51% of millennials currently own a refurbished device – research


Old phones

New research finds that 51% of millennials (people born between 1981-1996) currently own a refurbished device, while 25% said they don’t but would consider purchasing one in future.

This contrasts with 22% of people aged 59+ (baby boomers and the “silent” generation) using second-hand devices. When asked about their reasons for purchasing refurbished over new, 55% of millennials cited cash reasons as the main reason, while 35% said sustainability, which was the second most highlighted reason.

The research by Mazuma Mobile, a UK-based mobile phone reuse company, shows that, on average, British people have 2.19 devices in their homes that are no longer in use and have been holding onto these devices for around two years. While 19% have three unwanted devices in their home and 17% admit to having four or more.

According to a study by Barclays, younger millennials (those aged 25-34) are the largest contributors to the overall recommerce economy, accounting for 28% with an estimated £1.95 billion spent on second-hand items in the past year. Recommerce refers to the buying, selling or renting of previously-owned products.

The tech recommerce economy is booming, with millennials being the green generation at the forefront of the trend.

Entertainment and electronics currently make up 16% of the total recommerce market and are the largest rental growth category, contributing £209 million in the last 12 months, according to the research.

Millennials are also adopting more environmentally friendly practices when disposing of their unwanted tech items, Mazuma’s data shows. 64% have traded in their old devices when they no longer use them, and 82% said they would consider trading in their unwanted electronic devices in future.

The research found that awareness of the impact of e-waste on the environment is also highest among the millennial generation (82%), while 72% say the environmental impact is important to them when disposing of their old devices.

Craig Smith, Managing Director at Mazuma, commented: “The tech recommerce economy is booming, with millennials being the green generation at the forefront of the trend. However, our research highlighted that there’s generally greater awareness and consideration for the impact of our tech purchasing, usage and disposal habits on the environment across generations, which is a positive step in the battle to reduce carbon emissions.

“It’s also encouraging to see the rise in the number of refurbished devices being purchased. Professionally refurbished devices are restored to an excellent quality, making them a better choice for both planet and pocket.”

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