India is the second-largest smartphone market in the world, with almost every giant wanting to set up base and deepen their roots in the country. But that s a known fact. However, what s unknown is that India is an extremely large market for pre-owned devices — in both premium and budget segments. Some industry reports suggest that there are about 20 million pre-owned mobile phones in India. And approximately 4 million pre-owned mobile phones are sold online in India.
Even according to 2016 OLX Consumer Research on Used-Goods and Selling Trends (CRUST) Survey, Indian households are increasingly buying and selling pre-owned mobiles. To give this a perspective, in the last financial year, OLX registered more than 9.9 million listings of mobile devices in India. Which means, every minute 18 mobile devices are listed on the platform. OLX receives 11.2 million buyer inquiries on used mobiles every month, with each mobile listing receiving double-digit unique buyer responses.
Further, the average price of each mobile phone sold online is Rs 9,000, as compared to Rs 10,000 average selling price of new smartphones sold in India in Q1, 2017. The fact that the price of new phones in India is almost equal to the price of pre-owned phones really shows the complexity of the mobile phone market in the country.
Quite interestingly though, in FY16-17 online re-selling platforms noticed Chinese brands recording a spike in listings, with the listing share of market leaders as well as Indian manufacturers declining. For instance, during FY 2016-17 the listing share of Xiaomi climbed from 4.2 percent to 12.8 percent on OLX. ALSO READ: Oppo, Vivo and other Chinese smartphone brands are slowly taking over the world
But what drives these sales? The survey results note that for about 68 percent of the Indian households, just the desire to upgrade is the primary reason for selling mobile phones. That number is followed by 27 percent of the people who cite boredom as the main reason for selling mobile phones. The reasons to resell make more sense when you find out that 75 percent of the pre-owned mobile phone buyers, and 55 percent of the pre-owned mobile phone sellers (on OLX) are young millennials in the age group of 19-29 years.
Besides, the boredom and the urge to upgrade, another reason that has been driving the online sales of pre-owned mobile phones is the higher value received by selling online. According to the survey, online resale of a mobile device fetches 25 percent higher than the one realized through offline selling, and about 47 percent higher than that through exchange. ALSO READ: Old and new Rs 500 notes being sold on ebay for up to Rs 7,00,000