New research from Vodafone UK shows that in the last six month, almost one fifth (19%) of Brits have traded in items for cash or upgrades, with almost one third of this group having traded in items for the first time. A total of 9.7 million people traded in items, up 72% from last year, with the most popular item to trade in being mobile phones.
Vodafone conducted the research to promote its new “unbeatable trade in-offer,” which guarantees customers the best price for their current smartphones when using the Trade In Tool in the Vodafone app. The research shows that trade-in is becoming firmly established in the UK, with only 18% of Brits never having traded in an item before.
Recent reports have shown that global smartphone sales have taken a hit, as customers hold on to their devices for longer and newer flagship smartphone models grow more expensive. Given this environment, the trade-in model provides an alternative to trying to convince customers to buy new devices outright.
Similar to offering customers device deals for signing up for service, mobile operators can use the trade-in to get customers into a new device, bundled along with a new service plan. Given the increased prices of newer smartphones, this model has the added benefit of allowing customers to use the value of their existing device, which they have already paid for, to significantly offset the cost of a newer, more expensive device.
The research by Vodafone shows that the trade-in model, most commonly associated with the US market, is already becoming more mainstream in the UK, with more than two thirds of Brits expecting to trade in their current device to save money on their next mobile phone. These results also suggest the continued growth of the trade-in model for smartphone sales going forward. Given its expansion thus far, we expect to see more operators in developed markets expanding to the trade-in model in the months ahead.