More people are buying used/refurbished phones than ever before
Why? Because $1000 smartphones are ridiculous.
2017 saw a lot of excellent phones get released, but it also signified a pretty steep shift in the cost of the devices we know and love. Apple's iPhone X debuted with its infamous starting price of $999, the Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2 XL can both set you back $950, and the newly announced Galaxy S9+ will put a dent of $840 in your pocket.
While there's no doubt these are all excellent gadgets, no one blames you for cradling and soothing your wallet after seeing those prices.
So, what do we do when it comes time to upgrade our phone and the market's most popular phones are selling for nearly $1000. According to the Wall Street Journal, a lot of folks are turning to refurbished and pre-owned options.
Per B-Stock Solutions Inc.'s (a marketplace for overstock and trade-in phones) Director of Mobile, Sean Cleland —
Smartphones now resemble the car industry very closely. I still want to drive a Mercedes, but I'll wait a couple of years to buy the older model. Same mentality.
Counterpoint Technology Mark Research reports that 1 out of 10 devices sold around the globe are now refurbished, and considering that refurbished phones can easily cost multiple hundred dollars less than their new counterparts, that's not shocking at all in a world of iPhone Xs and Galaxy Note 8s.
Smartphone sales hit one of its lowest points in years at the tail-end of 2017, and along with buying second-hand devices, WSJ also attributes a lot of this to leasing programs that carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint offer.
Another trend borrowed from the car industry that has helped consumers get around sticker shock: leasing. Instead of buying new phones, Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. allow subscribers to effectively lease them, allowing them to trade up for the latest device. That option, though, hasn't yet gone mainstream.
My current phone is the Pixel 2 that I bought brand-new in October for $649. It's been a great device, but it's the most I've personally ever spent on a phone. Prior to it, most of my handsets have been purchased during sales or pre-owned from sites like Swappa.
What about you? Do you often buy phones brand-new, do you lease them through your carrier, or do you go the pre-owned route? Sound off in those comments down below!