Demand for cheap, used iPhones drives Monster buyout

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Demand for cheap, used iPhones drives Monster buyout

Australian firm Mobile Monster has bought the website and assets of Gadget Exchange, in a sign the market for secondhand devices is becoming more sophisticated.

While the likes of the iPhone 6 draw the lion’s share of attention from buyers, Mobile Monster is proving there is also a growing interest in discarded devices.

The Melbourne firm has acquired a software backend, including a retail trade-in platform, that will allow it to run trade-in programs for retailers if it chooses to. Mobile Monster has also acquired pricing matrix software and the website.

The number of secondhand phones being sold by the public to Mobile Monster is increasing by 20 to 30 percent a year - totalling up to 1,500 phones a month - said founder Tim Duggal.

“It’s definitely a growing market. They [customers] don’t want to go out there and expend $800 and don’t want to be locked into a plan. That’s the sort of market we’re going after,” Duggal said.

“Some people just want to buy an iPhone that works for $199. It saves them a lot of money and it’s a good introduction into the market."

Gadget Exchange’s founder, Eddie Wilson, said Gadget Exchange did not have any debts attached and had not sought external capital. "We’re waiting for significant R&D grant money to be returned to the company in the new year, then we’ll make a decision on whether to rename the entity for our new venture," he said.

Wilson has now set up a software business to service the market. His aim is to provide direct digital market services to the secondhand refurbishment industry.

“Our software will be placed on these secondhand phones before they get sold,” he said. “Once they are in customers hands, we will be able to provide digital marketing services directly to those customers."

He said that following the Mobile Monster sale, he will be looking for funding.

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