Beko PLC | Sales opportunities for pre-owned appliances

Beko's sustainability and regulatory affairs specialist Andrew Mullen shares his thoughts on second-hand appliances and opportunities for retail

12 Jun, 23

Sustainability and regulatory affairs specialist of Beko PLC Andrew Mullen shares his thoughts on the implications of the growing market for second-hand appliances and the opportunities it presents for the retail industry

Beko | Sales opportunities for pre-owned appliances

Appliances breaking down can be inconvenient, and it’s important for consumers to make informed choices when faced with product failures.

Assessing the product’s age and suitability is crucial. Older products or those no longer meeting requirements may warrant replacement for improved energy efficiency and better alignment with current needs.

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However, relatively new products that have been satisfactory can be considered for repair.

Considering appliance repair

Consumers often dismiss repair due to misconceptions about cost and value compared to replacement.

However, many manufacturers offer fixed-price repair services, including the call-out fee, parts, and labour.

If repair is not possible, some manufacturers may refund the charge or provide a discounted replacement.

Spreading the repair cost through monthly payments linked to a warranty plan is also an option.

Manufacturer-trained engineers use genuine parts and provide warranties, ensuring quality repairs.

Local independent engineers are an alternative to manufacturer repair services.

Selecting reputable engineers involves considering factors like a landline, business address, trading experience, positive reviews, manufacturer training, genuine parts usage, and warranty offerings. Recommendations from friends and family can also help.

Join with repair shops

For independent retailers, partnering with a local repairer can prove advantageous for both parties, as well as the consumer.

It offers valuable reassurance to consumers, relieving them of the stress associated with finding repair services themselves.

While the primary goal is to repair the appliance wherever possible, the retailer’s partnership allows them to handle situations where repair is not feasible.

In such cases, the retailer can promptly assist customers in finding a suitable replacement, demonstrating their commitment to customer service and convenience.

By maintaining a relationship with customers post-sale, independent retailers can establish themselves as a trusted and reliable source within the community.

This “one-stop shop” approach not only enhances the retailer’s reputation but also fosters customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Second-hand appliance challenges

The second-hand market for appliances is diverse, including various channels such as manufacturers, mainstream retailers, charity shops, online platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, and independent businesses.

This variety can make it challenging for consumers to ensure the safety and reliability of their purchases.

Manufacturers and some retailers offer refurbished products with warranties, ensuring thorough safety checks and functionality.

Some manufacturers, including Beko Plc, partner with refurbishing firms, including charities like Salvation Army, to guarantee minimum standards and safety.

Failed products are responsibly recycled, while those passing inspections are sold through charity stores, providing a sustainable and affordable option for consumers.

In addition to repairs, the availability of second-life or refurbished appliances presents an excellent opportunity for independent retailers to diversify their revenue streams.

By offering these products, retailers can assist consumers in making informed decisions and mitigate the perceived risks associated with purchasing second-hand items.

Enhancing sustainability credentials

The increasing popularity of second-hand appliances presents opportunities for cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

Consumers are increasingly seeking affordable alternatives amidst rising living expenses, making buying second-hand or repairing existing appliances an attractive option.

Additionally, the rise of second-hand appliances aligns with consumer values towards sustainability, as it reduces waste and minimises the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing new products.

Independent retailers can source second-hand or refurbished appliances from reputable suppliers, many of whom provide warranties for these products.

By acquiring such items, retailers can present them to customers as a reliable and cost-effective alternative to brand-new appliances.

Manufacturers themselves may sell these products directly or facilitate connections between independent retailers and refurbishment organisations they collaborate with.

While the cosmetic condition of these appliances may vary, they all undergo thorough testing to ensure they meet minimum standards.

This guarantees that customers receive products that have been fully inspected and meet the required quality benchmarks.

Regardless of the source, it is essential to register the purchased product with the manufacturer to stay informed about any recalls or modifications.

Manufacturers offer free modifications for potential safety issues, even for second-hand purchases. They can also provide instruction books, assistance, and usage advice to consumers.

This provides a further opportunity for the independent retailer to offer a service to the consumer and to build the relationship.