.61% during the 2021 to 2026 period. The market is expected to see a global rise after the pandemic, and the reasons are attributed to:

  1. Affordability

The economic crisis has shifted the focus towards a more feasible option. A refurbished phone allows you to own an Apple device without shelling out as much as the original. The factory or manufacturer restored ones come with stringent tests that guarantee their performance. Hence, what a user gets is a high-end version that falls in the affordable range!

  • Warranty

A certified refurbished device comes with a warranty period ranging from anywhere between 6 to 10 months. Though the time is not long, the added assurance encourages the users to buy refurbished ones. It also lifts the insecurities regarding the quality and performance of the device.

  • No real upgrades

As the manufacturers doll out new smartphones in each series, you may notice little to no difference in the functionalities between them. Apart from the higher price bracket and glossed-up finishing, the device may not boast any groundbreaking functionalities. Thus, buying a refurbished one instead of the brand-new one lets the users enjoy the style without wasting money.

  • Environment friendly!

Buying/selling a refurbished device will help you do your part in reducing the electronic junk that is a major concern, second to only plastic that is choking the planet.

When to consider buying a refurbished phone?

You can consider refurbished devices when the original product is way pricier, and you have a budget to adhere to. Since the refurbished tag brings down the price to a more affordable range with the same quality and functioning, buying a refurbished device will help you own your dream device at a lower price. Buying a refurbished Apple or Samsung device makes sure that you can enjoy quality products without risking the investment.

A manufacturer refurbished phones are more bankable than the seller refurbished ones. Moreover, larger companies run appropriate checks to ensure that the device replicates the originals’ functions and addresses any manufacturing defect so far experienced on the device.


The above factors have led to a large rise in the refurbished units. Hence, stocking the refurbished devices in the store is ideal to cash in on the rising demands. Promoting the refurbished products, especially in line with the affordability and warranty, helps the buyers expand their horizons and ditch the bias towards the refurbished device.

Liliana Andersson

Liliana Andersson is the founder and CEO of RecycleTroop, a one stop supply chain solution for mobile repair businesses in Gothenburg, Sweden. Our services include the recycling of broken broken screens, spare parts, sale of used phones and accessories. Recycletroop is proud to serve clients globally. Liliana enjoys providing her customers with a much-needed service for cell phone related problems. Apart from that, she enjoys traveling, surfing and spending time with family.