Flipkart plans to sell refurbished smartphones
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

E-commerce major Flipkart is planning to get into sales of refurbished smartphones by this Diwali as it explores options to manage the high return rates of handsets and to cover the price advantage it lost with the arrival of goods and services tax, according to a media report.

The company plans to sell Flipkart-certified refurbished mobile phones on its platform as well as through offline outlets, The Economic Times reported.

The e-commerce firm will use its logistics arm Ekart for deliveries. The company has already initiated discussions with distributors for its offline tie-ups, the report said.

Citing an executive involved in discussions with Flipkart for offline distribution, the report said the motive for the move is to clear its increasing return inventory in the smartphone segment. The firm plans to sell three categories of refurbished phones priced in the range of 60-75% of their original value.

According to the report, the company will sell smartphones from popular brands such as Lenovo, Motorola, Samsung’s ‘On Series,’ Panasonic, Micromax and Sony Xperia.

An email query sent to Flipkart did not elicit an immediate response.

Amazon, Flipkart’s biggest rival in India, has a dedicated store on its website for used and refurbished mobile phones where it offers handsets that cost up to 25% less than the fresh ones. It sells smartphones from popular brands such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, Samsung, Lenovo, Motorola and Apple.

Online marketplace ShopClues had recently launched a new category titled ‘Re-New Gadgets’ where it sells refurbished and unboxed electronic devices such as laptops, smart phones and tablets.

Apart from the bigger players, a number of startups have emerged in the segment and raised significant venture capital funds in the last few years.

Last month, VCCircle reported that re-commerce firm Cashify (formerly known as ReGlobe) raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round from Chinese venture capital firm Shunwei Capital and existing investors. The company had raised an undisclosed amount in 2015 from Blume Ventures, M&S Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. It later acqui-hired Bangalore-based MobiBing, a business to consumer (B2C) marketplace for buying and selling refurbished and unboxed gadgets.

Overcart, a marketplace for refurbished and pre-owned goods, has raised $3 million from Omidyar Network, Sattva Capital and Venture Works.

Other startups that sell refurbished goods include JustLikeNew, Blubirch, Greendust and Reboot.

These companies also compete with peer-to-peer classifieds ventures such as Quikr and OLX.

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