Refurbished smartphones increasingly suffer from a damaged image. Beyond their side eco-friendly, reconditioned devices are increasingly seen as poor quality solutions, presenting defects from the first use.
As reconditioning grows, more and more people are disappointed with second-hand devices. The company GFK, a market analysis company, has just announced that refurbished devices are available for sale. were sold less well in 2023 compared to the year 2022. This is the first time since the birth of this market that reconditioned products are losing ground.
< p>For David Mignot, the boss of YesYes, an electronic device reconditioning company, this drop in sales can be explained by the poor quality of the devices placed on the market. An observation shared by Jean Thibeau, the sales director of Reborn, a French company based near Nice.
The law is sorely lacking in action
All the people who work in repackaging in France draw the same assessment of the situation current market. They suffer from international competition which practices repackaging “at a discount” by offering poor quality devices at lower prices.
For now, the only information available to the user on the quality of a reconditioned product depends on the characteristics given by the company itself. In a decree of February 2022, the French State tried to put nuances between products “like new” and those that are “second hand” or “reconditioned”.
But as recognized by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) the law is still very far from resolving all the problems. For two years, websites have been using “unacceptable mentions, inaccurate, absent or sometimes even misleading information.”
Reconditioned smartphone: the big lottery?
Today, no law requires reconditioners to carry out checks on the devices they are going to sell. For the user, it's difficult to know who to trust. If the exterior appearance of the device can be a good signal, David Mignot asks potential buyers to exercise caution.
“It's like a car, the important thing is not the bodywork, but the engine.” But the interior of a phone is too rarely repaired by refurbishers practicing extreme discounts. They can also turn to poor quality parts.
For an iPhone screen, you have to pay 70 euros on average. But it is possible to find a similar component for half the price. With such a difference in price, the uses are obviously not the same. The lifespan of a 35 euro screen is very limited in time.
After a few months, the touchscreen on the screen will no longer respond as well and it will be difficult to use the phone in the long term.
How to make the right choice ?
If the reconditioned market is a real boon for our wallets and for the planet, we must, as for the new market, be very careful about the devices you buy. Excessive discounts are generally a sign of a poor quality upgrade.
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