Vodafone has been selling end-of-the-line models and surplus stock on eBay, in an attempt to recoup its costs. The mobile giant claims the tactic has resulted in record sales of older handsets.
Traditionally, Vodafone has sold the goods through retailers or to third-party repair dealers for spares. But these sales channels typically recoup just 30 per cent of a handset’s cost price.
Using eBay, Vodafone is now seeing purchase prices of at least double that achieved via the spares market, and significantly higher than through retail outlets. It says purchase prices are now 60-70% of cost price.
Vodafone’s handset range changes every quarter and depreciation is fast. A phone on sale for &£100 at launch will typically command just &£50 three months later.
Vodafone liquidation manager Simon Griffiths says: “We really needed to initiate a new way to move these less fashionable handsets quickly with maximum returns. The spares market is unpredictable and can often reach saturation, and the retail environment doesn’t favour older handsets.”