refurbished products: Returned E-commerce goods hot sellers in refurbed markets – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/returned-e-commerce-goods-hot-sellers-in-refurbed-markets/articleshow/90024107.cms

SynopsisApart from a host of specialised sellers (who sell via their own platforms or through offline stores), this “seconds” market – also called the ‘reverse ecommerce market’ – has evinced interest from ecommerce giants Amazon and Flipkart and product manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and Boat. Amazon, with its ‘Amazon Renewed’ range, is among the largest sellers of refurbished and “like-new” (unboxed) products.

Ever wondered what happens to the products you return to ecommerce companies?

While there is a slim chance of the new mobile phone you sent back getting resealed and sold to another buyer on the platform, a large bulk of these are sold to sellers of ‘unboxed’ or ‘refurbished’ products at throwaway prices.

This marks the entry point of a bustling ‘unboxed’ or ‘refurbed’ market in India which spans across product categories ranging from electronic goods to wearables, home appliances, furniture, apparels and even footwear. According to analysts tracking ecommerce in India, the ‘unboxed-refurbed’ product market is currently valued at $6-8 billion. Apart from a host of specialised sellers (who sell via their own platforms or through offline stores), this “seconds” market – also called the ‘reverse ecommerce market’ – has evinced interest from ecommerce giants Amazon and Flipkart and product manufacturers like AppleSamsung and Boat.

Amazon, with its ‘Amazon Renewed’ range, is among the largest sellers of refurbished and “like-new” (unboxed) products.

“Customers can discover and buy refurbished products that have been professionally inspected and tested to work, and look like new, by Amazon-qualified suppliers,” a company spokesperson said.

Disclosures for Informed Purchases
“There is a growing phenomenon of customers upgrading their gadgets in less than six months, and we see a meaningful opportunity to refurbish these mildly used products to a new condition and sell them with a six-month warranty,” he added.

The ‘reverse ecommerce market’ can broadly be split into three: the unboxed or open box category, the excess inventory stock and the refurbished (refurbed) product segment. Unboxed products are those where buyers have opened the sealed box before returning the product back to the ecommerce platform. If the product is returned due to damage or transit wear-and-tear, it moves into the to-be-refurbished product category.

Excess inventory stocks (or old stock) are invariably boxed products, but belonging to an earlier vintage. These are down sold by manufacturers or wholesalers themselves with intact warranties. “Over 20% of products sold online (by ecommerce companies) get returned; repacking or resealing opened boxed is considered unethical by large companies. So, they simply liquidate the returned products via an auction,” explained Tanishq Agarwal, founder-CEO of GrabGear, which sells unboxed and old-stock electronic products online.
(Originally published on Mar 06, 2022, 06:16 AM IST)

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