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How to sell pre-owned products online: A guide

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Guide to selling pre-owned items online

Selling pre-owned products and buying second-hand or refurbished items is increasingly common among Italians, especially online (source: BVA Doxa).

Shopping and consumption habits during and after the pandemic have changed profoundly among users, due also to the decline in income of many consumer categories. This is no longer a horizontal phenomenon involving only private individuals; even stores with an online presence have begun to sell used or refurbished items through apps and websites to ensure greater savings for Italians, encourage the reuse of second-hand items and thus promote environmental sustainability.

The second-hand economy is also a way to give new value to things.
Although in terms of selling the main reason is the need to get rid of unwanted items (76%), 42% of Italians sell because they believe in reuse and are therefore against waste. (source: BVA Doxa)
According to a 2019 statistical survey conducted by DOXA, a leading Italian company in the market research sector, the second-hand economy in Italy generated €24 billion, or 1.3% of Italian GDP.

Selling pre-owned or refurbished products online has never been easier. Thanks to the easy-to-use online pre-owned market and an ever-expanding range of options, everyone can easily sell pre-owned items and products to a huge potential market.

Why choose refurbished products?

In the pre-owned product market, the refurbished segment has seen particular growth in the last five years. Online sellers have become specialised in the refurbishment process, which includes a diagnostic test, the replacement of any defective parts, a thorough cleaning and inspection process, the repackaging of the product and the final sale of used, like-new products. These are the specific reasons and benefits encouraging online users to buy refurbished products online.
Globe
Sustainability
The circular economy is an extraordinary strategic lever for protecting the planet.
Savings
Savings
1. The second-hand market enables you to have the lifestyle you want by reducing purchase costs.
2. Buying and selling used is also good for the wallet. Refurbished products are put on the market at lower prices, with savings of 30% compared to new. (source: Mondoffice)

Here are the main advantages associated with the purchase of refurbished items.
  • Branded and fully functional
  • Equipped with the latest-generation operating system
  • Covered by at least one year’s warranty
  • Sold at a competitive price
  • High performance
Refurbished products are also good for the environment. According to a study by McMaster University, smartphones have become the most harmful products for the environment since 2020 not only because of the hard-to-recycle technological waste produced, but also because of the impact of emissions generated during production. As it stands, 85% of greenhouse gases produced by smartphones are generated during their production cycle, particularly for motherboards and the various chips.

The purchase and sale of refurbished products encourages the circular economy, reduces the environmental impact and protects the environment. Bear in mind that according to an estimate based on the data provided by manufacturers, a refurbished smartphone avoids the release on average of 80 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. (source: ESG News)

The decision to focus on the second-hand economy therefore becomes increasingly more important

due to the personal, environmental and social advantages it offers. In addition, reducing one's ecological footprint has become an even more important issue for 56% of the population globally since the pandemic – this percentage rises to 68% in Italy. The younger generations in Italy are also highly concerned about environmental matters. This is reflected in fashion, for example, in the choice of vintage garments or those made with organic fabrics, and in the wine sector, in particular in natural wines. This is a trend that continues to grow. (source: Edelman)
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What categories of refurbished items can I sell online?

The categories of pre-owned products most sold online by Italians include: Home and Personal (63%), Electronics (47%), Sports and Hobbies (46%) and Vehicles (22%), whereas for the Amazon Renewed programme, the main categories are (source: BVA Doxa):
Automatic VAT invoicing growth chart icon
Smartphones
VAT-exclusive price display
Video cameras
Business pricing and quantity discounts
Video games
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Headphones
VAT-exclusive price display
Automotive
Business pricing and quantity discounts
Musical instruments
Automatic VAT invoicing growth chart icon
Smart home
VAT-exclusive price display
Home and kitchen
Business pricing and quantity discounts
Home entertainment
Automatic VAT invoicing growth chart icon
Sports and outdoor activities
VAT-exclusive price display
Miscellaneous equipment
Business pricing and quantity discounts
Office products

How to sell pre-owned products online

The best way to sell pre-owned products is to scrupulously comply with the online platform's requirements and all the expectations of the buyer, whatever the type of item. Specifically, there are three different types of pre-owned product.
Icône : Félicitations

Refurbished products

In other words, items that are restored as new. These are items that have small defects that are subsequently resolved, or those that are sold and then returned.
Icône : Pour les vendeurs partenaires Amazon

Pre-owned products

In other words, lightly used items. These can only be sold if they are in good condition and if they meet the online store’s requirements.
Icône : Après cela, pourquoi ne pas se développer

Open-box products

Open-box products are unused but the package has been opened. This is the best product group for selling.

The numbers speak for themselves

More and more companies are building online platforms to encourage the purchase and sale of pre-owned and refurbished products. (source: ilsole24ore). To make the purchasing process intuitive, efficient and affordable for all, these companies have built several apps to continuously improve the online buying and selling service. Amazon has also launched the now well-known Amazon Renewed programme.

The first 90 days of selling on Amazon are especially important. This is when you establish marketing practices, pricing and order management. In other words, you're laying the foundation for the success of your online store. There are five things that you can leverage during this initial period: Brand Registry, A+ Content, Fulfilment by Amazon, Automatic Pricing and Advertising. By taking full advantage of each of these, you can achieve what we call the Perfect Launch.

To help new selling partners achieve this goal, we offer incentives including a 5% bonus on the first €900,000 of branded sales and 90 days of free storage for 50 product units. Learn more about how to sell more with Amazon.
3. Prévoyez l’expédition de vos commandes
4. La vente en ligne dans les règles

Sites for selling pre-owned products

Amazon Renewed is the best way to buy or sell all kinds of pre-owned products online. With Amazon Renewed, you can earn and save, reach a wide customer audience and counter global phenomena such as inflation and loss of purchasing power.

Selling online: Selling Partner requirements

Stores and private users can sell refurbished products online in compliance with certain key requirements, mainly to protect buyers, including (source: Lawgeek):
  • Possession of a VAT number
  • Detailed list of delivery costs
  • Compliance with the GDPR with regard to personal data
  • Clarity of sales contracts
  • Observance of delivery times (30 days from order)
  • Warranty and returns of used items
  • Compliance with Italian cookie law

How to make pre-owned products more attractive

Most people are still not convinced about buying pre-owned products because they think that the products are of lower quality or lower performance. When it comes to educating and attracting customers, it's really important to consider the images and wording used, and to make sure that the information published is accurate and detailed.

Transparency

Transparency on the product refurbishment process and detailed descriptions.

Product

Quality photos and detailed product descriptions are key for managing buyer expectations.

Language

This must be understandable but precise, in line with the product and type of user.

Frequently asked questions and answers

Want to know how to sell on Amazon as a private individual?
You don't need to be a company to sell online. Individuals can also sell products on Amazon with a limit of 35 items per month. Here's everything you need.
  • Business email address or Amazon customer account
  • Credit card (including international)
  • Valid passport or ID card (identity check protects sellers and customers)
  • Company information, including VAT number
Check out our Beginner's guide to selling and start selling.
How do I sell my pre-owned mobile phone?
To get the best possible result, follow these simple steps before selling your pre-owned mobile phone.
  • Assess its condition, perform a diagnostic test, repair faults and replace any necessary parts
  • Back up your data
  • Erase all your personal information from the phone and perform a reset
  • Disassemble the phone to clean it
  • Repair damaged parts, such as chipped screens and dented cases
  • Repair the battery or replace it with a new one
  • Compliance with Italian cookie law
The refurbishment process is complete. Find out more here about all the steps required to sell your refurbished mobile phone.
How do you define a refurbished product?
In order for an item to fall into the refurbished category, it must comply with a specific process that involves testing, the repair of damaged components, thorough cleaning and internal inspection and repackaging. All this will allow you to list an item that will appear as good as new. Visit the Amazon Renewed page and find out everything you need to know.
Which products can I sell online?
A: Amazon Renewed offers different selling plans for different types of items: open-box products, pre-owned products and refurbished products.

Visit Amazon and find out all the details of our selling plans.
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