Government wants to encourage the sale of refurbished digital products

One in ten smartphones sold in France is reconditioned and resold used. A still timid trend but in full swing, which goes in the direction of the protection of the environment.

The Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili and the Secretary of State in charge of Digital Cédric O were, this Monday, October 5, in the premises of the company BackMarket, specializing in the resale of refurbished smartphones.

Really cheaper products

Buying a refurbished smartphone or computer (not to be confused with a recycled product) is a good plan for the environment, because it is a product that did not require new extractions of rare materials or international transport. Millions of smartphones produced each year thus have a second life, which is the case for around one in ten smartphones in France.

In addition, it is necessarily a good plan for the consumer’s wallet, since a refurbished smartphone or computer costs 20 to 50% less and even sometimes up to – 70%.

Finally, from a technical point of view the answer is more divided: it depends. The fact is that for some time, technological innovation has stalled, there has not been a big technological breakthrough, so a high-tech product that is a few years old remains quite up to date and usable. For example, we even manage to install the latest version of the software iOS14, on iPhones from 2015.

there is the best and the worst

However, be careful, where the pack can hurt is the wear and tear of the devices. Some are in perfect condition and some are not.

Besides the aesthetic aspect (shell, screen…), the weak point of smartphones and computers is the battery. A battery loses about 10% of autonomy per year. However, this is an element that is not always easy to verify.

The market has become very structured in recent years and the many resale sites (BackMarket, Certideal, Recommerce or YesYes…) often classify products into different categories, from the worst to the best. Obviously the prices are then accordingly.

However, there are still some gray areas in this market. Last year, a survey of 60 million consumers showed that many customers were disappointed, especially for quality reasons. Finally, some brands, like Apple, have their own refurbished product resale channel. In this case, the guarantee of quality is maximum but the price is obviously less interesting.

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