electronic scrap pallets
A March 2021 survey points to the willingness of Americans to buy a refurbished product, especially if the price is right.
Photo by Recycling Today staff.

Survey says ... Americans support electronics refurbishment options

Retail consultancy’s survey shows three-quarters of respondents would support retailers that repair and refurbish returned electronics.

April 23, 2021

A survey carried out on behalf of retail consultancy goTRG indicates American household consumers are in favor of the repair and refurbishment of electronic items, especially as an outcome for merchandise they return.

Miami-based goTRG says it works with 6 of the top 10 retailers (including Walmart) “to help them manage returned or distressed goods for resale to recoup lost revenue and mitigate environmental waste.”

The survey of 1,000 respondents, conducted this March, was designed to identify consumers’ thoughts toward electronics recycling and “explores the recycling habits of Americans and their general sentiment on buying recycled goods,” according to a goTRG public relations representative.

Among the findings of the survey were that about one-third of respondents said they didn’t know how or where to go “to properly recycle” obsolete electronic items. The survey also found that 70 percent of respondents indicated they would travel up to 10 miles to properly recycle their electronics.

Questions about repair and refurbishment also were asked, particularly in regard to returned purchases. The goTRG survey found nearly 75 percent of respondents said they would be more loyal to a retailer if they knew it had partners to repair and refurbish returned electronics so those items could be resold rather than thrown out.

When asked about buying a refurbished product, just shy of 70 percent of respondents said it was because they perceive they often could find what they wanted for a lower price. That compares with 35 percent of respondents who said it was because such purchases were better for the environment and just 23 percent who said such products were just as good as new products.