The second-hand handsets market has been largely unorganised until recently, with only a handful of players like Greendust, Gobol, and Overcart offering refurbished handsets. Amazon Marketplace too threw in the hat today, but with distinguished offerings.
The Pilot project begins with two of the most popular handset brands: Samsung, and Xiaomi. The handsets are refurbished by the respective brands along with six months warranty. At the time of filing this story, 25 handsets were listed under the refurnished smartphone segment, of which 22 are from Samsung which included models like Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy E7 and Galaxy S5, and three Xiaomi handsets - Xiaomi Mi 4, Xiaomi Mi 3 and Redmi 1S.As also stated on Amazon.in, a refurbished phone may be a phone whose box has been opened for various reasons but professionally restored to working order by the brand or its certified agent.
But do not rush to click the 'add to cart' button on Amazon just yet. Like all your online purchases, due diligence here too could fetch you a better deal.
We spotted one such deal where a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5-M-G900 16GB variant with six-months warranty is listed for Rs 25,585 on Amazon.in, whereas the brand new model of the same handset with one year warranty on handset and six months warranty on in-box accessories is listed for Rs. 22,999 by WS Retail on Flipkart.Also, the refurbished handsets may not be worth investing in if the different between the refurbished handset and a brand new one isn't much. A refurbished Xiaomi Mi 4 16GB is listed for 13,685 on Amazon.in, whereas a brand new Mi 4 16GB with one year warranty is available for Rs 14,999 on Flipkart as well as Amazon.in.
Specifics aside, this strategy will allow Amazon to eat into the share of handsets traded on Olx.in and Quikr.com as demand for brand-refurbished smartphones with warranty is always on the rise.
This new ecosystem could also pose a serious threat to the unorganised market in the coming months if Amazon could manage to list more brands and models at value prices. More power to the customers!