Archive for September, 2012

The New Circle of Life

When it comes to buying new electronics, Americans seem to have an insatiable appetite. Acquiring the latest and greatest has become both a necessity and an important status symbol for many. Until recently, those new devices were purchased at full price, and the old device went into a drawer or closet or was handed down to a family member or friend. That practice has changed dramatically as companies like CExchange and others have provided a new Circle of Life for used electronics that is doing good for many.

We are working hard to provide an easy path for consumers to sell or recycle used electronics. With retail partners across the country, and having trades arrive from over 18,000 retail locations, we are doing our part to create a business that also does good along the way. Consider this; there are millions of Americans that purchase the latest devices as soon as they hit the market, while millions more are super excited to get their hands on last years model iPhone or Android device. There are others who have a four year old phone that has no market value, but it contains precious materials like gold and silver along with glass and plastics that can be reused. Our easily accessible service puts money in the hands of the customer who trades up to the iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy SIII to enable their purchase, then puts their used iPhone 4S or Galaxy SII in the hands of another person who got it for a much lower cost than a new device, and finally the device with scrap value gets recycled responsibly with almost all of the material reclaimed and reused in a new device down the road! That friends is the description of a New Circle of Life that is doing good for many constituents, not the least of which is our fragile environment.

If a Trade-In Could Talk

With the latest news that the new version of Apples iPhone, the iPhone 5, is pending release on the 21st, the buzz is at a deafening roar around trading up to get the device. There are many articles being written with sensational headlines proclaiming things like; “Get as much as $500 for your used iPhone!”, “We pay the highest prices!”, etc. That all sounds very good as a consumer since you may have only paid $399 for that iPhone 4S 64GB phone, but is there anything else to consider? There certainly is, and we could learn a lot If a trade-in could talk.
If a Trade-in could talk it would be able to tell you all the things you would want to know about where your device is headed when you agree to that trade. There are multiple areas to consider before releasing your device, including but not limited to:

1. Payment- Will I actually get the money I was quoted? What happens if they say my device doesn’t meet their conditions?

2. Security- What is the data clearing process? Can I trust them? What is the physical security of their site? Any chance my device could be lost or stolen before the data is cleared?

3. Environment- If my device is being recycled, will they do it right and not put it in a landfill or send it offshore?

At CExchange, we believe consumers should ask these questions, and they should be educated on the potential pitfalls associated with accepting an artificially high offer from a company that doesn’t have processes in place to protect your money, your data, and our environment.

Regarding the evaluation and payment questions, it is important to provide a great customer experience which is why we use simple two condition pricing. We don’t believe in disappointing people by using an inflated price for what might actually be 1% of the product trades, and then have to tell the balance of customers that they will get less money. And, with our partners, if for some reason your evaluation turns out to be different, we will ship the product back to you on our dime if that is what you choose. And with our retail store partners, you generally get your credit immediately in the store which facilitates a new product purchase on the spot.

On data and physical security- We do a complete data wipe with two levels of quality control on every working device, and protect all those that aren’t working until final disposition. We are an ISO9001 certified facility and have strict quality processes in place in addition to 24 hour security seven days a week and multiple layers of physical security and screenings to protect your product. We also employ HD video recording equipment to verify all the contents of packages we receive and to digitally validate the safe arrival and disposition of your transaction from our partner companies.

On the recycling point, we are environmentally aware and concerned. We only use e-Steward recyclers to recycle our product. You can be assured that if we send your device for recycling, it will not end up in a landfill, or offshore. It will be responsibly recycled according to the rigid standards of the e-Steward mandate.

So, if a Trade-in could talk, and it made it’s way through a CExchange partner company, it would say some very nice things. Ask these same questions and see what you hear before making that trade.

Electronics Trade-In and Recycling- Good for Consumers, Good for You, Good for the Economy!

Let’s face it, the economy is nothing to write home about unless you are writing home to ask for a place to stay while you are looking for your next job! Based on the poor state of the middle class in our economy, if you are in the business of manufacturing or selling electronic products the headwinds are strong and it is difficult to keep your ship moving forward. In light of this, it seems appropriate to point out a few of the extremely positive elements of a successful trade-in and recycling program that companies should consider to help their business situation.

 

1. Good for Consumers! I learned a long time ago that if you start with what is good for the consumer, you are likely to be right more often than not. So if trade-in and recycling programs are so good for consumers, you might ask why more companies aren’t rewarding their customers to (C)exchange their used devices for value, or at least offering to recycle them responsibly? Thanks for asking; the reason most often is that many companies view these programs through the lens of a reverse logistics process instead of a marketing and promotions opportunity. Providing value to consumers, and giving them another reason to visit your store or engage with your brand should be the driver of the decision. Unfortunately, some consider the implications of having to deal with used products as a hassle. But seriously, how often do you get the opportunity to have a consumer “pay” for their own discount? That’s right, consumers are willing to pay for a discount to acquire a new device by exchanging their current product!  A trade-in program is an ideal vehicle to create a new retail transaction, and ultimately benefits the consumer. Bottom line, If you are in the business of acquiring new customers with an ever shrinking marketing and promotional budget, you’ve now got an additional tool.

 

2. Good for You! When customers know they can upgrade sooner through trading up, or even consider you as a place that will responsibly handle their outdated product, you will get more traffic, more sales, and more loyalty. Our research shows that trade-in spend gives a company a much higher lift than even a gift card, and you can expect consumers to reward you for having a lucrative program. Think of what companies pay to get a consumer to cross their doorstep or go to their online site. It isn’t cheap, but the answer to lowering this cost (in the form of good used electronics) is sitting in homes across America. Once consumers realize there is an option to trade with your brand, you have a great opportunity to be involved in their upgrade cycle for the long term.  The trade-in and recycling business is exploding, and companies that don’t deploy strong and consumer friendly programs will be left behind.  

 

3. Good for the Economy! This industry is a bright spot in a sky filled with economic storms.  Our industry is in hyper-growth mode and we are adding jobs as a segment like few others. We aren’t manufacturing, but we are remanufacturing and creating new value out of existing technology without the heavy use of resources that burden other businesses. We employ people, we generate payroll that helps the economy, and we pay our fair share of taxes. We help the economy by growing a business based on real consumer demand that also facilitates the purchase of new goods, and we ‘re just scratching the surface of the impact we can make.

 

We’re proud to run a business that is good for consumers, good for you, and good for the economy!