BY KORAY OZTOPCU
Industries, institutions, and individuals are aiming to make our world more sustainable. Consumers are also willing to buy new products with the proliferation of mass large and low-cost production. On the other hand, we feel the impact of sustainability on consumer habits that have changed with the pandemic. As a result of this buying second-hand products is the first step to protecting the environment and our natural resources.
The environmental and sustainability benefits of buying second-hand products are more than we think. It is possible to say that the most important reason for using second-hand products is the environmental cost to be saved. While using second-hand products makes a great contribution to the environment, it also offers great value to our world and humanity. When we examine second-hand items, we usually realize that they are in excellent condition. These items are mostly produced from quality materials and have significant value.
GET HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCTS AT LOWER PRICES
Second-hand stores on online platforms where second-hand products, clothes, goods, and even second-hand vehicles are sold have increased recently. Furniture, books, electronics, baby clothes and items, used cars, children’s toys, home care products, musical instruments, and many more are sold through second-hand sales platforms. Second-hand products encourage reuse while saving money compared to the cost of buying a new one. It is possible to say that saving is the most important force behind purchasing a high-quality used product at a low price. Especially with the change in consumer preferences by the effect of the pandemic, we see that many consumers prefer to buy their clothes, bags, furniture, and children’s goods from second-hand stores.
USED ELECTRONICS VS. USED SMARTPHONES
With the digital era and the pandemic, consumer technology is advancing very fast. We see that consumers’ desire to reach the latest technology accelerates the transition from old devices and hardware to new models.
We can buy renewed products 40% cheaper second hand because the first buyer changed his mind about the model. We can find an unopened birthday gift or a product the user does not like just because of the color for about half the original price. In addition to the advantage of facilitating daily work, technological products also have the disadvantage of multiplying electronic waste originating from the consumption culture.
While electronic product manufacturers have made serious investments in sustainability, millions of phones, computers, cameras, printers, routers, modems, and other electronic equipment are thrown away by consumers. When this e-waste heats up, greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals are released into the air, harming the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas increases the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. Described as a greenhouse gas, CO2 causes climate change. This leads to the warming of the planet and affects natural systems.
In order to popularize the use of second-hand phones, some new steps are being taken in our country. With the “Regulation on the Sale of Renewed Products”, which was most recently prepared by the Ministry of Commerce and published in the Official Gazette last year, the principles regarding the renewal, certification, and resale of mobile phones and tablets were regulated. Provided that it is a renewal center or an ‘authorized dealer’, in the purchase of mobile phones with the quality of ‘renewed products’, the installment period for credit cards is 12 months for mobile phones with a price of TRY 12,000 or less, and 6 months for mobile phones with a price above TRY 12,000 reorganized to be companies started to work in this field. In addition, work is being carried out on selling renewed vehicles (ex-factory second-hand) in Turkey in the automotive sector.
BUYING SECOND-HAND TO SAVE OUR WORLD
Purchasing a used device prolongs its lifespan and prevents it from becoming waste. This prevents a new device from entering circulation unnecessarily. Hardware replacements for these products are easy and older models (especially phones and laptops) use the same up-to-date software as newer models. In addition, the renewal comes with a new warranty and protects consumers for a period after purchase.
PROTECTS NATURAL RESOURCES, BALANCES WASTE AMOUNT
According to an UN-supported study, only 10% of the 54 million tons of electronic devices that end up in waste around the world each year can be recycled. While England, Ireland, Switzerland, and France were in the top 10 In this transformation, Norway, one of the most ecologically reputable countries, ranked first in the list and Turkey ranked 14th.
While the US, Europe, and China lead the way in the production of electronic waste, approximately 847,000 tons of electronic waste are generated in our country every year. Only 5% of this waste can be recycled. The recycling rate of e-waste in the EU is 33%. On the other hand, in sectors where mass production damage is most intense, production consumes a lot of water and energy. With around 20% of the wastewater consumed, they reach around 10% of global carbon emissions.
Although the transition of our companies and factories to renewable energy sources is accelerating, we need to take more steps toward carbon neutrality.
Consumers tend to turn to secondhand more in the new period, preventing factories from using more energy. In addition, energy is required not only for production but also for transporting products to various parts of the world.
SUSTAINABLE CONSUMER FINANCE STEPS
As Garanti BBVA, we continue to develop and offer a service model that is in line with our sustainability strategy and our customers’ expectations.
In second-hand vehicle financing, Garanti BBVA offers a fast and automated credit process experience with the minimum operational workload in vehicle sales at 614 dealerships and dealerships through our Instant Loan from Dealer (BAK One Stop Shop) system, in financing second-hand vehicle loans for both automobiles and motorcycles. We make an important contribution.
We offer digital shopping loans for the use of our customers with our partner brands and business partners at phone sales points selling second-hand products, e-marketplaces, and stores, in line with changing consumer expectations, with a Consumer Finance sustainability perspective. We provide a wide range of installments from 3 months to 36 months in many product categories.
As Garanti BBVA, we will continue to support e-mobility steps with a sustainable consumer finance perspective for a more environmentally friendly future and we will continue to support Turkey’s transition to a low-carbon economy.