Would you buy a second hand phone? What if I tell you that it is completely refurbished, that is, it has been cleaned, tested against defects and perfectly fit for sale up to 70% of its original price?
This is Reebelo he tries to do it. Initially launched in Singapore in 2019, the company has expanded its services to Australia, New Zealand and now Malaysia, following funding of US $ 1.25 million in its initial round.
Give e-waste a second life
As awareness of environmental issues grows, consumer behavior is moving towards sustainable and environmentally friendly purchasing options. All the measures taken to reduce waste, no matter how small, can go a long way.
Reebelo is a platform that sells refurbished devices at a lower cost, whether it’s a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or even a headset. To clarify, the terms “refurbished” and “second hand” actually mean separate things.
Refurbished devices have undergone cleaning and testing to make sure they work and are free of defects, so they are fit for sale.
However, second-hand devices may or may not be refurbished. “Normally, if they are in good working order, they can be sold as is or with minimal cleaning,” Shen Ong, Reebelo Malaysia’s country director, told Vulcan Post.
Gain the trust of customers
Personally, I’m skeptical when it comes to buying refurbished devices, especially when it’s done online through peer-to-peer e-commerce sites like Carousell. If I don’t know the device history and have physically tested the phone myself, I wouldn’t take that risk.
Similarly, Shen Ong admitted that this is one of the biggest stigmas towards what his company is trying to do. “The main sacrifice a consumer makes when buying second-hand devices is their confidence,” he shared.
“More than 95% of refurbished or second-hand devices work smoothly, but for those who have problems, it’s up to the seller to guarantee good warranties and return policies,” he shared.
Therefore, Reebelo sources its refurbished devices from verified third-party vendors who must ensure the functionality of a device by inspecting them against a 40-point checklist. They cover battery health, screen status, and device operation buttons, to name a few.
To add, Reebelo also has a warranty and return policy. If the product does not meet your expectations or you have changed your mind, you can return it and get a refund within 14 days. However, the device must be returned in its original form and free of any iCloud passwords, Google Accounts, and the like.
Items will also include a 3-month free warranty, which will be covered by suppliers associated with Reebelo.
Building a circular economy
“In 2019 alone, the world generated 53.6 million tons of e-waste and this problem will only get worse over time. We believe that reselling refurbished technology devices will help lessen this real problem, ”said Shen Ong.
So far, Reebelo claims to have saved 600 tonnes of e-waste by 2020, playing its part in building a circular economy by continuing to reduce waste. useful life of existing resources.
Across the road, Reebelo has a repurchase program where the public can sell their old devices to Reebelo, which will refurbish the devices through outsourced vendors. Reebelo will sell it to new customers for profit, in the same way it monetizes the platform.
Shen Ong told Vulcan Post that they have not yet released this program in Malaysia. However, I think it would be a good measure for them to do so, as more agents providing these services may increase the country’s e-waste recycling rate, which is currently 25%.
I would also increase my own confidence as a consumer in purchasing these refurbished devices. Having a repurchase program would suggest that these refurbished electronic products came from real users before, and not from some kind of landfill.
Instead of upgrading to the latest model year after year, purchasing refurbished technology helps combat this problem by reducing the consumer’s carbon footprint. In addition, Reebelo is committed to planting a tree for each transaction on our website.
Shen Ong, director of Reebelo Malaysia.
Featured Image Credit: Philip Franta and Fabien Rastouil, co-founders of Reebelo