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    Classified will call back // Avito launches buying phones from its users

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    Avito enters the secondary smartphone market. The company launched a buyout from its users of phones, which it will repair and resell itself, supplying its own warranty. The Pedant phone repair service became a partner of the project. Avito is entering the competitive segment – this year all major telecom operators have started reselling used phones, following electronics retailers. According to experts, traffic on the platform can become an advantage of the classification, but they doubt that it will be able to organize a mass purchase of devices and offer favorable prices.

    Avito launches the purchase of smartphones from private users of its service for subsequent resale a guarantee from three months to a year, Kommersant was told in the company. Avito’s partner is the Pedant repair service, which evaluates and services devices (checking, diagnosing, as well as repairing and eliminating defects). Commercial terms of cooperation are not disclosed. In the future, it is planned to expand the number of partners, clarified in Avito. A user who wants to sell a smartphone to a classifier can independently bring it to one of the service centers or call a Pedant employee to himself. The cost of the device is determined after verification.

    Sales of smartphones on Avito in September increased by 35% compared to the same period last year, the service specified. In general, for the year, the number of classified ads for the sale of smartphones increased by 39% over the year. Avito hopes that the phone buyback project will activate the “sleeping sellers” segment (who are not ready to sell their gadgets to private buyers, meet with them, bargain), the company says. They specify that since September, the redemption of smartphones is available in large cities where Pedant is present. The founder of the service, Roman Persianov, specified that the company has more than 400 points in 150 cities of the country. Yula, another free ad service, declined to comment on the prospects for launching such a project.

    This year, electronics retailers and mobile operators began to actively enter the secondary smartphone market through trade-in exchange for a discount when buying a new one). The repurchase and resale of used smartphones was launched in April by Svyaznoy and MegaFon, and in May by MTS. In August, Vimpelcom launched a similar project in its retail network. Previously, cellular retailers (MTS, MegaFon, Vimpelcom) bought used smartphones only under the trade-in program, but did not resell.

    The existing range of new gadgets in various price categories did not allow any one retailer in recent years to build an effective business on the resale of used devices, according to a Kommersant source in the industry. Avito enters an already overheated market with a standard offer, noted independent expert Sergey Vilyanov: “Classified has an advantage over other players – a large-scale sales platform, but it will be problematic to build a mass buyout of devices.”

    Avito will not compete with its own clients – private sellers and buyers, the platform will offer them an additional service – repairs and a guarantee, Boris Ovchinnikov, Data Insight partner, believes. The demand for the service will depend on the difference between the purchase or sale price offered by Pedant and the price of a direct deal between two private traders, the expert added.

    Avito will be able to take a significant share of the secondary smartphone market only if it offers favorable prices for gadget sellers, says TelecomDaily CEO Denis Kuskov. With the entry into the segment of used devices of large participants, the market becomes more systemic, and the conditions on it become more transparent, he believes. According to the expert, over the past seven months, this market has grown by 70% in the number of offers. This, in his opinion, is due to a reduction in the range and a decrease in real incomes of Russians. In summer, the demand for used smartphones, according to retailers, more than doubled, their sales increased by an average of 50% (see Kommersant of July 22). At the same time, sales of new devices fell by 35% year-on-year in units and by 38% in money terms.

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