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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI6166
  • Pages :165
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Semiconductors

The global refurbished electronics market size was estimated at US$ 48.29 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 94.10 Billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% from 2023 to 2030.

The refurbished electronics market has emerged as a dynamic sector that bridges the gap between new and used electronic devices. Refurbished electronics are products that have been returned to the manufacturer or seller due to various reasons such as defects, cosmetic imperfections, or customer returns. These devices are then meticulously repaired, tested, and restored to a like-new condition before being reintroduced into the market at a discounted price. The refurbished electronics market offers consumers an attractive proposition: high-quality products with reduced costs. This market's growth is driven by environmentally conscious consumers who value sustainability and those seeking affordable alternatives to brand-new devices. Additionally, the market has gained traction due to the rising popularity of premium electronic products, where refurbished offerings enable access to high-end devices at more accessible price points. However, challenges related to quality assurance and consumer perceptions remain, necessitating transparent grading systems and robust warranty policies to build trust and foster growth in the refurbished electronics market.

The refurbished electronics market is characterized by its ability to offer value to both consumers and manufacturers. For consumers, this market presents an opportunity to acquire reliable electronics at significantly lower prices compared to brand-new items. It also appeals to those who prioritize reducing electronic waste and contributing to a more sustainable consumption model. On the manufacturer's end, refurbishing devices allows for the recovery of value from returned or unsold inventory, reducing losses and minimizing the environmental impact of electronic waste. Moreover, the refurbished electronics market supports the extension of product lifecycles, aligning with the circular economy concept. As technology evolves rapidly, the market is witnessing the refurbishment of a wide range of products including smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, and appliances.

Refurbished Electronics Market Regional Insights

  • North America: North America is the largest market for refurbished electronics. North America has been a significant player in the refurbished electronics market due to its well-developed e-commerce infrastructure, consumer awareness of sustainability, and a tech-savvy population. The U.S. and Canada have seen a rise in the demand for refurbished smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, driven by cost-conscious consumers and a desire to reduce electronic waste. Major tech companies and third-party refurbishes operate in this region, offering certified and thoroughly tested refurbished products. Regulatory measures like the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act have helped in establishing warranty standards and ensuring transparency, boosting consumer confidence in refurbished electronics.
  • Europe: Europe is the second largest market for refurbished electronics. Europe's refurbished electronics market has also gained traction due to stringent regulations promoting sustainable practices and consumer protection. The European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive encourages responsible disposal and reuse of electronics, contributing to the growth of the refurbished electronics market. Countries like the U.K., Germany, and France have strong e-commerce ecosystems and conscious consumers who value environmental sustainability. The Circular Economy Action Plan further emphasizes the importance of extending product lifecycles, aligning with the principles of the refurbished electronics market.
  • Asia Pacific: The Asia Pacific region is witnessing significant growth in the refurbished electronics market, driven by a large population, increasing urbanization, and rising smartphone Countries like India, China, and South Korea have seen a surge in the demand for refurbished smartphones and other electronic devices, catering to budget-conscious consumers who seek reliable options. Local and international players operate in this region, offering refurbished products at competitive pricing. The popularity of online marketplaces and the emergence of certified refurbishment centers have contributed to the market's expansion.

Figure 1. Global Refurbished Electronics Market Share (%), by Region, 2023


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Analyst’s Viewpoint:

The refurbished electronics market continues to grow steadily driven by cost-conscious consumers and increased adoption of green initiatives. Lower price points for refurbished smartphones, laptops, and other electronics make them an attractive option for consumers looking to save money. Growing environmental awareness is also driving demand as refurbished devices create less e-waste compared to brand new products. Some key regions like North America and Western Europe have well-established refurbishment industries and processes in place.

While lower costs are a major factor driving the refurbished market, quality concerns remain a restraint for some consumers. Ensuring devices meet high performance standards through testing and certification can help mitigate these issues. Competition from cheap new devices mainly from Asian manufacturers also poses a challenge. However, the refurbished sector is now targeting newer device generations to stay ahead of this competition.

Refurbished Electronics Market Drivers:

  • Environmental Sustainability: The emphasis on environmental sustainability and reducing electronic waste is a significant driver for the refurbished electronics market. By extending the lifecycle of electronic devices through refurbishment, the market contributes to the principles of the circular economy. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of electronic waste and are choosing refurbished products as a way to minimize their carbon footprint. According to a survey by the United Nations University in 2020, India discarded approximately 3 million tons of e-waste, most of which could have been refurbished and resold, extending the useful life of these assets.
  • Premium Features at Lower Costs: Refurbished electronics often provide consumers with the opportunity to own premium devices with advanced features at more accessible prices. This is particularly appealing in markets where brand-new premium products may be too expensive for a significant portion of the population. Refurbished options allow individuals to experience the latest technology without breaking the bank. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) data showed that over 16 million additional children in low and middle income countries faced learning losses in 2021 due to lack of access to digital devices highlighting the need for affordable computing options.
  • Trustworthy Quality: To meet consumer expectations, reputable refurbishment processes involve thorough testing, repairs, and quality assurance. This results in products that are restored to a like-new condition, ensuring that consumers can rely on the quality and performance of refurbished electronics. Trusted refurbishes often provide warranties that enhance consumer confidence in the reliability of these products. According to a Euro barometer report from 2020, 71% of European citizens agreed that if the quality is guaranteed, they would consider buying refurbished products.
  • E-commerce and Online Retail: The rise of e-commerce platforms and online marketplaces has facilitated the growth of the refurbished electronics market. Consumers can conveniently browse, compare, and purchase refurbished devices from the comfort of their homes. The digital space has enabled easier access to a wide variety of products, boosting the visibility of the refurbished electronics market. According to The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the global e-commerce sales jumped from US$ 25.6 trillion in 2019 to US$26.7 trillion in 2020, much of this growth has helped drive refurbished markets.

Refurbished Electronics Market Opportunities:

  • Premium Refurbished Products: Offering premium or flagship models as refurbished options can tap into the demand for high-end devices at reduced prices. As consumers aspire to own the latest technology, providing refurbished versions of premium products can be a lucrative opportunity. This can also help refurbishes differentiate their offerings and cater to a niche market segment. The UN Environmental Programme estimates show the world generated a record 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste in 2019, with only 17.4% being properly collected and recycled.
  • Innovations in Refurbishment Techniques: The development of advanced refurbishment techniques and technologies can enhance the quality of refurbished products. Innovations in diagnostics, repair processes, and cosmetic improvements can result in products that closely resemble their brand-new counterparts. Incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven diagnostics and precision repair methods can elevate the quality of refurbished electronics. According to a 2021 report by the UN Environment Programme, the world generated a record 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste in 2019 alone. Refurbishment is a solution to manage this growing e-waste problem, by repairing and reselling devices instead of sending them to landfills or for incineration.
  • Partnerships with OEMs: Collaborations with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can boost the credibility of refurbished products. OEMs can provide certified refurbishment programs, ensuring that devices meet specific quality standards. Such partnerships can instill consumer confidence and facilitate the flow of used devices back into the market. According to a 2022 report by the United Nations Environment Programme around 50 million tons of e-waste was produced globally in 2019.
  • Extended Warranty and Support Services: Offering extended warranty and support services for refurbished products can provide consumers with added peace of mind. This can differentiate reputable refurbishes by assuring customers of ongoing technical support and repairs, similar to what they might expect when purchasing new products. According to data from the United Nations, global e-waste hit a record high of 53.6 million metric tons in 2019 and is projected to reach 74 million metric tons by 2030.

Refurbished Electronics Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 48.29 Bn
Historical Data for: 2017 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 10% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 94.10 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel,  South Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Product Category: Smartphones, Laptops and Computers, Tablets and E-readers, Gaming Consoles, Wearable Devices, Audio Equipment (Headphones, Speakers, etc.), Cameras and Photography Equipment, Home Appliances (Refrigerators, Washing Machines, etc.), and Smart Home Devices
  • By Consumer Type: Individual Consumers, Enterprises and Businesses, Educational Institutions, Government and Public Sector, and Non-profit Organizations
  • By Distribution Channel: Online Retailers and E-commerce Platforms, Refurbished Electronics Specialty Stores, Manufacturer's Official Channels, and Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
  • By End Use: Personal Use, Business Use (Small, Medium, Large Enterprises), Education and Research, Healthcare and Medical Facilities, Entertainment and Gaming, and Industrial and Commercial Applications
  • By Price Range: Budget Segment, Mid-range Segment, and Premium Segment
  • By Technological Generation: Current Generation (Latest Models), Previous Generations, and Older Generations
  • By Refurbishment Process: Basic Refurbishment (Functional Restoration), Advanced Refurbishment (Cosmetic Improvements, Upgrades), and Manufacturer-Certified Refurbishment
Companies covered:

Apple, Samsung, Amazon Renewed, Best Buy Co., Inc., Gazelle (a subsidiary of ecoATM Gazelle LLC), Newegg Inc., Decluttr, Back Market, HP Inc., GameStop Corp., Swappa, BuyBackWorld, eBay Inc., Renewgoo, and Music Magpie

Growth Drivers:
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Premium Features at Lower Costs
  • Trustworthy Quality
  • E-commerce and Online Retail
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Consumer Mistrust and Perception
  • Varied Quality and Standards
  • Lack of Awareness and Education

Refurbished Electronics Market Trends:

  • Rise of Certified Refurbishment Programs: The demand for trust and quality assurance has led to the emergence of certified refurbishment programs. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and authorized refurbishes offer these programs, ensuring that devices undergo rigorous testing, repairs, and quality checks before being resold. This trend enhances consumer confidence in the reliability and performance of refurbished electronics. According to a 2023 survey by the UN Environment Programme on e-waste habits in North America, nearly 50% of respondents said they were willing to purchase electronic devices labeled or certified as refurbished now that major electronics brands are directly involved in the refurbishment process.
  • Integration of Circular Economy Principles: The refurbished electronics market aligns with the principles of the circular economy, emphasizing product reuse, repair, and recycling. This trend is gaining traction as consumers and businesses recognize the environmental benefits of extending the lifecycle of electronic devices. Manufacturers, refurbishes, and consumers are collectively contributing to reducing electronic waste. According to a survey by the EU Commission, 59% of Europeans would consider buying a refurbished smartphone in 2021, up from 53% in 2020.
  • E-commerce and Online Marketplaces: The growth of e-commerce platforms and online marketplaces has facilitated access to a wide range of refurbished electronics. Consumers can easily browse, compare, and purchase products from various sources. Online platforms provide transparency in product condition, pricing, and warranty terms, making it convenient for consumers to make informed decisions. According to a study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2021, extending the life of smartphones by just one year could save approximately 57 metric tons of copper, 4 metric tons of silver, 0.25 metric tons of gold, and 35 metric tons of steel.
  • Technological Advancements in Refurbishment: Refurbishment processes are becoming more sophisticated due to advancements in technology. Automated diagnostics, precision repairs, and cosmetic enhancements contribute to producing refurbished devices that closely resemble new products. These technological improvements enhance the overall quality and appeal of refurbished electronics. In the European Union, it is estimated that 1.5 million tonnes of electronic waste was collected in 2019 according to Statistics Explained, a science and statistical database published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Refurbished Electronics Market Restraints:

  • Consumer Mistrust and Perception: One of the significant challenges for the refurbished electronics market is overcoming consumer mistrust and negative perceptions. Some consumers associate refurbished products with lower quality, unreliability, or hidden defects. Building trust and changing these perceptions through transparency, certifications, and warranties is essential to expanding the market. As per data from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) from 2021, refurbished electronics constitute only 5-10% of the total e-waste generated globally each year, indicating that majority of refurbished devices do not actually end up as e-waste.
  • Varied Quality and Standards: The quality of refurbished products can vary significantly depending on the refurbishment process, the refurbishes expertise, and the original condition of the device. Inconsistent quality standards across the market can lead to instances where subpar refurbished products are sold, further fueling consumer skepticism. As per a 2021 United Nations University report, repair and refurbishment operations in the majority of countries are highly unorganized without standards for repair shops, testing protocols, or certifications.
  • Lack of Awareness and Education: Many consumers are not fully aware of the benefits and value offered by refurbished electronics. The lack of awareness and education about the refurbishment process, quality assurance, and the positive environmental impact can hinder consumer adoption and limit market growth. The lack of awareness has been recently highlighted by the UN Environment Programme report in 2022. The report stated that despite refurbished goods helping in circular economy and e-waste reduction, less than 5 percent of the U.S. households purchased refurbished phones in 2020.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In January 2023, Apple (Apple is an American corporation that develops and sells computer electronics, software, personal computers and portable devices internationally) announced that it would be expanding its refurbished product offerings to include the iPhone 13 lineup. The refurbished iPhones will be sold through Apple's online store and authorized resellers.
  • In February 2023, Samsung announced that it would be launching a new line of refurbished smartphones called "Galaxy Certified Refurbished." The Galaxy Certified Refurbished smartphones will be sold through Samsung's online store and authorized retailers.
  • In March 2023, Dell (an American-based technology company. It develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services) announced that it would be expanding its refurbished product offerings to include the XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops. The refurbished laptops will be sold through Dell's online store and authorized resellers.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In February 2023, Brightstar, an international firm specializing in the management of mobile device lifecycles, entered into a collaboration with Gazelle, a top-tier online platform for the commerce of pre-owned electronics. This strategic move will empower Brightstar to extend its offerings to include the sale of certified refurbished electronics.
  • In March 2023, Envy Acquires NextWorth Envy, a leading refurbished electronics retailer, acquired NextWorth, a leading online marketplace for used electronics. The acquisition will allow Envy to expand its reach in the US market.

Figure 2. Global Refurbished Electronics Market Share (%), by Price Range, 2023


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Top Companies in the Refurbished Electronics Market

  • Apple Inc.
  • Amazon Renewed
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Best Buy Co., Inc.
  • Gazelle (a subsidiary of ecoATM Gazelle LLC)
  • Newegg Inc.
  • Decluttr
  • Back Market
  • HP Inc.
  • GameStop Corp.
  • Swappa
  • BuyBackWorld
  • eBay Inc.
  • Renewgoo
  • Music Magpie

Definition: Refurbished electronics refers to previously owned electronic devices that have been restored to a like-new condition through meticulous testing, repairs, and restoration processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

The key factors hampering growth of the refurbished electronics market is consumer mistrust, varying quality standards, and lack of awareness.

The major factors driving the refurbished electronics market growth is environmental sustainability, cost-effective premium options, reliable quality, and e-commerce convenience.

The major players operating in the refurbished electronics market are Apple, Samsung, Amazon Renewed, Best Buy Co., Inc., Gazelle (a subsidiary of ecoATM Gazelle LLC), Newegg Inc., Decluttr, Back Market, HP Inc., GameStop Corp., Swappa, BuyBackWorld, eBay Inc., Renewgoo, and Music Magpie.

North America will lead the refurbished electronics market.

North America will lead the refurbished electronics market.

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