Target Reselling "Used" Electronics

People might return an electronic gift because they already have one, or decided they just want a different model, or can't figure out how to use what they bought. Target is experimenting with selling such returned items. We found 23 listings on the Target website by searching on the term "refurbished."

Used car sales are often stronger overall than new car sales, an outcome of higher quality leading to extended design life. Analogous to this, perhaps we are moving into an era where resale of top of the line electronic goods will come to be viewed as "normal," a development for which Target is positioning itself.

Target Corp said on Tuesday that is testing sales of used electronics on its Web site.

Target said on its Web site customers can purchase "pre-owned" Apple Inc iPods, video games consoles and televisions. While results have been positive, it has not made a decision on whether or not it will continue the business.

The discount retailer, on a call with analysts held after it released its quarterly earnings. said it began the test about 30 days ago after seeing that many used electronics returned to its stores in "perfect working order."

Understanding the environmental value of this experiment is not straightforward, however. Ideally, the returned product would receive a minimum of trans-shipment for staging, refurbishment, and inventory, all done in used packaging.

Refurbished electronics have long been available via on-line retailers and this might be an example of moving the profits or resale back to to original retailer, in which case the logistics is key to eco-efficiency.

Via::Reuters, "Target testing online sales of used electronics" Image credit:: Target Website, "Pre-Owned Toshiba 50" Plasma HDTV - 50HP66"