Switching Supply From New to Refurbished Devices? 5 Key Questions

Switching Supply From New to Refurbished Devices? 5 Key Questions

The recent rise in consumer acceptance of refurbished products is forcing the supply chain to evolve faster than ever. Where refurbished products were once looked over with a critical eye, this is no longer the case. 

One retailer survey found that in 2019, 65% of their customers didn’t feel confident purchasing refurbished goods. Yet in 2021, 65% said instead that they would buy these devices. 

Over two years, the majority of their customer base went from avoiding refurbished devices, to welcoming them. This mindset shift calls for a realignment in the supply of refurbished devices vs new. 

Ingram Micro Lifecycle has over 30 years of experience delivering after-sales device support to all the major manufacturers, network operators, and technology resellers across the globe. 

Here’s our guide for diversifying your product offering to include refurbished - including how to retain customers, lower the cost of supply, and ensure compliance. 

Will offering refurbished devices impact customer satisfaction?

Satisfaction of your customers is important in encouraging brand loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals. Consumers have gone from critical appraisal of refurbished devices to wider acceptance. They need devices refurbished to a high quality to meet their expectations, fast. 

Refurbished devices must come from a provider with the technical expertise to guarantee quality. This stops downtime issues arising from faulty products or long wait times. 

The inventory of devices should include newer releases facing peak demand. Your supplier must have an efficient logistics infrastructure to ship high volumes of devices. The supply must be consistent to meet your set forecast. 

How can I bring down my average cost of devices?

By their very nature, refurbished products are cheaper than new. Diversifying enables a reduced upfront cost when compared to buying brand-new devices. Maintaining and repairing those devices is also cheaper. 

Device repair

Outside of manufacturer warranty, repairers can use alternative lower-cost replacement parts. General wear and tear from everyday use affects components, such as LCDs and batteries. 

These are two of the most common repairs needed on smartphones. While battery replacements are straightforward, repairing LCDs are not. 

Few providers can address high-value repairs, such as LCD damage (cracks and screen burn). Look for an innovative, cost-lowering solutions partner that can do this. It will increase the yield of your repaired and refurbished device inventory. 

How can I keep the most value on refurbished devices?

Improving the condition of the refurbished devices will increase the value recovery. Extend the functional state of devices through repairs and refurbishment while it’s viable to do so. Professional cosmetic polishing will uplift the grade. 

Work with a partner who can offer lifecycle extension services so that when you receive a used device, you can put it back out with an end user or sell on. 

What are the different supply chain solutions for second-hand devices?

New products are available from manufacturers but the pressure is on the supply of refurbished. Too often, consumers discard used devices in drawers. Worse still, they add to ever-increasing piles of e-waste. 

The demand for refurbished devices calls for a diversion of those discarded electronics. Educating end users on lifecycle extension will increase the supply of second-hand devices. 

When sourcing used devices, in need of refurbishing, always make sure the devices are suitable for re-use (jump to device compliance). 

Inbound sourcing

An external partner or in-house recommerce team can search the market for suppliers of refurbished devices. There are auction sites, resellers, and eCommerce platforms for these.

Or, you can establish a B2B buyback or B2C trade-in program. These will supply used devices straight into your business without the need for a buying team.

B2B buyback programs allow companies to sell their used devices in bulk. B2C trade-in enables consumers to sell singular, used devices. B2C trade-in can be in-store or online. Some partners offer white label or custom-built solutions. 

Returns management

Via a reverse logistics process, the used devices need to be brought in-house, or issued to a repair partner, for professional screening and grading. Some devices may have been end-user ‘dead on arrival’ returns. 

This means that the device failed to perform on initial start-up. The quality check will assess necessary repairs and refurbishment required.  

How do I ensure my used devices are compliant and ready for re-use?

To remain compliant with data protection legislation, wipe used devices of data. It’s recommended to partner with ISO 27001 certified businesses. They may also hold accreditations from third party partners, such as Blancco

After wiping, cosmetic polishing or refurbishment will uplift the grade and improve their value. Its functional state and appearance determines the grade. Assessment takes into consideration workable parts and scratches. A device with more damage will receive a lower grade.

Once the devices are compliant and refurbished, they will need to be re-kitted and re-boxed. This involves new packaging and equipment, such as charging leads and accessories. These add value and enhance the use of the product.

Can Ingram Micro Lifecycle help me source refurbished devices?

Changing your supply chain to include refurbished devices can ensure you continue to satisfy customer demand while keeping costs low and recovering maximum value. 

Our experienced recommerce team can source refurbished devices for our customers and have the support in place to facilitate whatever logistics and repairs that are necessary. You can find out more on our services page.Our skilled repair and refurbishment teams offer innovative solutions, such as refurbishing and replacing LCDs. 

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