The second-hand and used technology market presents a massive opportunity for those in the industry. According to Deloitte’s report on the second-hand market, in 2016, it is estimated that consumers around the world purchased 120 million second-hand smartphones. At an average of $140 per device, this amounts to a global industry worth approximately $17 billion.
What was once an overlooked way of saving money on smartphones and laptops has become a leading method of accessing technology affordably. As a retailer, salesperson or a budding entrepreneur, there is an excellent reason to get involved in the second-hand tech market now and capitalize on the sector’s growing revenues.
However, if you want to reap the benefits, where do you start? Below, we’ve answered several of the FAQs about selling second-hand tech, including some tips on how you can get involved.
Where Will Acquire the Second-Hand Tech?
One of the biggest challenges you will have to address as a second-hand tech retailer is where you will acquire your stock. Will you purchase second-hand devices from third-party retailers? Alternatively, will you, yourself, find a way to acquire stock? Moreover, are you just going to be reselling these devices or will you be testing, cleaning, and repairing (refurbishing) the products yourself? Or, will you be selling used and untested products as soon as a customer has traded them in?
All of these methods have trade-offs and advantages. If you refurbish products yourself, then you don’t have to verify the refurbishment process of a third-party, but it could be a lot more time-consuming. If you sell a product as used, without it being tested, you save time and can sell products quicker, but there’s no guarantee a device is in complete working order. Also, if you decide to acquire stock yourself, you may be able to get devices cheaper than if you work with a third-party, but it could require significant time and resources. Figure out what works for you before proceeding.
Should You Offer a Warranty and For How Long?
Technology these days doesn’t come cheap, and consumers want to make sure that a warranty has their back if something goes wrong. They don’t want to lose money because of a hardware fault that wasn’t their doing.
Consumers are especially interested in getting a warranty in the second-hand, used, and refurbished tech market, where they can’t be sure of the device’s origin and history. RefurbMe’s article on seller refurbished, and manufacturer refurbished retailers explains that offering warranties is standard industry practice for both third-party sellers of refurbished smartphones and laptops and the manufacturers themselves. The warranties range from 30-days (from seller refurbished retailers) or as long as a year (from manufacturer refurbished retailers like Apple), but you can set your warranty policy as you wish. Either way, if you want to stand out in the second-hand tech market, you’ll want to offer warranties.
Who Will Your Business Target?
Both businesses and the average consumer have a need for second-hand and refurbished technology. Companies with large workforce need a more affordable way to give their employees the tools that they need to get their work done. Consumers, on the other hand, may be looking to upgrade to the latest phone or laptop without paying a premium price for it.
Which demographic you choose to target will largely depend on your existing networking and connections (e.g., if you already know of some businesses that may be interested). However, you should know that your sales strategy must change accordingly. AgileCRM’s useful list of B2B sales techniques includes suggestions like subscribing to a company’s marketing campaigns and hosting meetings with those within a company and not just the decision makers. While these are effective methods of selling to a business, there isn’t an equivalent when you’re selling to a cost-cutting soccer mom, for example, and you’ll want to tailor your sales methods appropriately.
How Much Stock Should You Maintain?
An age-old question faced by every retailer is “how much stock should I maintain?” On the one hand, you want to ensure that you have enough products to promote and seller to prospective consumers, but you don’t want to blow your inventory budget on products that may dwindle in popularity. In the second-hand technology market, which moves quickly thanks to new product release and emerging tech brands, this question is especially pertinent.
Finances Online offers some handy stock control tips, including setting management options accordingly. By regularly doing stock-level checks and forecasting how many products you expect to sell (and which products are increasing/declining in popularity), you can replenish or discount your stock in line with that. Automated solutions are available as well, though you may want to wait to use these until your business has grown a little larger.
Selling second-hand phones, laptops and other technological devices can be a lucrative business opportunity. You can acquire stock cheaply, and people are always looking to save money, especially as the price of brand new devices increases. But getting started isn’t a walk in the park and tech entrepreneurs trying to find success in the second-hand sector should know that it will take some hard work before you get started.