Are you among those who always ponder on to find a way to buy your favourite smartphone at a darn cheap price? If so, here's a solution for you!
Give a shot with either an unboxed or a refurbished smartphone. Did you know that even bigwigs like Amazon & Shopclues are planning to sell these category of device in India?
If not! Don't worry, as we are about to take a deep dive into the world of unboxed/refurbished devices.
Previously the two ways of buying a flagship smartphone for the average middle class (with a price tag of around Rs 40,000-50,000) were either to wait for the device to grow old, so that the market price falls or simply get hold of a second hand one on a classified site like OLX, Quikr etc.
But this new trend of refurbished smartphones aims to change the consumer's mindset in the country.
What is an Unboxed/Refurbished smartphone?
At first thought an unboxed or refurbished smartphones may sound similar to the ones available at OLX. Unfortunately, though this popular notion isn't quite correct.
The unboxed devices are basically have been opened by a customer, and then returned after a few days of usage citing grounds of dissatisfaction. This is unlike second hand devices selling at classified site which a user has used for over a month. The devices are mostly in cream condition with any dents or scratches.
The refurbished phones on the other hand, are the one that had been sent across to the company after being found in an improper working state after a few days of usage.
Generally most companies provide their customers with new device if the customer reports any major issue with the device within a time frame of 7 days. These device are then sent to the official company service centres where the problem is detected and solved - genuine spare parts are also used as and when required.
Needless to say that Refurbished phones are sold at a cheaper rate as compared to the unboxed ones.
Is this the new Eureka of the smartphone industry?
Umm...Not actually! This concept of unboxed and refurbished phones have been there in the US market for quite a while. With customers not liking the fact of going through the hassle of buying a phone on contract, this new category was a boon in disguise to the customers. And it goes without saying that the concept was soon a hit in the market.
In fact you can find to links while buying a new smartphone on amazon.com - one for a brand new model and another for a used one. The term used basically stands for unboxed devices. There's a refurbished category too on the website.
Top websites to buy refurbished/unboxed smartphones in USA:
Hence one can easily assume that this is nothing out of the box for an USA customer, but for us in India it is really a Eureka moment in the 'Indian' smartphone industry.
India can be soon be the largest market for unboxed smartphones
There's a few reason for that to be precise:
• Did you ever gave a thought on what happens to those smartphones that are returned by the users to Flipkart or Amazon, after being used for a few days? These returned devices are basically the ones that are sold under the unboxed and refurbished banner. In majority of the cases users take advantage of the e-commerce company's lenient replacement policy, and end up sending the new flashy device back after a few days of usage. The returned devices are in turn sent back to their respective OEMs.
This lands the OEMs in a fix - since most of the returned devices are in proper working condition. Occasionally a few devices have certain hardware issues which needs to be fixed. With the growing number of returned devices, the companies have taken the 'Unboxed/Refurbished' route to clear their inventories.
• The mindset of the Indian customers to get a deal at a bargain also triggered the rise of this segment in the smartphone industry.
Top marketplaces for unboxed/refurbished product in the country:
There a few local players who just sells unboxed and refurbished devices. Overcart, Valuecart, Greendust are among a few of them. Among the three Overcart was an early bird to spot a market for unboxed products in the country.
The company which was previously called Bootstrap used to sell 'unboxed' video games. This is cool stuff! Who cares whether a video game is unboxed or not - if it is cheaper then it's definitely worth a shot.
The first mobile OEM to tread the refurbished path was none other than Xiaomi with their Redmi series of devices.
Their Redmi 1S and Redmi Note were among the first lot of unboxed/refurbished smartphones to go on sale in India thanks to Overcart and Greendust. Buoyed by the success the company tied up with the Bengaluru based Valuecart recently.
Since then, many manufactures like YU, Asus, Motorola, and Lenovo have started treading this path. Even the likes of Xiaomi Mi4 and the OnePlus 2 went on sale via these retailers.
Off late, e-commerce companies like Amazon and Shopclues has officially shown interest to expand their smartphone portfolio by starting to sell unboxed/refurbished Samsung and Apple devices! How about an iPhone 6 at a 50 percent discount?
Some top unboxed/refurbished products worth considering:
- YU Yuphoria at Rs 6,499 (Unboxed)
- Xiaomi Redmi 2 at Rs 4,999 (Unboxed)
- Xiaomi Mi4i White 16GB at Rs 10,999 (unboxed)
- Google Nexus 6 at Rs 24,679 (refurbished)
- Xiaomi Mi4 at Rs 11,999 (unboxed)
- OnePlus One 64GB unboxed Rs 15,999 (unboxed)
- Xiaomi Mi3 at Rs 9,499 (unboxed)
- OnePlus Bullet Earphones at Rs 709 (unboxed)
- YU Yureka at Rs 7,299 (unboxed)
Future of unboxed/refurbished products:
Apparently, the unboxed and refurbished smartphone category in India has a long way to go. In fact the revolution is just starting. First the companies need to market their products in such a way that it differentiates itself from 2nd hand devices being sold in online classifieds.
But as of now the future is quite bright. With every passing day more and more brands will start associating themselves with the Unboxed/Refurbished category of device.