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France: used smartphones market overview

Recommerce, one of the specialists in refurbished high-tech products, has a new scale on the second-hand mobile market every year. It must be said that for several years now, the second-hand and refurbished phone market has been booming. Cheaper, greener and environmentally friendly, more and more French people are turning to second-hand technology.

According to recent Recommerce and Kantar research, 78% of respondents are increasingly interested in selling their smartphones to repair centers like Re-Trade or Back Market to pay less for their next smartphone. 

37% of French have already bought a second-hand smartphone

The growth of sales of second-hand phones, where the battery or screen can be just replaced, is partly driven by consumers who don't want to spend more money for new models that have no innovation.

"Phones are getting more and more expensive, over 800 euros for an iPhone, but the well-known brands are attractive, so people prefer to buy a refurbished Apple phone rather than a cheaper Chinese brand," Grau said.

Because of this, mobile brands and operators are increasingly offering phone exchange programs. Consumers can surrender their old model and receive a discount for a new one or money.

"It's become almost a common practice around the world today," says Biju Nair, head of Texas-based Hyla

The practice of buying used phones is becoming more and more popular. 37% of French people have already bought a used smartphone, 11 points more than in 2020. And this trend is clearly increasing among 16- to 34-year-olds. 

Today, the tendency to buy a second-hand phone is higher in France than in any other country in Europe. This consumer behavior is influenced by a number of factors and special programs that encourage people to choose non-new smartphones.

Auchan expands a partnership with Recommerce Group to sell refurbished phones with warranty throughout Europe

The French hypermarket and supermarket group Auchan has long been actively selling used phones in its stores. The brand has created a used device zone in its stores. Auchan said its goal is to increase the supply of phones and attract new customers to stores, as the market for used electronics, particularly phones, continues to gain in popularity.

"We are always open to collaborating with those whose innovative ideas align with our concern for the environment. We're excited that our partnership to distribute reclaimed smartphones is moving to the next level, and we believe it will have a significant impact on both market development and expanding the range of environmental responsibility options by reusing phones and engaging consumers to actively contribute to a more sustainable future." Tiberiu Daneciou, marketing director of Auchan Retail

The Recommerce Group sells refurbished smartphones in 24 European countries, guaranteeing customers the quality, despite the fact that it is a second-hand phones.

Back Market: most innovative company

Back Market, based in Paris, helps customers save money on smartphones and tablets and also helps reduce e-waste. It’s an online marketplace that allows people to buy refurbished laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Back Market promotes electronics recycling among users, extending the life of devices and reducing their environmental impact.

"Our goal is to make remanufactured electronics the first choice when buying appliances. We expect to see a similar development in the electronics market as we have seen in the used car market in America, where consumer confidence in buying used cars has led to sales increasing twice as much as new car sales. The support and confidence and growing customer base mean an important step in the Back Market and, more importantly, for the circular economy." Thibault Hugues de Larose, co-founder and CEO of Back Market

Up to date: Carrefour project for used devices

The supermarket chain is working with partners to recover and resell used devices.

Carrefour has a partnership with two phone recycling services to give people the opportunity to exchange their old cell phones for shopping vouchers. Some Carrefour supermarkets and hypermarkets already have about 50 collection points for old phones. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million smartphones collecting dust in drawers around the world, and only 15% of the devices sold are eventually collected for refurbishment and resale, or for recycling.  

Carrefour's collection points will be managed by ecoATM, a phone recycling service, and the electronics retailer Back Market will resell used phones. When a customer brings his or her old phone to an ecoATM collection point, the phone model will be registered and its value will be estimated. If the owner will be satisfied with the amount offered, they can exchange the phone for a Carrefour gift card, which can be spent on any item, including food.

Then the phone will be refurbished by ecoATM and sold at the Back Market. Those phones that cannot be resold will be dismantled and, if possible, recycled.

"We estimate that the European used smartphone market will soon be worth more than 5 billion euros. In France, the used market weighs in at €1.2 billion, including €1 billion on refurbished, which has grown by 15% in a year. If the reflex to buy refurbished phones every year will fade, the market still has a good margin of progress in Europe and great challenges to continue to inform, reassure, and thus democratize this mode of consumption," assures Pierre-Etienne Roina, president and co-founder of Recommerce.

NSYS Group actively cooperates with different companies in France, offering its solutions for business process automation. Our customers and partners use both individual products and the All-in-One eco-system for used phones diagnostics.

NSYS All-in-One - a fully automized ecosystem of software solutions that can increase the efficiency and productivity of your business processes. Our All-in-One solution is simple to use for any company purpose, such as warehouse diagnostics or chain store trade-in services.

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