The refurbished market is increasingly popular with private individuals, businesses, and public organisations. The refurbished sector covers all kinds of products, with a particular focus on computer and telecommunications equipment. This enthusiasm can be explained mostly by the fact that these second-hand products are a good way to reconcile economic and environmental issues. As well as these initial prepossessing arguments, the sector is becoming increasingly professional and is regulated by a legal framework, which should continue to convince even more people to go down this path.
1. Refurbished equipment saves money
More than anything, refurbished equipment has a certain economic advantage. Businesses get to use high-end, high-performance products at very competitive prices. In fact, selling prices are on average 30 to 70% cheaper than new models. As we’re all aware that cost reduction is usually one of the key objectives of procurement departments, this solution is of real interest. This explains why more than a third of public and private organisations say they want to take the plunge in the coming year. It is also estimated that the budget allocated to refurbished digital equipment will exceed 10% within the next two years.
2. Refurbished equipment is environmentally friendly
Choosing refurbished products extends the service life of products, as part of a circular economy approach. Did you know that electronic devices have an average lifespan of only a few years? This is a woefully inadequate figure given the environmental impact of their manufacture. As well as consuming a lot of energy and raw materials, computers and electronic devices contain toxic substances and heavy metals. As a result, refurbished products are a relevant alternative for any company that wants to adopt a sustainable procurement approach, in line with its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategy.
3. Refurbished equipment is regulated
The French law, and specifically Decree No. 2022-190 of 17 February 2022 now regulates the conditions for being able to use the terms ‘refurbished’ and ‘refurbished product’. To be able to legally use these terms, the product in question must have undergone:
- Tests to verify that all its features work and to ensure that it fulfils the use for which the buyer has bought it as well as legal safety obligations.
- One or more overhauls to restore these features, with special care taken to delete all data from previous use.
4. Refurbished equipment is safe
All refurbished equipment comes with a product sheet listing the features that have been tested and repaired by the company in charge of its reconditioning. In addition to such traceability, the refurbisher also provides an after-sales service and can quantify its positive impact to promote this approach. In other words, the shopping experience is similar to what you get with a new product.
5. Refurbished equipment is transparent
All refurbished products perform well. However, there are various conditions of wear, classified by grade, which inform the buyer with total transparency about what they are getting:
- First grade: the refurbished product is in excellent condition. There are no signs of wear and tear, and it is almost like new!
- Second grade: the refurbished product is in very good condition. It has some slight marks, such as micro-scratches.
- Third grade: the refurbished product is in good condition. It has some signs of wear such as scratches, scuffs or even dents without this affecting its performance.
Through using refurbished equipment, companies have a solution that fulfils all their economic and environmental requirements, without compromising on quality. As the refurbishment sector is structured, incited by executives, companies have every interest in joining such a virtuous dynamic whether they’re selling or purchasing refurbished products.
 The Institut du numérique responsable (INR) and Keeep, 2022, interprofessional unions for the refurbishment and restoration of computer, electronic and telecom equipment.