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Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi is testing a retail model where it could sell refurbished and unboxed smartphones in India. Xiaomi has tied up with four to five players both in online and offline retail to pilot the model in India with very limited quantities of its popular Redmi 1S smartphones. The first such sale has gone live with Overcart today.

The devices are essentially those that are returned by buyers to Xiaomi’s Indian retail partner Flipkart. “At times we get devices that are perfectly fine and have no problem, but they are opened boxes. This is a pilot we are doing in India to see if such a model can work,” Manu Jain, who heads Xiaomi’s India operations told BGR India.

India is not the first market where Xiaomi has implemented this model. Being in a pilot stage, the company has released very few quantities of the Redmi 1S to the companies it has partnered.

At the moment, there are two kinds of units that will go on sale. The first is unboxed, priced at Rs 4,999 on Overcart, which are perfectly good units but the boxes have been opened. The other units are refurbished, which had some faults that have been fixed. A brand new Redmi 1S costs Rs 5,999 on Flipkart.

For the pilot, Xiaomi’s retail partners would refurbish the smartphone using genuine Xiaomi spare parts. However, if the model works, Xiaomi could have an authorized partner for refurbishing smartphones.

Jain insists that this is just a pilot in India and depending on the feedback, Xiaomi would decide whether to scale it up or not.