Indian e-commerce giant, Flipkart, has rolled out a program which lets customers sell their used mobile phones directly to it, even if they’re not buying a new handset from the platform. This announcement comes right on the heels of the company’s January 2022 acquisition of Yaantra, a venture solely focused on the refurbished electronics market.
Flipkart says that it’s aiming to organize the pre-owned devices industry at a time when India’s consumer electronics market is witnessing rapid growth. The new scheme is part of the company’s effort to help reduce the creation of e-waste. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that those who sell their used phones to the site automatically become customers since the trade-in value is not given to them in cold hard cash.
The ‘Sell Back Program’ allows users to click a few buttons, answer some questions and find out how much the e-commerce company will give them for their pre-owned smartphone. But instead of getting paid for their old device in cash, they will get a Flipkart Electronic Gift Voucher for it. The scheme is applicable to phones that have been purchased from any store, offline or online.
A recent report by IDC and ICEA (Indian Cellular and Electronics Association) notes that India still has over 400 million people using feature phones. With the pandemic forcing everyone to go digital, folks from all walks of life were seen moving from shared to personal devices, as well as more advanced ones. The country is the fastest growing market for secondhand phones.
Players like Flipkart Refurbished, Cashify, Yaantra and Amazon Renewed raised the share of organized trade in the pre-owned market to 15% in 2020. IDC predicts that by 2022, the number of used smartphones available for resale in India will outstrip the shipments of new ones. It will be possible to put refurbished devices in the hands of more buyers if the organized sector continues to pursue this market aggressively.
Flipkart is planning to add more product categories to the ‘Sell Back Programme’ later in 2022. The scheme is presently available in several regions across India, including Delhi, Kolkata and Patna.