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Second Hand Electronics Import/Export in India


Introduction: Second Hand Electronics

The second-hand electronics market is booming these days. It is all about selling used electronic stuff like phones, laptops, and gaming consoles. People who want to save money or be more eco-friendly can find good deals here. Some platforms even offer warranties as you get with new counterparts. This is helping more people see that buying second-hand can be just as good as buying new, and it is better for the environment too. This presents a significant opportunity for those looking to venture into the import and export of second-hand electronics, given the increasing demand and untapped potential in the country. A streamlined and efficient platform for trading pre-owned electronic goods could not only meet this demand but also contribute to a more sustainable marketplace.

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Demand for Second Hand Electronics

The churn rate is extremely high, notably in smartphones, which are replaced every fifteen months on average. Companies like Cashify, Hyper Change, and Yaantra are filling a gap in the industry. A significant number of people have used gadgets. Consumers want to upgrade their gadgets frequently as technology evolves with new features and greater specifications. Refurbished smartphones appeal to a large proportion of first-time purchasers moving from a feature phone to a smartphone. Students and technophiles who like to change their gadgets frequently will get more bang for their buck by purchasing refurbished items rather than new ones. Before concluding its product life cycle, every smartphone is intended to pass through three hands.

Market Potential of Second Hand Electronics

According to a Deloitte report, the used smartphone market is expected to develop at a rate of 4-5 times faster than the overall smartphone market. On the one hand, there is an enormous untapped supply of used smartphones being replaced. On the other hand, because India is such a value-conscious market, there is a significant unmet need for good-condition equipment at reduced prices from a reliable source with quality assurance. There is currently no existing brand in India that has been able to develop a mental space among this segment's consumers.

Challenges in Second Hand Electronics Industry

The Second Hand Electronics Industry is also facing some major challenges. Some of the major challenges faced by the entrepreneurs in the Second Hand Electronics Market are as follows-

  • The e-commerce sector's fundamental difficulty is that it is largely unstructured.
  • The concept of refurbished electronics is still relatively new, and most people are unfamiliar with the term refurbished.
  • The majority of Indians are used to dealing with unorganised players who lack transparency, have limited selection and availability, provide no quality assurance or warranty, and are unclear about the gadget's authenticity.
  • Fake or stolen electronics are frequently sold to unsuspecting clients.
  • The majority of secondary transactions are carried out by unorganised offline dealers scattered around the country.
  • This industry, particularly in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, has a sizable market.
  • Every metro has a second-hand grey market where second-hand electronics can be purchased.
  • The majority of these are well known for smuggled products.
  • The fragmented supply chain and reverse logistics have been another stumbling block to this industry's progress thus far.

Overcoming the Challenges Faced by Second Hand Electronics Businesses

However, with the rise of organised retail and the internet, this is changing. With the growing popularity of e-commerce among end-users who yearn for the almost new, the industry has an enormous opportunity to organise this disorganised market. The expansion of India's overall ecosystem means that this unorganised sector will inevitably be disrupted. Focused execution is the most critical quality necessary to take advantage of this opportunity.

To flourish in this industry, operational efficiency, ecosystem alliances, and efficient use of technology are essential to converge trust, convenience, and value for money for consumers. Given the massive growth of the e-commerce sector in India in the next few years, it appears probable that pure recommence brands will emerge, associated with second-hand and refurbished electronics. This is already happening in the used vehicle market. Brands that are focusing on new items will have a harder time making the same impression because their primary focus will be on the new products.

Future Prospects of Second Hand Electronics Market

India now has the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world. Only 300 million people use smartphones out of nearly a billion people who own a phone. In India, the smartphone e-commerce sector is estimated to be worth more than $100 million. Recommence will likely play a key role in bridging the 700 million-strong digital divide. Education, healthcare, and financial services are all being transformed by technology. The smartphone, the catalyst for change, will be the major medium via which this technology will be accessed by millions. Recommence has the potential to bridge the digital divide in India between those with and without access to technology, while reducing e-waste and helping to save the environment.

Import of Second Hand Electronic Goods

The Government of India has mandated that importing used or refurbished electronics and IT goods be first registered with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Imports of these commodities are permitted under the Electronics and IT Goods (Requirement of Compulsory Registration) Order 2012, which requires registration with the BIS or a particular exemption letter from the Ministry of IT and Electronics (MeitY).

DGFT Notification Regarding the Second Hand Electronic Compliance

According to the notification from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), imports of goods, whether new or used, are not allowed unless they are registered with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and follow the labelling rules set by the BIS, which can change over time. Without this registration, either the importer will have to re-export the goods or the customs authorities will destroy them and treat them as scrap. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has also emphasized the need for strict compliance, affirming that any used or refurbished electronic goods lacking valid BIS registration will face re-exportation by the importer, or they will be destroyed by customs as scrap.

In addition, the notification modifies the Foreign Trade Policy section on Second-hand Capital Goods. Desktop computers, refurbished electronic parts of personal computers, including laptops, and all electronic and IT goods notified by the Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirement of Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012, will henceforth be allowed subject to authorization.

Categories of Second Hand Electronic Goods

To facilitate compliance, Second Hand Electronic Goods are categorised into three types. These different types of Second Hand Electronic Goods are as follows-

  • Used Electronic Items

If someone sells their electronic goods directly to some second-hand consumer without any change then it will be considered a second-hand electronic product. Because they have not been checked and the vendor cannot risk issuing a long warranty. Second Hand Products frequently come with no or a short guarantee. End-users frequently sell used devices on platforms like eBay.

  • Outdated Electronic Items

Outdated electronic items are older devices that have become obsolete due to technological advancements. They typically lack the capabilities and features of more modern counterparts, prompting their replacement in the market.

  • Refurbished

Refurbished items are thoroughly checked for quality and operation, with parts replaced or repaired as needed. The gadget is then cleaned and the data is removed. The software has been upgraded to the most recent version. New accessories are frequently offered as well, but the most significant change is the guarantee. Refurbished devices often come with a three-month warranty, but are refurbished. Store products come with up to a three-year warranty.

Requirements for Importing Second Hand Electronic Goods in India

Businesses importing second-hand electronic devices need to get the following certifications before they can be distributed in the market and made available to customers-

  • BIS Registration

BIS Certification is a way of providing a third-party guarantee of reliability, safety and quality of products to the customer. The government of India has made BIS CRS certification compulsory for a few products taking into consideration public health and safety. BIS CRS Certification is issued in India by the Bureau of Indian Standards. BIS has been successfully promoting and maintaining International standards within the country. The Bureau of Indian Standards is involved in different activities like standard formulation, certification of products, system certifications, hallmarking, laboratory services, registration scheme and more.

  • MoEFCC No-objection Certificate

Importers of electrical and electronic equipment, spare parts, instruments, and other items must obtain an NOC from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) before customs clearance to confirm their End-Use and whether they constitute E-Waste or not. The nature and kind of commodities, as well as the residual life of the equipment, must be declared by the recommendations of the customs circular on HAZARDOUS WASTE (Management, Handling, and Transportation boundary) Rules, 2008. The importer receives the NOC from MOEF after submitting a convincing and acceptable Report to MoEFCC. The clearance is started with the customs authority based on this NOC.


In summary, the second-hand electronics market in India is rapidly expanding, yet it grapples with challenges stemming from its unorganised structure. Despite a burgeoning demand for affordable electronic goods and the presence of key players like Cashify and Yaantra, the lack of transparent processes and quality assurance hinders the sector's growth. However, the potential for organised retail and e-commerce platforms presents a promising avenue for market development, necessitating strict adherence to regulatory frameworks like BIS registration and labelling standards. Prioritising eco-friendly practices and e-waste management is crucial for sustainable growth and environmental preservation. By following these guidelines, the second-hand electronics industry can bridge the digital divide, cater to the value-conscious market, and contribute significantly to India's economic and technological advancement, fostering a more inclusive and empowered society.

BIS Registration

Team Corpseed will help your organization to draft and file application to BIS for grant of registration/certification. BIS has been providing safe reliable quality goods, minimizing health hazards to consumers.

Hazardous Waste Management Authorization

Hazardous Waste Management Rules are notified to ensure safe handling , generation, processing, treatment, package, storage, transportation, use reprocessing, collection, conversion, destruction and disposal of Hazardous Waste. Get authorization from concerened authorities with us.

DGFT License

Corpseed will be liaising partners for your import/export license requirement and policy/procedures. We can handhold you through the complete licensing formalities with the Director General Foreign Trade (DGFT).

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.


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I have worked for many internet blog pages and news portals. currently, I am working as a content writer for Corpseed Pvt. Ltd. I like to write blogs and articles in the field of different services.

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