The famous line “Rome wasn’t built in a day” stands true for the Arab Republic of Egypt. The journey from being home of the most ancient civilization to the present modern day developing economy. Consumer market in Egypt has seen a remarkable journey, which will be unveiled soon.
In the ancient times the alluvial soil deposited during the annual inundation of the River Nile, gave Egypt the name Kemet, the Black Land. Egypt has coastlines on the River Nile, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea that brings ample trade opportunities with rest of the world.
Geographically Egypt connects two continents Africa and Asia. Borders the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, Libya in the west, and Sudan to the south. It is the most populous Arab country with over 90 million population (2017). It is the second most populous nation in Africa, after Nigeria. As a huge chunk of land belongs to the arid regions of the Sahara desert, most Egyptians live in metropolises and other big cities lying along the Nile, such as Cairo (capital), Alexandria.
Egypt’s economy was mainly depended on the tourism and exports of cotton, oil & gas. However, in recent times due to decline in oil prices, service industry has emerged as a saviour to the economy. Service industry from finance, wholesale and retail consumer sectors are the major contributors to the $330 billion GDP. Consumer market has also been a significant contributor due to rise in demand of refurbished consumer electronics.
What is a Refurbished Product?
The refurbishment is a process where the electronics are re-distributed in the market after undergoing a series of tests for functionality and defects. A refurbished piece can be a brand new and unused however cannot be called “new” because it has been unboxed or returned to the manufacturer for certain defect. Some unused products may have been returned due to superficial damage like a scratch or a crack. These refurbished gadgets are repaired and tested before they are re-sold in the market.
A laptop that has been previously owned and used is labelled as used or a second-hand laptop. There are wholesale dealers and retailers whose business is to buy such products from the owner (individuals or companies) and with certain required upgrades are made available in the market for reselling. Due to some degree of wear and tear the prices of these second-hand laptops are much lower than the new ones.
In some cases, to perform optimally the used or refurbished laptops may need repair or replacement of its components. A laptop that has been repaired by the manufacturer is called a factory refurbished. There are also third-party refurbishers who deals in bulk buying and selling of used electronics. These refurbishers often have their own in-house team of experienced technicians that repair and test these products multiple times before they are put for sale.
Control and Restriction on Import of Refurbished Goods
Students, businesses, and households required consumer products in their day-to-day activity, however, the high prices of new products make it unaffordable to many. Refurbished electronics are cost effective, and hence a great way to expand use of technology.
The affordability led to a surge in demand for pre-owned electronics in developing countries. Soon the markets were flooded with pre-owned and refurbished consumer products like used laptops, second-hand phones, and other consumer durables. This new trend had a downside to it. Most of the used goods from economically stronger countries were sent to developing nations to be sold as refurbished consumer durables. However, due to lack of regulatory framework several obsolete or hazardous products were also dumped into these developing markets causing serious risks to people and environment.
In 2004, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) took a significant step by recommending a structure for an international standard for such products. This was to ensure that the used electronics meet the health and safety requirements before reaching the new markets.
In line with this, the Egypt government imposed controlled restrictions on the import of used electrical and electronic equipment (EEE). The government has implemented Import and Export Law, which states the procedure for inspection of imported refurbished goods. These laws are regularly amended to safeguard the consumers and the market.
Such proactive steps from the government are beneficial for the consumers market as these standards help to instil trust and assurances of quality to the products available in the market. Consumers will be confident in buying used products from such well regulated and controlled markets. Therefore, in addition to the price advantage, a trust in the quality of the used products would help in increasing the demand.
How Used Electronics Caused a Shift in the Consumer Market
Egypt, in spite of being the most developed and diverse economy in the Middle East, has witnessed long-term economic recession along with currency devaluation. This affected the income of the people and led to huge cut downs on consumer spending. To add to the injury, the consumer market saw a sharp rise in branded product prices in 2016 and 2017.
As per the Nielsen survey (2017), 71% of Egyptians said their buying decision depends on discounts and promotions, out of which 35% reduced shopping altogether. That is when the consumer market saw a shift towards the refurbished electronics in Egypt.
It is evident from the studies that an average spending of a consumer in Egypt is largely dependent on the cost of the product. The consumers are looking for value deals to get most out of the money spent. In such a case, electronic retailers in Egypt can have bigger margins to provide competitive prices with refurbished products. These products when imported in bulk can further help the margins for the retailers.
What is Egypt’s Advantage on Import of Bulk Refurbished Electronics
The Arab countries around the world have formed a council to support each other’s economy through unified trade agreements and policies. Egypt is one of the founding members of this council, known as The Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU).
Egypt is a member of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) that creates a common market for its 17 Arab member countries namely UAE, Jordan, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Bahrain, Tunis. That means refurbished goods imported from one of these countries are exempted from custom duties and other tax formalities.
UAE being one of the most lucrative destinations to set up a business is also one of the largest producers of e-waste. This has cascaded to being home for several e-waste management companies who procure, recycle, and refurbish IT electronics in bulk. One of the premium and prominent name in the UAE market is Veracity World, which is now extending its services to Egypt.
Veracity World is an e-waste management company from UAE that secures electronic assets by recycling, refurbishing and reselling. They provide cost-effective e-waste management solutions to companies around the world. They procure bulk old IT electronic products from corporates and other sources. The expert team then finds the best recycling opportunities for these products by carefully inspecting it to determine the reuse options. The in-house team of qualified technicians fixes the products that can be repaired and reused. The repaired products go through several rounds of testing to ensure proper functionality before they are distributed in consumer markets.
Veracity World ensures the highest quality in refurbished goods at a reasonable cost. Imagine a company starting its operations in Cairo with a limited capital, can acquire refurbished assets such as the laptop, computer and other electronics at a fraction of the cost with security and durability from Veracity World.
How Veracity World Can Help?
Veracity World is one of the market leaders in Dubai UAE, with trading markets across the globe. The company is a leading refurbisher of laptops, smartphones, computers and other used electronic devices. With an in-house team of experienced technicians, the company carries out the entire refurbishing or repairing process with high precision and quality. Veracity World is a strong supporter of eco-friendly processes and hence works in every possible direction to reduce the carbon footprints.
The company provides affordable IT and Electronics solutions to businesses. Bulk buyers of electronic goods in Egypt can buy refurbished and pre-owned electronics form Veracity World. The efficient services and products provided by the company make it stand out from the crowd. Hence, if you are looking to buy cheap electronics in Egypt, Veracity World can prove out to be the best choice.