As India's smartphone market grows, sale of pre-owned phones on the rise

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With more and more Indians aiming to own high-end smartphones, the pre-owned smartphone market is booming. On the online trading platform OLX, the average selling price (ASP) of a pre-owned smartphone has jumped from Rs 9,000 to Rs 11,000 in just one year, the company said on Saturday in a press release. Millions of users, across India, prefer to buy second-hand smartphones as desired features would be available at affordable prices. 

Such second-hand phones are traded on several platforms such as OLX, Quickr and others. According to the OLX report, almost 14 million mobile phones and accessories listings in the financial year 2017-18, especially in tier II and III cities. 

With high penetration and frequent updates, consumers are upgrading to new models within months and this is one reason people switch phones selling and buying second-hand phones from time to time. 

Refurbished and used are sometimes used synonymously, but there is a lot of difference between them. A used phone is sold as-is, either from a previous customer or local retailer. That phone is not tested or fixed, and it does not come with a guarantee. However, customers seeking cheaper rates for high-end phones will prefer a used phone to refurbished ones only on basis of the price difference. It is of much lower value than a refurbished phone, because no value has been added back into it. 

A refurbished phone is different as it is bought after testing, repairing, if necessary, and being properly cleaned. A refurbished phone should function exactly as it did when it was new, and it should come with a warranty just like a new phone.

Talking about pre-owned phones, listings on OLX platform jumped from 2.5 million units in April-June 2017 to 3.5 million in the same period this year -- registering a 40 per cent (year-on-year) growth, OLX report stated.

"Mobiles is the most transacted category on OLX. We have disrupted the way people buy and sell pre-owned phones in world's second largest smartphone market," Akanksha Dhamija, Head of Electronics & Mobiles category, OLX India, told IANS.

Which pre-owned phones came out as bestsellers? 

Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi came out as bestsellers under the pre-owned segment listed on OLX.

Xiaomi is the only brand to have grown its share of listings from 12.8 per cent to 17.6 per cent in last one year.

Samsung holds 20 per cent share and Apple covers 13.2 per cent listings on the platform, said the company.

According to industry estimates, sales of pre-owned smartphones in India are expected to grow at a 32 per cent CAGR to reach nearly 46 million units in 2020, reported IANS.