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Sales tips

10 reasons to target recycling

reduce their environmental impact – recycling, refurbishing and reselling is one of the quickest and most cost-effective means of doing so.


Why device recycling and trade-in revenue is ready for the taking





Reducing price panic One of the biggest barriers to a sale for retail staff can be the price of a desired device and/or contract. By offering a recycling service, staff can help to overcome what may otherwise end a customer interaction. O2’s head of franchise and store operations, Martin Jordan, explains that its recycling service ‘helps from a commercial standpoint as it helps to offset upfront costs of a tariff or handset and customers can buy accessories. They can also recycle for data.’


Increasing footfall A report on mobile device trade-ins by Connected World Services suggests that providing a trade-in scheme for customers increases in-store footfall and brings in new customer segments who wouldn’t otherwise visit. The value in this is the potential to drive a rivals’ customers into store, providing the opportunities to engage and sell to consumers outside of the existing base.


WEEE compliance Most companies have an environmental policy and all must adhere to the government’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations (2013). These EU-driven regulations are fast changing, with an update coming into force in 2019. Advising and helping SME clients to comply with these improves both relationships and ARPU. As Bamboo Distribution described recently: ‘By recycling handsets deemed as waste, organisations can reduce their carbon footprint and put themselves in a much better position to achieve key performance indicators related to energy efficiency and performance.’ December 2016


Data safety A Channel 4 news investigation in 2014 found that CEX and Cash Converters were failing to completely wipe previous user data from devices. For businesses looking to trade in devices, this could cause security and data protection issues. Describing its role in helping businesses to solve these issues, IT Reverse said in a statement: ‘In line with strict government legislation, top corporate firms are increasingly relying upon ICT Reverse for the safe removal and management of all data-bearing assets (including PCs, laptops and mobile phones).’

Ethics A report this year by Greenpeace East Asia placed the blame for the three million metric tonnes of small electronic device waste per year squarely at the feet of manufacturers for ‘releasing too many new models’, but what about the retailers who sell them? The industry’s top five high street retailers have all pledged to

Increasing product lifecycles, both through customers switching to SIM-only after 24 months and through hand-me-down handsets, denies retailers the chance to sell both devices and airtime. By retaining brand ownership of an existing customer’s recycling, a retailer gets two opportunities they would otherwise miss. The first when the customer trades up their handset with their existing provider rather than elsewhere, and the second is to sell airtime with the next buyer of the traded-in device.

Complementary to

8. repair services

When Carphone Warehouse announced its goal of generating £1 billion of business from tech services in July of this year, part of this was an expansion of the company’s in-store repairs program. Coupled with the ability to trade in broken devices at the point of repair, the company can maximise its conversion of those customers coming in with broken handsets.

High Margin The average used handset price in the UK increased from around £23 in 2007 to around £130 in 2013 according to Deloitte, which made mobile recycling growth a key prediction for 2016. A refurbished Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is sold by envirophone for £319.99 while the same devices are bought by the brand for £200. Redeem CEO Paul Addams comments: ‘Mobile network operators and other international companies are investing heavily in device recommerce, confirming that this is an innovative and fast-growth sector where there is the opportunity to expand the market.’

Hamper hand-me-downs


All to play for The UK has one of the highest mobile device recycling rates in the world at 35-45% according to Redeem CCO Mark Roberts. But still, with an average upgrade cycle of 23 months and 71% of adults in the UK having a smartphone, that’s more than 20 million redundant devices each year that aren’t being re-sold, putting a conservative estimate of the untapped market at £2.6 billion.

Keeping up with the

10. Joneses

Failure to provide a recycling service, whether to business or consumer users means customers will be forced to go elsewhere for this service. This hands customer interaction opportunities over to rivals, potentially increasing customer churn and making customers less likely to consider a brand for additional services in the future.

Mobile December 2016  
Mobile December 2016