Until a few decades ago, selling out an appliance within few years of ownership was rare. Most of the people used to get their appliances repaired. But this is not happening anymore. And the trend is becoming more and more popular among the younger population.
“As a kid I have seen desert cooler at my home, getting repaired several times. Sometimes it was the fan, then water pump, then power knob, and then the fan again” recalls Lavanay, the owner of www.1stbestservice.com. He continues to says “But this is not happening anymore. People now days are more inclined to purchase new appliances and are willing to replace old products that are still functional at the time of their replacement. This trend is clearly visible in mobile phones, vehicles, TV, laptops and few other appliances.”
What is Behind This Trend
But what is the reason behind this change in consumer behaviour? Are the products manufactured these days inferior in quality? Well, you may be surprized, but this is not the reason for this change.
People want the best quality, latest of technological improvements, and added features in their appliances. This is the major reason for this change in consumer behaviour.
The second reason is that a lot of people are novelty and status seekers. They love what’s “new and shiny.” Many of them buy latest appliances just to show off. This group includes people from all sections of society, be it rich or lower middle class. Rich people will purchase latest luxury cars every few years and middle-class people will purchase latest iPhone and boast about its features, and so on.
The third reason is that purchasing power of Indians has increased in the last few decades. People no more believe in saving a large part of their earnings. They now like spending on trendy gadgets, vacations, sedans, etc.
What it means for the Environment?
The manufacture of products consumes precious resources, and producespollutants and greenhouse gases during the process. All this puts a strain on the environment and climate.
Disposal of products also has an impact on our environment. Most of us throw away old mobile, TV, or other appliances in dustbin or sell it to local scrape dealer. All this e-waste ends up in backyard recycling operations.
Because proper and safe recycling often costs more money than the materials are worth.They use crude and unsafe methods of taking apart old computers, TVs, batteries, mobiles, wires, etc to remove the metals, which they can sell, causing great harm to environment in the process.
Therefore, products with shorter life spans put greater pressure on our environment, compared to products that have a longer life.
The good thing in our case however is that even if the first owner sells its product, it does not reach the disposal/recycling stage directly. There are many takers of the used products and that extends the lifespan of an otherwise outdated product. So, what is outdated for one person is valuable for several others.
Further, in case of vehicles it actually is better for the environment because new vehicles are less polluting and engines are more energy efficient. Afterall that’s the reason why government has put a limit of 15 yearsto the lifespan of a commercial vehicle.