In September, when online classifieds portal OLX said that sales of pre-owned smartphones in India are pegged to reach 46 million units in 2020, it came as a surprise for industry observers. But to consumers like Saurabh Gupta, who recently bought a pre-owned Samsung Galaxy S8+, which cost him 35 percent less than the market price of ₹53,000, it was no news. “I sold my old iPhone, which was my fourth in one-and-a-half years,” grins Gupta, a BPO executive in Okhla, Delhi.
OLX recorded 14 million mobile phones and accessories listings in the financial year ended March 2018. “Listings jumped from 2.5 million units in April-June last year to 3.5 million in the same period this year,” OLX said in a media release.
Analysts attribute the boom to millennials and users in tier 2 and 3 towns. For OLX, three out of four pre-owned phone buyers, and half of the sellers, are millennials who have a higher appetite for phones listed above ₹20,000. Amazon Renewed, which offers certified refurbished products, has been growing at 300 percent year-on-year. “Over 70 percent of orders come from tier 2 and 3 cities, like Kanchipuram and Secunderabad,” says an Amazon spokesperson.