An open laptop.

European trends suggest that end consumers are becoming more open to buying used electronics. | MaxFrost/Shutterstock

With OEMs struggling to produce and ship new electronics during coronavirus-triggered shutdowns, a new willingness to buy refurbished devices has sprouted in Europe, according to Deutsche Welle.

The German media outlet published an article quoting European electronics refurbishers who noted electronics manufacturers have become more willing to source refurbished parts for their products. The article also suggests end consumers are becoming more open to buying used electronics.

The trends described in the article broadly mirror those seen in the U.S. and Canada during the COVID-19 crisis, with employees and students scrambling to find computers and accessories so they can work and study from home. The demand for some types of used electronics has been so high that the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER), a group involved in advocating for federal electronics policies, recently called on President Trump to issue an order allowing federal departments to provide their old but reusable electronics to for-profit refurbishers.

The stay-home orders also drove greater traffic in the cloud, which could mean greater business opportunities in data center decommissioning.

The Deutsche Welle article quotes a processor saying the situation provides the opportunity for consumers to realize refurbished electronics work fine. But a professor at a German university suggested the bolstered demand for used electronics is temporary and is simply a result of people penny-pinching during the crisis.

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