• Founded five years ago, Murfy repairs and refurbishes household appliances and offers its customers packages without unpleasant surprises.
  • According to the brand's director, Aurélie Fircowicz, the minds of the French are increasingly open to reconditioning.
  • While there are still obstacles, the reparation bonus launched by the State a year ago has had its effect... just as much as inflation!

Smartphones, household appliances, but also cars, bicycles... Refurbished products are on the rise at the end of 2023. Founded five years ago, the French company Murfy has made it its hobbyhorse, in particular to recondition washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerators. The result: 200,000 devices repaired. This social and solidarity-based enterprise (like Emmaus and Envie), which we met two years ago, has broadened its scope of action* and is seeing the refurbished market evolve more than positively, at the end of the year, thanks in particular to the "repair bonus" launched by the State a year ago, to a growing ecological awareness, but also... inflation. Aurélie Fircowicz, director of the brand, takes stock of the situation for 20 Minutes.

Since your creation, who are the people who use your services?

They are 25-65 year olds, students too, from all social classes. The French, when they have a problem with household appliances, they have a budget. Then they make a choice: new or refurbished.

Have things changed lately?

Yes, minds are changing fast and more and more towards refurbished. Sales of refurbished smartphones have opened minds. The arrival of the State's "reparation bonus" almost a year ago also contributed to the movement and increased reparation claims by 10%. Our refurbishment capacity is now 120,000 devices per year.

What are the obstacles to repairing major appliances today?

The arguments put forward by consumers are always: "it's going to be expensive", "it's going to take time", or "is the repairer a real professional?". Murfy was born out of this observation. On the one hand, the aim was to create a "repair reflex" among consumers, but also to reassure them. And on the other hand, to reduce the amount of waste in waste collection centres. It's important to know that when you throw away a major household appliance, you generate between 60 and 80 kg of waste!

"Reassure", how?

Know exactly what you're going to pay. Thus, we have created a repair package: between 70 and 80 euros for a cooking appliance, between 70 and 80 euros for a washing appliance, and between 85 and 95 euros for a refrigeration appliance, excluding spare parts. These packages take into account the repair bonus, i.e. from 20 to 25 euros per device. You don't have to worry about implementing it, we manage it. On the other hand, it needs to be repaired.

Are you seeing shortages of spare parts, as there have been many over the past two years?

No, because we recover them when permanently decommissioned devices are disposed of, which we completely dismantle instead of throwing away, and some of the verified components remain functional. What's great is that refurbished parts for washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers are all in stock, even for appliances that are a bit old! The used part will be almost half the price of the new one (which we also offer), and we guarantee it for six months.

We also get our supplies through our collections, by appointment made on our website. It's free. In 40% of cases, we manage to refurbish these devices that people get rid of, we clean them, we repair them and we pamper them. We also sometimes reconstruct an aircraft with the parts of two aircraft that were not repairable. Upon arrival, the refurbished device is guaranteed for two years, just like new. But it's sold for up to 60% less.

Are there any devices that you can't fix?

This only happens in 10-15% of cases. Mainly on entry-level devices where parts are welded by manufacturers to save money. Or on devices for which spare parts are not available. But this second case remains marginal. Contrary to popular belief, only 3% of parts are not available in major appliances. As you can imagine, there is a difference between entry-level and high-end prices... But every other time, we repair the same day, without any spare parts.

So, what happens if I don't want to have my device repaired after your first intervention?

We will give you the amount of the repair package as a voucher on our offer of refurbished devices, available on our website, with the real photos of the devices offered. It's a virtuous circle.

We also regularly hold open days in our workshops. The French are amazed to see what the quality of refurbished can be. You can find a fridge with a big pop on the door and pay 70% less for it. It's a good plan to save money, but also to afford a better product that will last longer.

What maintenance tips could you give us?

Washing machines are the appliances that require the most attention. Our grandmothers, for example, used to do laundry at 90°C once a week. I recommend doing one at least at 90°C once a month. It cleans everything!

Another tip: we find that children sometimes press all the buttons on the machine to have fun. This has the effect of making it safe. No doubt we need to be more vigilant. If the window leaks, either repair the cuff or clean it because it is dirty. Finally, a clogged washing machine can also be the result of forgotten make-up remover wipes or baby socks that are best washed in a suitable net. We recently repaired a refrigerator dating back to 1954, very well maintained! This is one of the keys to extending the life of appliances: maintain them!

* Murphy travels within a radius of 60 km in Ile-de-France, around Lille, Rennes, Nantes, Bordeaux Toulouse, Lyon, Metz, Nancy and Strasbourg.

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