Cashify Unleashed Smartphone User Behaviour Study for Pre-Owned Phone Users

Cashify launches “User Behaviour in the Recommerce Smartphone for 2019-2020” study: Mi is the top selling brand in the pre-owned market with 27% share, Apple (1%) and Samsung (16%) leading the second position, followed by Motorola (12%)

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Cashify, India’s leading re-commerce marketplace, unveiled their fourth annual “User Behaviour study” for the pre-owned phone market. The study captures behaviour and preferences of users in the segment, and focuses on variables that affect the buying and selling decision of users. It further sheds light on differences in user behaviour across brands such as Apple, Mi and Samsung.

Cashify analysed the buying and selling data of over 1 Million users on its platform in the year 2019-20. Besides the leading pre-owned smartphone brands in India, the study also revealed key trends and drivers in the growth of the pre-owned smartphone market during the year.

The study revealed that Mi is the top selling brand in the pre-owned market with a 27% share, Apple (16%) and Samsung (16%) leading the second position, followed by Motorola (12%). Among cities, Delhi (18%), Bangalore (13%), and Mumbai (12%) comprise the top 3 for sales of pre-owned smartphones. In a surprise entry, Gurugram (6%) is in the top 5, ahead of  metro cities such as Kolkata & Chennai. Satellite towns Faridabad and Ghaziabad have shown the fastest growth, taking top spots in the upcoming city category.

Cashify – as a part of this year’s study – revealed the Truth Index for cities, measured by percentage of smartphone users who stated the actual condition of their devices most truthfully, while putting them up for sale online. Bangalore topped the index with a score of 36%, followed by Chennai at 28%. Delhi was the least truthful with a score of 23%.

Among other insights unveiled by the study, a majority of Indians listed their smartphones for sale between 12 Noon and 1 PM in the day. Delhiites seemed to be breaking their smartphone screens the most, with 33% among all Indian metro cities. Bengaluru came in second with 21%, followed by Gurugram with 19%.

Despite the generally slowing economy even before covid, the 2019 Q2 smartphone shipment in India was estimated around 36.9 million units, a 9.9% year-over-year growth & 14.8% quarter-over-quarter growth. (CANALYS says the smartphone market grew 14% in Q4 2019, with total shipments at 39.0 million units. For the full year, India grew by 8%, reaching a total of 148 million smartphones) Among the major reasons for upgrading for most smartphone users are high speed network connectivity (3G to 4G), support for gaming, mobile camera specs, and so on. Nearly a fifth (19%) of the users upgrade their devices within the first year, and 44% within 1-2 years. The life span of mobile device ownership is continuously shortening.

Commenting on the survey, Nakul Kumar, COO & Co-Founder, Cashify, said, “Numerous launches, more brand options, new price points and the overall aspirational value of an upgrade, are some of the factors that led the second-hand smartphone industry to widen its turf during 2019-20. Be it selling or buying, a majority of Indian smartphone users have come to trust platforms and services such as ours to derive maximum value out of their pre-owned smartphones. The Recommerce industry has seen a definite surge in 2019-20, as more people are opening themselves up to selling and buying used devices.”

What users like across brands?

  • iPhones are most favoured by females as they have 29 percent women users, higher than other major brands
  • Samsung smartphones are mostly used by consumers within the age bracket of 25-34 years, as 63 percent users fall in this age group. The brand has seen 72 percent male users and 28 percent female users in the past year
  • Occupying the largest chunk of market in the INR 30,000+ segment, OnePlus clocked up a whopping 35% market share by the end of Q3 2019. The top user base of OnePlus is based out of Bengaluru, as 15% users are from the city. Mumbai comes next with 12% and New Delhi is the third with 11%. Male users form 74% of users, and 65% are within the age group of 25-34 years.
  • Xiaomi has the highest user base in New Delhi, as 12% of Xiaomi smartphone consumption comes from the capital. Bengaluru and Mumbai follow suit with 11% and 8% respectively. Females comprise 28% of users in India, and 62% fall in the age bracket of 25-34 years.

COVID 19 has pushed users to buy more second hand gadgets

According to the study during Covid-19, 36% of the respondents invested in refurbished gadgets due to the need for remote working, followed by requirement by family members. The survey suggested that price/affordability was the key criterion for buying refurbished smartphones during Covid 19, indicating that the consumer has become cautious due to unprecedented times.

Key Insights:

  • Delhi (18%), Bangalore (13%), Mumbai (12%) are leading the sales/need for pre-owned smartphones
  • Delhiites seemed to be breaking their smartphone screens the most, closely followed by Bengaluru and then Gurugram.
  • Satellite towns of Delhi lead the pack in the upcoming city with Faridabad and Ghaziabad taking the lead
  • Bangalore was the most truthful followed by Chennai and Delhi was the least truthful
  • Delhiites seemed to be breaking their smartphone screens the most, with 33% among all Indian metro cities followed by Bengaluru, which came in second with 21%, followed by Gurugram with 19%
  • A majority of Indians have sold their smartphones between 12 and 1 PM in 2019 and maximum users sold their phones on weekends
  • Post COVID 19, 32% of the respondents invested in refurbished gadgets due to the remote working followed by 26% invested in refurbished gadgets for their family members due to shift in work, digital learning and entertainment
  • E- learning as well as work from home solutions has become an essential commodity and influencing refurbished buying
  • Mid- range (10k- 20k) dominated the purchase during Covid and will be so in coming months due to impact in disposable income
  • Impacted by COVID 19, price and affordability played a key role during in the lockdown phase
Brand NameMarket Share
Mi27%
Apple16%
Samsung16%
Motorola12%

*Cashify data for Refurbished market sales 2019-2020 (Brand-wise)

City wiseMarket Share
Delhi18%
Bangalore13%
Mumbai12%

*Cashify data for Refurbished market sales 2019-2020 (City-wise)

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