High inflation, the looming recession and climate problems have prompted Romanians to be more careful with their money and be careful how they spend it. This can be seen in the purchase of electronics. Not surprisingly, Romanians are buying more and more refurbished devices from sites like Flip.ro or Klap.ro.
Companies have also joined the trend to cut costs. According to Klap.ro, one of the major players in the refurbished devices market, orders from companies have increased by 260% in the last six months. They buy mobile phones (78% of devices purchased), laptops (14%) and tablets (8%).
Companies also have the option of renting devices. “The main customers of this new service are companies organising events (B2B conferences, concerts, sports events, etc.). Renting is not limited to them, but is suitable for any company running projects with a fixed duration of up to one year (so they don’t have to justify the purchase of devices),” said Cristian David, CEO of Klap.ro.
Rental costs start at €5/day for a smartphone and €7/day for a tablet or laptop. The average rental period for the above gadgets is 14 days at this retailer.
Profile of consumers buying refurbished phones
The vast majority of individual users buy refurbished smartphones from Klap.ro. The company also provided some consumer information.
The majority of customers of refurbished phones (40%) are people between 18 and 34 years old. This is followed by the 35 – 44 year old segment (22%), the 45 – 54 year old segment (20%) and the over 65 year old segment (9%).
Price is the most important factor when it comes to buying a refurbished phone. Some models are up to 60% cheaper than when they were new.
Thus, 45% of customers chose a smartphone worth less than 1,000 lei, 26% opted for a model worth between 1,000 and 2,000 lei, 21% for devices worth 2,000 to 4,000 lei, and 21% opted for a phone priced less than 500 lei. Smartphones priced above 4,000 lei were purchased by only 8% of customers.
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Most buyers (59%) of refurbished mobile phones are city dwellers.
Samsung is the leader in this market as well, with 55% of orders being for models under this brand. In second place is Apple (28%), and third is Huawei (14%). In the case of the Chinese company, older models of phones still incorporate Google services.
Refurbished phones are different from used ones
A used phone is one that a customer buys on OLX or Facebook Marketplace, from the former user or a pawn shop. Before it reaches the new user, the device gets at most a sanitization.
A refurbished smartphone goes through a process of verification, technical troubleshooting (they all have “healthy” batteries above 80%), sanitisation and is guaranteed for 12 months. Market players call these devices “expert-hand”.
Some companies, such as Klap.ro, offer a charger, cable and SIM card slot key in the box.
Other suppliers of refurbished devices on the Romanian market are YOXO.ro, Orange or, less known, retailers like Carrefour.