Xiaomi has had quite a thunderous time in the Indian market. The company has announced three phones in the country's market yet, starting from the Xiaomi Mi 3 (which had only limited units for sale), to the Redmi 1S and more recently, the Redmi Note (3G and 4G). It was pretty darn tough to get hold of a Redmi 1S back when it was launched, but with time it got easier for buyers to procure one. The phone was launched only for 5,999 INR, which is under $100 at the current exchange rates.
The very phone — Redmi 1S — is now being offered in refurbished and unboxed versions. The second-hand market in India is massive; marketplaces for second-hand used goods such as OLX and Quikr even have full-length TVCs running during primetime. However, it is not usual for companies to offer refurbished goods in the country. Xiaomi perhaps don't want the leftover stocks (review units, returned phones, etc.) to go to waste, which is maybe why they're offering the phone in this manner. For the sale, Xiaomi has partnered with OverCart.com, which appears to be a specialist in 'clearance' sales. The Redmi 1S is available in refurbished and unboxed form at 4,599 INR ($75) and 4,999 INR ($81). At the time of writing this article, OverCart had an inventory of 3 and 4 units of the unboxed and refurbished Redmi 1S respectively.
Funnily enough, you need to have registered beforehand in order to purchase these phones. Now, that's something totally new and out of the blue! Invites to purchase refurbished units? Xiaomi probably know that their product is one of the most value for money on the market, which is why they think they can afford to do that. Either way, it would've been nice if the phone was available on open sale, such as the Redmi 4G.
In related news, Xiaomi is all set to launch the Mi 4 in the Indian market on the 28th of this month. It was earlier speculated that Xiaomi would do so, but updates from Xiaomi executives have confirmed the upcoming launch.