Refurbishing Market to Hit $50 Billion

Big retailers, including Amazon, Shopclues, Foxconn and Overcart expect the refurbishing market in India will be worth more than US$50 billion by 2020—up significantly from the current US$20 billion.

According to India Times, refurbished products are those that are remanufactured or repaired and put back on sale at discounted prices. In addition to printer cartridges, mobile phones, apparel, home appliances, shoes, tablets and laptops are being refurbished.

Due to discounted prices and warranties, the demand for such items is expected to more than double over the next five years. Amazon India is now piloting a ‘refurbished’ section on its site.

Alex Souter, cofounder of online eCommerce site, Overcart, said the demand for refurbished mobile phones sharply increased by 50% in 2014 to about US$1.5 billion and is expected to grow 30% annually through to 2020.

Amazon has joined up with, which sells refurbished Samsung and Xiaomi smartphones on its site. Noor Patel, director, category management (consumer electronics and media) at Amazon India, said, “We are witnessing a lot of interest from sellers keen to offer refurbished mobile phones with six months or more warranty from brands to customers through our marketplace. More sellers are expected to launch on our site soon in this category.” Tarun Bhardwaj, executive director of, has also seen strong momentum in the refurbished smart phone market. After partnering with Amazon, the company received more than 150 orders within a week and its production will extend to cover brands such as Apple, One-Plus, Motorola, Micromax and Lava.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou also lays great expectations with the segment’s potential, and is planning to work with, or invest in, GreenDust which will involve the transfer of technology related to recycling, refurbishing and resale to eCommerce sites.

Indians are becoming more accepting of using refurbished products. Currently, more than 50% of used printer cartridges are refurbished, often while the customer waits, with ink and toner. Refurbished printer cartridge outlets seem to appear on most streets in the larger cities.



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