Vodafone hopes its new trade-in tool will encourage more people to recycle their old smartphones and upgrade to newer handsets and lengthier contracts.
The market for phone recycling and recycling has grown significantly in recent years, driven by both environmental concerns and the rising cost of flagship devices.
Many customers want to save money by part-exchanging their old devices, while others see second-hand devices as a cost-effective way to acquire new technology. For operators and manufacturers, trade-in programmes are increasingly important way of driving sales – especially at a time when users are holding onto their handsets for longer.
However, Vodafone says 88% of Brits have never traded in a device and 4.2 million have put one directly in the general waste bin. This trend is not only harmful to the environment, it means £6.9 million in potential savings has literally been thrown away.
One challenge is that many consumers drastically undervalue their old phones. For example, 28% think an iPhone X is worth less than £100, but the current market value is £220. Others are concerned about security and privacy, while there is also a lack of trusts in quotes received in the past.
Vodafone’s tool, accessible via the MyVodafone app, hopes to streamline the process and alleviate these concerns. The tool assesses device eligibility within minutes and provides a guaranteed trade-in price that is applied against the customer’s first bill.
Non-Vodafone customers can also participate, with the company looking to attract new subscribers to its network.
“With our new, market-leading trade-in tool we’re fixing what has previously put people off trading-in,” said Max Taylor, consumer director at Vodafone UK. “We have made the process quick and easy and will guarantee the saving you will make upfront. At a time when looking after your money is more important than ever, we can help customers still get their hands on the latest tech and unlock substantial savings.”
The scheme is only open to the iPhone X, XS, XR and 8 ranges at present, but Vodafone says more devices will be added in the future.