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Most consumers are shunning refurbished devices – YouGov survey

Staff Reporter
May 16, 2024

Consumers are still showing significant resistance to buying and using refurbished phones.

A YouGov survey of 2,544 adults has revealed that while most people had heard of refurbished phones, only six percent currently own one.

Despite the awareness, 70 percent of those who knew about refurbished handsets were unsure which networks provided them.

while there is considerable awareness and some interest in refurbished handsets, significant barriers remain

Half of the surveyed sample said they were unlikely to consider a refurbished phone as a replacement. Only one in five (22 percent) considered it likely they would change their current phone for a used later model.

People in favor of refurbished handsets cited cost savings and good value for money (71 percent) as the main advantage. Environmental benefits were also a significant factor for half of adults. Previous positive experiences with refurbished handsets influenced 31 percent of those who knew about them, and 11 percent were swayed by recommendations from others.

Among adults unlikely to consider refurbished handsets, half are worried about a shorter lifespan. Reliability was questioned by 41 percent, and 37 percent doubted a used phone would perform as well as new models. A third of respondents felt the cheaper price was not enough to risk a purchase, while 26 percent were concerned about scratches or scuffs. A quarter of respondents said they did not see the need for purchasing a refurbished handset, and concerns about security/privacy were highlighted by 23 percent of the surveyed adults.

Only 17 percent of adults think it is likely that they will actually purchase a refurbished handset in the future, compared to 53 percent who believe it’s unlikely.

This data shows that while there is considerable awareness and some interest in refurbished handsets, significant barriers remain due to concerns over quality, reliability, and overall value. It suggests a need for better consumer education and perhaps improvements in the offerings and guarantees provided by sellers to make refurbished handsets a more attractive option,” said YouGov.

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