What do millions of returned devices look like after they meet our techs? Good as new
Our technology return centres in Europe process more than 7 million devices a year
The global consumer electronics repair and maintenance market is expected to reach $20.52 billion USD in
2023, a CAGR of 7.5% (Yahoo News).
With increasing awareness around the harmful environmental effects of e-waste and with millions of tonnes of excess technology products headed for landfills, corporations and consumers are showing increasing interest in extending the lifecycle of devices, rather than upgrading them every few years.
To monetize returned devices to the fullest extent, operators, OEMs and retailers must achieve yield targets of 80% or more on returned devices. This can be accomplished through screening, grading, repair and cost effective refurbishment.
What drives consumers to return devices?
1. Perceived faulty device
If a product is deemed faulty shortly after being purchased (usually within 14-28 days), in most
cases, the device is not actually faulty.
Often, consumers send functional devices back to the retailer due to a lack of understanding or frustration around the product’s functionality.
These no-fault-found (NFF) returns amount to 68% of all online returns, with only 5% found to be malfunctioning (TechSee). After screening, grading and removing customer data, such products can be made ready for resale or reuse in other channels. Updating the product to the latest firmware can also improve the functionality of the device. This allows retailers to minimise financial losses on the device, which can be resold as ‘reconditioned’. A reconditioned device is often excellent value, as it usually comes with a guarantee and has the latest firmware version all at a reduced cost.
Actually faulty products are returned to the OEM, again for rework and reuse in the supply chain.
2. Customer change of mind
If a customer changes their mind about a product within a given time frame (usually 14-28 days), the product can’t be returned, provided that it is in “as new” condition and fully functional. As outlined above, the product can be processed and resold in “as new” condition.
3. Surplus stock
Surplus stock that is not needed by the seller is often returned to our hubs to be tested prior to resale. Testing is required for devices that have been opened, but unopened product can be resold as is.
4. Device trade-in for cash
Electronic device trade-ins or “buy-back” programs are the rise. Traded devices are rigorously
tested, customer data is erased, repairs are made before the products reenter the market as second
hand or refurbished devices. Getting such devices into a sellable condition is key to extending
their lifecycle and reducing electronic waste.
Ingram Micro specializes in managing technology returns and recouping value from reusable products. With millions of devices tested, repaired and refurbished each year, we are experts in recognising and maximising reuse potential in local and global marketplaces and our services and operations are backed by a wide range of OEM and ISO accreditations.
The Ingram Micro Difference
Efficiency and accuracy are critical to a profitable reverse logistics operation. Since many of our
specialized services require precision and manual skills that exceed the capabilities of automation, we have
invested in technology to train our technicians in their respective languages, ensuring fast and accurate
learning, high-quality work and processes that produce consistent results for our customers.
Many of our services can be previewed in the video above and we invite you to contact us with further questions, or to discuss how we can help you yield more value from your returns process!
Value Added Services
By the numbers
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