Physical retailers could raise £850m in refurbished goods sales


UK high street

High street and physical retailers are missing out on up to £850 million of additional revenue by not selling refurbished and repaired technology in their stores, according to a new report.

The Rise of Refurbished Electronics report by Trojan Electronics estimates that the UK refurb and repair market is worth £1 billion per year and claims most are retailers failing to capitalise on the opportunity for additional revenue and sales.

The report found that 11% of refurbished or repaired goods sales happen in-store and 80% of all online refurbished goods sales are completed via online marketplaces, such as eBay. The research also found many marketplaces do not have the functionality to list refurbished, repaired or like-new consumer electronics.

According to the report, 64% of people say they have brought a refurbished or repaired electrical item in the past – 38% did so in the last 12 months. 14% bought a refurbished smartphone, 12% bought repaired white goods and 9% bought a refurbished laptop or tablet.

79% of people who bought a refurbished product said they would make a repeat purchase and 24% of customers couldn’t tell their item was refurbished at all. Only 1% of people surveyed said they had a bad experience with their refurbished electronic item.

The UK is the second highest producer of e-waste globally, with many low-value electronic items sent to landfill rather than being resold, the report found. The research also found 17% of e-waste is recycled globally and levels of electronics dumped are forecasted to increase by 30% by 2030.

James Rigg, CEO of Trojan Electronics, commented: “The scale of untapped refurbished and repaired consumer electronics sales is staggering to see. Despite many consumers now familiar with the availability of refurbished and repaired tech, few physical retailers are offering the opportunity for consumers to see items in person and make a purchase. This is leaving 3rd party marketplaces to reap the rewards with little competition from the high street.

“Retailers have a role to play in increasing the circularity of consumer electronics and technology. By introducing like-new and refurbished products in-store they allow consumers to see the items in the flesh and remove any stigma around them being of lesser quality. In fact, our research shows that offering refurbished products next to brand-new items has no detriment to the brand.”

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