This text examines the worldwide dynamics of the cellular secondary market and the way returns are serving to form the trade from the U.S. to China. The subject was lately mentioned on the Reverse Logistics Affiliation Convention & Expo 2019.

Fast Details:

  • Cellular secondary market is value $20-25 billion
  • By 2025, it’s projected to be value $40 billion
  • Present common worth for a secondary market telephone is $360
  • Persons are holding on to their telephones for two to three years
  • A telephone from 2016 will nonetheless be in use in 2020 and on its second or third proprietor

A number of research have proven that customers are holding on to their telephones for two to 3 years versus an annual improve. What’s extra, when they’re able to commerce in or promote their three-year outdated telephone, they’re discovering that it nonetheless has worth. That is nice information for the secondary market. This matter and extra—together with the impression of 5G, the present state of the cellular trade-in enterprise in China, and the trade-offs for buying and selling in a tool or promoting it—had been all mentioned throughout a panel dialogue at RLA ‘19. The panel was hosted by Charles Taylor, CEO of Cell Telephones for Troopers, with panelists from eBay, Iowa State College, Greatest Purchase and Future Dial.

Impression of 5G on the Secondary Cellular Market

Resellers are starting to ask what sort of impression 5G gadgets may have on current 3G, 4G and even LTE telephones; particularly when 3G service goes away? There’s discuss that sooner or later 3G telephones and gadgets will develop into fundamental wall clocks and alarms.

Within the meantime, as 5G gadgets and repair start to enter the market this yr, many shoppers will see this as a big improve and can be able to promote or commerce of their 3G, 4G or LTE machine. When that occurs, the secondary market can be flooded with gadgets which might be three to 5 years outdated.

Fortunately, there’s an enormous world marketplace for older gadgets that can steadiness the provision and demand. As research have proven, when provide and demand each improve, then costs have a tendency to extend, or no less than, gadgets ought to preserve worth. What’s extra, telephones which might be refurbished and ‘licensed’ ought to promote at greater costs than non-certified telephones. The cellular secondary trade continues to be within the early phases, and figuring out what precisely is taken into account licensed and by whom continues to be up for debate.     

Understanding the China Commerce-in enterprise

Fast Details:

  • There are at present 1 billion telephones in China
  • China has seen a 25% lower in scrap telephones over the previous few years
  • China has a 2% recycling price in comparison with 29% within the U.S.
  • 50% of telephones in China are idle (sitting in a drawer); that’s half a billion telephones
  • 20% of telephones are gifted to a good friend or relative
  • 20 to 30% of telephones are resold, traded-in or disposed

In response to Haozhe Chen, Affiliate Professor of Provide Chain Administration at Iowa State, the cellular trade-in enterprise is booming in China. That is principally partly as a result of it’s very troublesome for shoppers to know learn how to resell gadgets on their very own. Customers are discovering it’s a lot simpler to purchase a brand new telephone with a trade-in credit score then to promote one. There are numerous points at stake when promoting your individual telephone, similar to privateness safety, information wiping and figuring out the downstream impacts of the place the telephone goes after it’s offered. For shoppers, it’s a lot simpler to commerce a telephone in to an organization that can do the info wiping for them; particularly if it knocks down the value of their new telephone.


B-Inventory operates the world’s largest B2B market for returned, overstock, and trade-in cellular gadgets from massive carriers, producers and purchase again firms. Hundreds of thousands of telephones and equipment are listed month-to-month, throughout all manufacturers, fashions, situations and portions. For a greater look, go to our cellular marketplaces or go to our Cellular Business web page.

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