More and more Brits are getting their hands on refurbished phones

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Between rising costs of living, the improving quality of hardware, and the desire to live a more sustainable and environment-friendly life, British consumers are increasingly opting to buy second-hand smartphones, new research has found. 

A report from Vodafone found a third (32%) of Brits now own a refurbished smartphone, with an additional quarter (24%) planning on buying one such device in the future. 

This also seems to be a growing trend, as Vodafone claims that searches for refurbished phones on its website went up by 39% in the last six months, alone.

Refurbished phone bounce

Saving money is the primary driver pushing people towards refurbished phones, with almost half (47%) just looking to cut down on spending, with Brits believing they can save around £140 when buying second-hand. More than a third (37%) would consider a refurbished device to be more sustainable, too.

But they’re not just going to buy any used phone. Half (47%) want it to be in pristine condition and come with a warranty. Two in five (39%) demand a guarantee for the battery, but above all - 59% want the device to save them money.

While smartphones may be the most obvious choice when on the hunt for a refurbished device, Brits are buying all sorts of used tech. A quarter (26%) purchased refurbished laptops, while a fifth bought used TVs (22%) or tablet devices (21%). What’s more, 39% of Brits said they are now more likely to shop second-hand in general, as a direct result of the rising costs of living. 

Gen-Z is most likely to buy such hardware (61%) compared to Boomers (21%).

Of those that would rather purchase a new device (42%), most are worried about the quality of the hardware (65%), while some fear the gear wouldn’t last as long (45%). A significant minority (27%) is worried about data breaches.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.