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Interesting new business
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cardguy Offline

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Post: #1
Interesting new business
I first saw this business on Dragons' Den (the UK inspiration for 'The Shark Tank' in America). The guy seeking investment actually won the largest investment ever awarded on the show.

You can see his pitch here:

The idea is simple. You go round your house finding stuff you no longer want. You then type in the barcodes of the items into the website. And the site tells you how much cash they will offer for your items.

They then give you a free postage label to print off for you to put onto the box that your old books, DVDs, games and CDs are in.

You then post them to the company - or drop them off at a number of drop off sites around town. Here in the UK - most high streets now have shops and newsagents which can be used as drop-off points for a service like this (and as a collection point for deliveries from amazon).

I am sure the customer doesn't make alot of money out of all this. But - it is an interesting business idea. It is like a combination of Ebay and a different business idea which I have mentioned before - see below: [people with scanners - linked to amazon - going around secondhand bookshops buying underpriced books]

Anyway - I am sure this sort of business idea will pop up in America soon. And overall it will be interesting to see how it develops in the future.

It is interesting that the entrepeneur behind it got a record investment on Dragon's Den since it is one of the few worthwhile ideas I have seen on the show. The idea is a simple one. But it seems as if the people behind the site have figured out the best way of executing the idea. And most success in business is 1% inspiration and 99% execution.

Here is the link to the site:

And here is a video promo explaining how the site works. It features a YouTube video blogger who seems to have a channel aimed at university students.

I guess with a site like this. You are trading the extra cash you might have made on Ebay - for the convenience of the guaranteed prices and the service they provide.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2013 08:29 AM by cardguy.)
12-30-2013 08:11 AM
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WestIndianArchie Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Interesting new business
Who checks the condition of these items?
And most importantly, who's the end buyer?

I've always imagined you could do this with bigger items, provided that you could provide a clean bill of health. Manufacturers do this with refurbished items...but for whatever reason, reconditioned is about as bad as "as is" and no warranty. Where as used from a party you trust is as good as gold.

12-30-2013 08:27 AM
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void Online

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Post: #3
RE: Interesting new business
(12-30-2013 08:27 AM)WestIndianArchie Wrote:  Who checks the condition of these items?
And most importantly, who's the end buyer?
Are these questions answered in the pitch? I know a website buying old mobile phones. I guess if they are old enough you will get a piece of the recycled materials worth.

And the business model revolves around people not checking ebay prices?

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12-30-2013 10:35 AM
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cardguy Offline

Posts: 4,481
Joined: Nov 2012
Post: #4
RE: Interesting new business
Those questions are not answered in the pitch. But the pitches on these shows are edited down from the 1-2 hour original pitch to the 15 minutes shown on TV.

To add to the above. Here is a vending machine which buys your old mobile phones and MP3 players and gives you cash for them.

To follow on from a previous point. People will pay a premium if a service is more convenient to use (as with the above site versus ebay).

There is a company in the UK called (famous for its annoying jingles) which will buy any car in any condition. I imagine they charge a premium for the convenience of the service and the hassle free nature of the sale. But in that case (due to the price of cars) - the amount of money you are left with is still large enough to make the service attractive to lazy consumers.

But when you are dealing with such small amounts of money (when selling books and games) - that premium eats into a large chunk of the money. So it is a valid point you make either way.

Still - the business seems to be doing very well (according to the figures he gave on his pitch).

One problem with it is that there is a large secondhand games/mobile phones/mp3 players chain of retail shops opening out across the UK. I am not sure how there prices compare. But if anything - the service is probably even more convenient (just drop them off at the shop).

Plus - you can buy shit when you are in the shops as well (and often the shop credit is larger than the cash offered). Which attracts customers wanting to buy something new. And there is no more effective advertising than having a shop on most high streets across the UK.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2013 11:31 AM by cardguy.)
12-30-2013 11:27 AM
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