By Swaminathan B
India has seen a massive increase in the number of smartphone and internet users in the past 2-3 years, and the growth is expected to accelerate. While smartphones and PCs are driving online sales of goods and services, one segment that is seeing brisk business online is that of refurbished phones and refurbished good in general. Today, there are a number of exclusive sites that are aiming to grab a market share in the lucrative refurbished goods market. In an exclusive interview for Channel Times, Yuvraj Aman Singh, Founder & CEO, Rocking Deals, shares the growth in the refurbished market in India, misconception around refurbished products and how the company is working closely with channel partners to help them sell refurbished goods.
Channel Times: How is the market for Refubrished and pre-owned mobiles in India?
Yuvraj Aman Singh: India will have approximately 500 million mobile internet users by the end of this year. These numbers are very big. When it comes to our business of refurbished and used phones, we have ample knowledge about what is the reaction of people to such products through internet. Not much people were aware about the refurbished products few years back.
However, today we see a great increase in the search for such phones. This brings us to a conclusion that people are getting to know about it as more and more people are writing and talking about it. The internet search for such products has also increased and this study of internet behavior made us go online. The sales are more through online shopping portals as compared to retail stores. We are expected to see a 5 times growth in next 2-3 years.
Channel Times: How a customer sees the refurbished IT product? Are they able to identify the difference between a new and refurbished product?
Yuvraj Aman Singh: It is very important to rectify the misconceptions that people have for Refurbished Industry. The most common misconception is that Refurbished products are not guaranteed. On the contrary, manufacturers and authorized dealers guarantee their refurbished products in writing. For example, they give a 90-day product warranty upon purchase of a refurbished product. Customers can further protect their refurbished item with an extended warranty of up to three years in certain cases.
Another common misconception is that Refurbished products are defective. The retail Industry experts say that products are returned for a slew of reasons unrelated to defects. Retailers commonly have a 30 day return policy for electronics, and returns often happen as a result of buyer’s remorse, or the customer found a better deal after the purchase was made, or didn’t like some arbitrary feature about the product. And, yes they are able to identify the difference between a new and refurbished product as we clearly mention it with the products.
Channel Times: How is the warranty support of most mobile players when it comes to after-sale support for refurbished product?
Yuvraj Aman Singh: The most demanded products of the industry are the refurbished phones. Such phones have been checked properly by the experts and if necessary repaired to full working order. The best thing about refurbished phones is that they have been tested, and usually comes with a warranty. Refurbished, unboxed and used phones business is on a high and will remain on a High due to 2 basic reasons; first is the young generation and second is that India is the second biggest market of smart phones in the world.
Rocking Deals has partnered with best technologies in the world to test the devices along with a 100000 sq ft refurbishing and repairing factory to look after the after sales and extended warranties. We have partners like Amazon, EBay, Snapdeal and Shop clues to sell to the end customers. This is the reason that we have succeeded in selling more than 10 lakh refurbished phones. In order to increase the future aspects we are now setting up our own training centers for recruiting fresh graduates to teach them how to test and repair electronics and offer them guaranteed jobs.
Channel Times: With GST coming in, what would be your prediction in the refurbished mobile market?
Yuvraj Aman Singh: With the GST coming in we predict that it will be a benefit for the refurbished mobile market as it will facilitate processing and sales under one roof. We will not have to go for different locations in order to buy and sell.
Channel Times: There are many channel partners having their laptops and other accessories unsold and want to liquidate it before the GST implementation. Please let us know if you are in a position to help them in any ways?
Yuvraj Aman Singh: We can help them for liquidation as we can sell it but we cannot help them in any other way because we still have to pay the GST. There is no alternative for saving GST.
Channel Times: What is your roadmap and plans for India market?
Yuvraj Aman Singh: The Future aspect of this segment is purely based on goodwill and trust. Whoever makes an edge and wins the customer’s trust will be on the top of the pyramid. Simple formula is everyone wants to upgrade. The economy goes up or low, the mobile phones have now become a necessity. People may buy cheaper phones as connectivity is a necessity in life and that is how it keeps us going.
Channel Times: There are many negative feedbacks against your product in the Google play section of your mobile application. Please let us know what measures you are taking for rectifying them if the feedbacks against you or your sellers?
Yuvraj Aman Singh: We are into selling a bulk of refurbished products mainly cellphones but I believe that mentality of the society is that they definitely post a review when they face any problem but not when the product is desirable. So, as we sell a lot of them a little bit of flaw is reflected in those negative reviews.