South Africans can now get money back for old feature phones, smartphones and tablet computers thanks to a new, local version of Spanish e-commerce company Zwipit. Consumers can use the website to see whether or not Zwipit has demand for the device in question and, if so, can arrange to have it collected from their home or office at no charge.
South Africa is the tenth country to get the service, which buys used devices and refurbishes and resells them. The company says phase one of its South African roll out will only see it buying used devices and distributing these in the other nine markets in which it operates. Phase two will see it offer refurbished devices for sale locally.
The amount of money a user will receive for a device depends on both how old the device is and the condition it’s in. Nothando Moleketi, director and head of marketing and operations South Africa says the company only requres the device and battery.
She says a premium will be paid for devices that are in excellent condition with minimum wear and tear. Lower cash amounts will be paid for devices with some wear and the lowest for devices that are inoperable. She says Zwipit will accept devices that aren’t working or have damaged displays, but that the company doesn’t accept devices with water damage. Zwipit will pay 40% of the price it would pay for a functioning device for devices that no longer work.
Moleketi says that an iPhone 5 that is in used but working condition will fetch between R1 500 and R1 800 and that there is a full list of devices and the amounts Zwipit will pay for them on the company’s website.
Once a phone or tablet is collected by Zwipit it’s assessed and if it matches the description of its condition provided by the seller the seller is paid by bank transfer within 10 working days.
Felix Martin, Zwipit South Africa’s managing director, says the company will cross reference the IMEI numbers from devices offered for sale to the company by consumers against the blacklist databases maintained by South Africa’s mobile operators to ensure it doesn’t agree to purchase stolen goods.
“Our goal is to extend the useful life of devices already in the market, to the benefit of the person who sells it and its new owner,” Moleketi says.
Zwipit is also available to companies or other organisations that may wish to dispose of old devices without simply having to write them off. The company was founded in 2011 and now operates in Bahrain, Chile, France, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the UK.