Currys says its boom time for refurbished tech


Tech retail chain Currys says that 80% of its refurbished devices sell out within the first week of going on sale, as it expands its online store to include even cheaper/more knackered items.

Having started trialling the sale of cut price pre-owned mobiles and laptops in November, Currys says sales have ‘boomed’, with 80% of the refurbished product lines selling out within the first week of sales.

Refurbished laptops are apparently in particularly high demand, and now the retailer is making hay while the sun shines by selling an expanding the condition categories available from just ‘excellent’ to ‘very good’ and fair’. Previously it was trading this older tech through an eBay store, but has now set up a dedicated area of its website and is offering the usual ‘buy now, pay later’ options you would get with brand new products.

There are other ways to get refurbished tech of course, but as well as a 12 month guarantee, Currys says what differentiates it from most other refurbished retailers is that it sells each refurbished item with charging power outlets and leads, and that customers can pitch up to its physical stores to make a complaint if they’re not happy.

The discarded devices are restored and repackaged at what the retailer says is Europe’s largest tech repair centre. The Newark facility is the size of three football pitches no less, and processed 600,000 individual items in the last 12 months, we’re told.

“In the UK we produce the second highest amount of e-waste per capita in the world,” said Mandeep Gobindpuri, Head of Development – Circular Economy, Currys. “As much as we all love brand-new tech, we need to address this challenge. E-waste is a core reason why we are committed to our ‘Long Live Your Tech’ campaign, which helps customers make more informed environmental decisions when buying and disposing of technology. Buying refurbished saves customers money and saves good tech from landfill. This trial is a win for customers, and a win for the planet.”

As you can derive from the above there is a heavy emphasis being put on the green significance of re-flogging old tech. It is true it is better for the environment to resell a phone rather than hurl it into a landfill, but while an uptick in popularity of cheaper, refurbished devices during a cost of living crisis could be caused by ‘a growing eco-consciousness amongst the British public’, it could probably be more simply explained by a desire to save some money and be able to pay the rent.


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