Mobile phone retailers and contract providers Vodafone (who also dabble in the art of own-brand tablet computer sales) have revealed a new scheme in their home UK market, planning to offer discounted second-hand sets on monthly or pay-as-you-go (PAYG) contracts under the description of ‘nearly new’ smartphones.
The company, who are mainly targeting PAYG users that have not yet advanced to a newer device, claim that it is a move to make the market: “more affordable for customers to get their hands on a smartphone”.
The ‘Nearly New’ range is to consist of handsets that are returned in ‘very good condition’ by previous Vodafone customers. After undergoing checks and a full security/memory wipe, the products are repackaged and placed back on shelves with the correct accessories.
Vodafone note that the items and prices on offer will vary depending on supply and demand, but note that customers can buy a ‘Nearly New’ 8GB iPhone 4 for £250 PAYG, in direct comparison to the £405 for the same device offered new and online. Another pre-owned item on offer is a ‘Nearly New’ Samsung Galaxy S3 at £33-per-month unlimited contract, compared with £37 for the deal with a brand new version. The company are attempting to feels that the chief benefit of its scheme is that PAYG Nearly New phones come with a 12-month warranty, and pay-monthly phones have a 24-month warranty.
A spokesperson said of the benefits of getting a cheaper connected handset: “Nearly New is designed to make it even more affordable for people, especially those who prefer pay-as-you-go services, to get their hands on a smartphone and start using the mobile internet. It is part of our ambition to get the internet into the hands of our customers. It follows the changes we have already made to the way we sell new devices – such as refurbishing our shops to focus on service and introducing our Tech Team of in-store, online and call centre technical support staff – to ensure that we help our customers get the most out of their new gadget.”
For PAYG products, all Vodafone stores are now offering ‘Nearly New’ deals, with the online version for PAYG launched next week, while offers for phones with monthly contracts are set to also come into play online and in selected branches. It is an unusual definition to use, but could ‘Nearly New’ become a new marketing craze as retailers look to make second-hand goods more attractive by name?