redmi-1s-xiaomi

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi recently held a flash sale for unboxed & refurbished RedMi 1S smartphones on e-commerce marketplace Overcart.com, reports The Economic Times. Overcart co-founder Alex Souter told ET that they were sold within a few minutes, something which has become a norm with Xiaomi sales in India. BGR reports that Xiaomi has tied-up with other online retailers as well for similar flash sales, but hasn’t named any, apart from Overcart. The unboxed RedMi 1S smartphones were sold for Rs 4,999 and the refurbished ones were sold at Rs 4,599 on Overcart. RedMi 1S is originally priced at Rs 5,999 on Xiaomi’s online partner channel Flipkart.

The next RedMi 1S sale on Flipkart is scheduled to be held today at 5 pm, while the RedMi Note 4G sale is scheduled to be held on February 3 at 2 pm.

Lightbox-backed GreenDust.com also sells refurbished factory seconds with a 1-year warranty, across categories like mobile, electronics, kitchen & home appliances, and healthcare among others.

Given that India has thriving market for unboxed, pirated smartphones, this retail model should work well in the country, especially if there’s a warranty or return policy in place. Most unboxed or pirated smartphones bought in India are in the premium category. Xiaomi’s flash sales model has ensured that demand for its affordable smartphones are much higher than supply, hence this new retail model is essentially just another sales channel for the Chinese company. It’ll be interesting to see if other smartphone manufacturers also adopt this model or not.

Earlier this month, Xiaomi had raised $1.1 billion from a series of investors including DST Global, Singapore’s GIC, Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, Hopu Fund, and All-Stars Investment among others. The company, which claimed to have sold 1 million handsets in India at the end of December last year, also got a reprieve last month allowing them to sell Qualcomm-based handsets after it was stopped by the Delhi High Court from importing & selling handsets in India that infringe on Ericsson’s standard essential patents (SEP).

Founded in 2012 by Alex Souter and Saptarshi Nath, Overcart (earlier known as Bootstrapp) had raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding led by K Ganesh’s GrowthStory with follow-on investment from GSF Superangels network. Overcart helps businesses and large e-commerce companies manage their customer returns and eliminate their unsold stock by offering these products at marked down prices to consumers and smaller retailers.

There are other players like Hyderabad-based YNew and Kolkata-based Budli.in that allow users to sell, buy or refurbish used gadgets.