The refurbished electronics industry has gotten a second look from customers over the past year.
In the past, refurbished gadgets — which refers to professionally repaired used products — had a lukewarm reputation. Customers often were worried the products would malfunction, or in some cases, were counterfeit.
But as with secondhand apparel and sneakers, sales of refurbished electronics boomed during the pandemic. For example, Amazon’s refurbished brand, Amazon Renewed, became Amazon’s third most popular electronics brand in June 2020. Meanwhile, a number of online marketplaces that sell certified used electronics had a big year in 2020. Several factors — including the nationwide laptop shortage, cost consciousness and shipping delays — resulted in more consumers turning to secondhand electronics.