If the mobile market has shown us anything, it’s that phones are living longer and longer. No, this doesn’t mean flip phones with green screens are making a comeback. But it does mean that in today’s technology world, it’s not one and done for cell phones when it comes to owners. 

A growth trend

Let’s start with trends in 2017, 2018, and 2019
2017 saw total trade-in and buyback value at $2.15 billion, meaning this is the amount that was returned to customers that year. With a 4.8% increase, 2018 came in at $2.26 billion for the same programs. And up 4.7% from that came 2019, with $2.37 billion returning to the hands of consumers. The healthiest quarters each year were Q1 and Q4: 

2018 2019
Q1: $415 million Q1: $527 million
Q4: $744 million Q4: $758 million

Age ain’t nothing but a number, indeed. 

We’ve all heard the adage, 40 is the new 30. Well in cell phone years, 3 is the new 2. In recent years, the trade-in age for phones has gone from 2.5 years in 2017 to currently surpassing the 3-year mark. And even though consumers are holding on to their devices longer—and that goes for Android as well as Apple devices—the trade-in value is still increasing year over year.

A win-win-win… win. 

So, who benefits from this growth? As it turns out, everyone involved. Whether you’re a consumer, a reseller, or an OEM, the secondary mobile market has plenty to give to everyone involved. As promotional offers reel in consumers who have had their phones for one or two years to purchase the newest device, their not-so-old phones will go back to be remarketed, which will then bring those devices to consumers looking to score a perfectly good smartphone that’s not necessarily brand new. And, everyone benefits:

  • Consumers looking to upgrade their devices can do so 
  • Those who want something newer can get it 
  • Carriers can resell devices 
  • OEMs can continue developing new models

The best part? Everything leads back to a more sustainable model: fostering a healthy secondary market is pivotal to the growth of the circular economy.

As trade-in rates rise, large carriers and OEMs are moving more devices through B2B resale channels than ever before. One such channel is B-Stock. The world’s largest wireless manufacturers, carriers, and trade-in companies are currently leveraging our B2B marketplace platform for their trade-in and excess mobile devices and accessories. Across our network, more than 3 million phones and 5 million accessories are sold annually.

Visit our mobile sourcing page for a look at our 10+ marketplaces. And for more information on selling via our mobile marketplace platform, please download our Mobile Brochure


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