Friend or foe? The impact of refurbished products in markets with network effects and standards competition

Yilong (Eric) Zheng, Wang Qi, Chang Hee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

1 Citation (Web of Science)


The practice of offering refurbished products has become increasingly prevalent, yet limited research has studied the potential consequences of this emerging product strategy on the market performance of the corresponding brand-new products. This study addresses this gap by examining the impact of refurbished products in markets characterized by network effects and standards competition, while considering the developmental stage of the technology standard employed by the products. Introducing refurbished products, primarily remanufactured from returned items, can pose challenges such as sales cannibalization and negative perceptions of product quality. We propose that introducing refurbished products can also generate positive effects, because the availability of refurbished products can be perceived as an indication of sizable prior sales of the brand-new counterparts, alleviating consumers' concerns regarding an insufficient user base and limited availability of complementary products. Our empirical and experimental studies consistently demonstrate that the availability of refurbished products adversely affects the market value and purchase intention of the corresponding brand-new products employing established technology standards. In contrast, the introduction of refurbished products does not have such a detrimental effect on products utilizing unestablished standards. Moreover, for a specific group of consumers, this green product strategy increases their purchase intention of brand-new products. The managerial implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Early online date6 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Network effects
  • Quality connotation
  • Refurbished products
  • Remanufacturing
  • Standards competition

Indexed by

  • FT
  • ABDC-A*
  • SCIE
  • SSCI


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