60% of Romanians are willing to buy a refurbished smartphone


60% of Romanians are willing to buy a refurbished smartphone


Recommerce©, a European leader in the trade-in and refurbishment of high-tech devices, presents the results of its third annual survey, The Second-Hand Cell Phone Market, conducted by KANTAR in over 12 European countries, including Romania.

As the refurbishment market continues to expand, with more than 309 million refurbished smartphones sold worldwide in 2023 according to IDC, Recommerce© releases its findings on the second-hand market and consumer habits in Romania, as well as the major trends forecast for this sector.

Romanians are among the most eager Europeans to buy a refurbished smartphone – a demand primarily driven by the desire to save money.

In 2023, 3% of Romanians purchased a refurbished device. The size of the refurbished smartphone market is on the rise locally, with more than 60% of Romanians expressing interest in buying a refurbished handset.

The main incentive for Romanians to purchase a refurbished smartphone is cost, cited by 70% of consumers — an increase of 2 points compared to 2022.

This trend is consistent across Europe, with an average of 67% of consumers mentioning lower prices, amid the context of rising inflation. Meanwhile, the desire for high-end models is cited by 40% of consumers (+5%), and still outweighs environmental considerations.

Against this economic backdrop, with the latest models costing up to €1,000, refurbished phones are a budget-friendly option, with prices up to 50% lower than for new devices, on average.

In Romania, eco-consciousness is a growing trend, with over 30% of consumers (+3 points) aiming to have a positive environmental impact while purchasing a product.

Online platforms remain the predominant choice for purchasing refurbished smartphones, favored by 80% of consumers, the highest rate across European countries. More consumers – 44% – are choosing to buy from telecom operators, an increase of 5 points.

More Romanians intend to resell their used smartphone rather than keep it

With inflation and purchasing power hot topics, Romanians are increasingly aware of the option to resell their smartphones. A significant 35% of respondents voiced the intention to resell their current mobile handset, marking an 8 points increase in 2023 on the year before.

The proportion of Romanian consumers planning to keep their old phone for future needs has dropped to 28%, a decrease of 3 points. This shift indicates a unique trend among Romanians, mirroring behaviors seen in more mature markets such as France, where the propensity to resell smartphones exceeds the tendency to hold onto them for potential need — a contrast to the prevailing sentiment in the other surveyed countries, where 39% of consumers, on average, prefer to hold onto their smartphones as a precaution.

Some 33% of Romanians have resolved to give their old phones away, while 7% plan to recycle them.

„There is a noticeable trend towards eco-friendly driven purchasing behavior in Romania. More than ever, our company is committed to fostering this transition towards a sustainable smartphone market, while offering consumers a budget-friendly option,” said Hector Destailleur, General Manager of Recommerce Group for Eastern Europe.

“Our refurbished smartphones are an increasingly appealing option to smart buyers. In 2023 alone, we sold over 30,000 refurbished smartphones in the region. From Romania, we expanded to Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and Slovenia — with more countries to come soon. We’re planning to post at least 30% growth in 2024,” added Grégoire Vigroux, Co-Founder & Senior Advisor, Recommerce Eastern Europe.

KANTAR methodology: Online survey conducted from January 11 to 15, 2024, on 7,750 individuals in 12 countries – France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Portugal and Ireland – aged 16 to 65 and representative of individuals living in each country.

About Recommerce Group:

Recommerce Group© is the European pioneer in the refurbishment of high-tech products, particularly smartphones. Founded in 2009, Recommerce buys used equipment, offers software and application trade-in solutions to retailers, individuals and companies, and refurbishes and resells reconditioned equipment, including smartphones and games consoles.

The company distributes its refurbished products under the “Recommerce©” brand name, and sells them on www.recommerce-group.com/en/ as well as in many European countries via distributors and telecom operators. As part of its commitment to the circular and responsible economy, the company promotes the recovery and reuse of equipment through the application of artificial intelligence technologies in the industrial sector.

Recommerce© has established itself as one of Europe’s leaders in the refurbishment and resale of high-tech products. Recommerce is part of the Next 40 promotion 2020 and the French Tech 120 promotion 2021 and 2022, is certified ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 27001 by DNV and is labelled RecQ – ReConditionnement de Qualité, the first European label certifying the quality of the end product by DEKRA Certification, as well as rated Gold by Ecovadis for its CSR policy.

The French company has been present in Romania since it acquired Romanian startup Fenix, in June 2021.

For further information, please visit: www.recommerce-group.com/en/.


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