In the lifecycle of electronics, there is much discussion and buzz focused on the proper recycling of e-waste, when a product, device, or component is no longer needed. However, there is limited debate on the topic of extending a devices lifecycle through reuse, helping to drive a circular economy model, which can lead to a reduction in the e-waste stream.

What is a Circular Economy?
linear-modelThe consumption model we are all accustomed to today is linear, where electronic products are created, consumed, and then discarded in the form of e-waste. In a circular economy, electronic products are kept in use as long as possible through refurbishment, reuse, or remanufacturing. At some point, electronics will eventually meet the end of their useful life and need to be recycled. However, if we can extend that lifecycle through reuse into different applications, then we can ultimately reduce demand to create new equipment. This leads to less consumption of natural resources and energy required to produce new devices. Plus, by prolonging the life of equipment, we get more from the initial energy and raw materials that were used in the devices original creation, making the initial resource investment more sustainable.

For over 20 years, CNE has been involved in supporting the circular economy by identifying new opportunities and markets for used and refurbished electronic equipment. For example, for technology that is no longer considered “cutting edge” for use at the business level, the previous generation technology is more than sufficient for a consumer application and/or for product repairs. This approach to reuse is supported by many commodity brokers where items are tested, repackaged and sold in bulk to resellers and repair shops.

Ecommerce and a circular economy
So how does ecommerce further support a circular economy? It’s simple, the use of ecommerce creates new sales channels, allowing for a larger audience to have the ability to purchase refurbished and used electronics direct without a middleman. Ecommerce channels include leveraging affiliate programs for well know websites like Amazon, eBay, Newegg, Back Market and more, where anyone can purchase a refurbished device. Utilizing a brokerage only model limits the opportunity to reach a greater audience with reuse opportunities, where quantities are mostly sold in bulk.

CNE utilizes a hybrid model that leverages both ecommerce and wholesale for the resale of refurbished and used electronic equipment. This approach ultimately presents customers with a deeper distribution channel while presenting the best opportunities to recover value.

What approach is the best for your business?
The needs of each business are different. Contact us to have a CNE expert provide a data-driven market analysis to determine the best approach to remarket your used equipment.