Do not rush to throw away your old smartphone

A recent study revealed what the Greeks do with their old gadgets.

Interestingly, 8 out of 10 smartphone owners in Greece are in no hurry to throw away their old device – they put it in a closet or desk drawer and just forget about it for a while. And such 83%, while the age of consumers does not matter. The Circular Economy and Smartphone Use survey was conducted late last year on a nationwide sample of approximately 1,400 Greek consumers aged 18-60 by the Electronic Commerce Laboratory (ELTRUN) of the Athens University of Economics and Business, commissioned by Pandas.

The survey revealed that despite the seeming carelessness in relation to old devices, the number of consumers who do not exclude the possibility of purchasing a used gadget in the future is steadily growing.

The data of the study showed that approximately once every 1.6 years, Greek consumers change their smartphone, regardless of age. And since the frequency of replacing smartphones with new models is growing, the number of “working” smartphones that remain unclaimed in every home is also increasing.

Statistics based on the study data say that 4 out of 10 households have more smartphones than family members, and 7 out of 10 households that consist of 1-2 people have three or more functional smartphones. What motivates people to buy a new smartphone if the old one serves its owner properly?

8 out of 10 consumers, or 83%, said they buy a new gadget in case of significant wear or damage to the old one, when a significant amount of money will have to be paid for repairs. And 6 out of 10 (60%) admitted that they are buying a new one to increase the number of different functions that are not on the old smartphone, and it ceases to meet everyday needs.

At the same time, the purchased device is not necessarily new in the truest sense of the word. Approximately 15% of consumers reported that they have bought a used smartphone, and 30% are interested in doing so in the future. So the growth potential of this market segment on a global scale, as they say, is obvious.

Why do the Greeks keep the old gadget after buying a new one? Some leave it as a backup device: for themselves (28%) or family, friends and relatives (32%). About 25% cited emotional attachment to it as the reason for keeping a smartphone. And another 15% said they had never heard of alternative ways to use older devices.

The study showed that 88% of consumers would be happy to exchange their old smartphone for a special voucher that entitles them to purchase a new smartphone at a more attractive price. Another 75% expressed their desire to receive the maximum monetary reward. It seems that consumer awareness and facilitating the process of selling used smartphones is essential: 7 out of 10 respondents said that a simple, fast and secure process is a key requirement for them when selling a smartphone.

Just as important as providing incentives is educating consumers about the concept and value of the circular economy. About 39% of those surveyed said they had never even heard of such a term.

Reference. A circular economy is, in a general sense, an economy based on the renewal of resources, an alternative to the traditional linear economy. These are reduction of consumption, reduction of dependence on natural resources, reduction of emissions, waste and efficient allocation of resources. International studies say that a circular business model will help reduce the use of raw materials by 35% by 2035 and by 53% by 2050.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Pandas (Green Panda), which launched in 2020 as a re-commerce startup. It allows those who wish to return their smartphone for direct benefit for themselves and benefiting the planet. To do this, there is a trade-in at store service, with the help of which each consumer visits one of the company’s partner stores to turn in their phone and instantly receive a discount voucher. At the same time, it provides a trade-in service at home, which sends a Pandas scooter to an individual consumer for immediate evaluation and purchase of a used smartphone.

The company’s initial funding was $2.2 million. Now it has more than 70 sites where you can “return” your smartphone and get a voucher. By the end of this year, the number is expected to reach 400. Following the recent completion of the company’s rebranding, Pandas is expected to focus on further cooperation both in Greece and abroad in the very near future.

Since 2020 to date, thanks to the developed trade-in programs implemented in cooperation with the leading retailers in the Greek market – iStorm, Plaisio, Xiaomi Store, Wind, – as well as with AB Vassilopoulos, Pandas has provided users with more than 15,000 smartphones, which equates to 900,000+ kilograms of CO2 savings on the planet, and more than 1 million euros in financial benefits for users for selling their devices, says

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