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Giving used electronics a new life with Gadget Salvation

Giving used electronics a new life with Gadget Salvation

Miguel Amado
Laptops, smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, iPhones… With Gadget Salvation you can sell your gadgets and get paid to recycle your devices. In the platform you can get an estimate and make a deal that involves free shipping and fast payments.

In this special interview for Website Planet we talked with Cesar Navarro, Project Manager at Gadget Salvation to know more about the company, what gadgets better retain their value and what are the plans for the future.

When was the concept of Gadget Salvation created?

Back in 2008, there were a couple of websites doing something similar just with laptops. The concept was of an online laptop buyback service. We started our website with the same concept, just buying used laptops from end users.

A year later, with the growing popularity of smartphones, we expanded onto other gadgets, such smartphones, tablets, video games, smartphones later on even drones.

Your product is fascinating because it not only helps people financially, but also helps the environment. Do you have data on how many gadgets were saved?

Since inception, I have calculated about 400,000 devices. Most of them were sold again as they were fully functional or refurbished, and some non working gadgets, recycled or sold for parts.

What were the main challenges since you started in the company?

This was somewhat a new service that people were not aware of. So, the only way for them to find out it was searching on Google, mainly if they were trying to sell laptops. Back then, Craigslist was a very popular option. eBay as well, even though it is a different option because it presents a marketplace where you have to deal with the other sellers, and sell it yourself.

So, our trading service was something new that many people were not aware of, and we had to do a lot of advertising. In time, we found out that most of our new customers were driven to our website because through word of mouth. That remains our main strategy until now.

How do you calculate the value of the gadgets so that it’s better for both sides?

We handle both ends, so we buy it and we sell it. Each product depends specifically on its popularity and reselling value, as well as its specifics. High-end technology usually keeps more reselling value than low-end tech, also known as budget gadgets. That’s how we calculate it. Certain brands and models will sell more quickly than others.

A budget laptop bought brand new for $299, might resell for just $80 after 1 year. While a gaming laptop bought brand new for $2,500 might very easily resell for $2,000 after a year. It all depends on what new technology has been introduced in the last year. iPhones are a perfect example of a steep depreciation. Apple is introducing a new model every year, everyone wants the new iphone every year, this makes the iPhone depreciation rate higher than any other gadget.

We’re constantly reevaluating the value of each gadget, and we go through each individual gadget model, comparing its reselling value in different marketplaces.

And I believe the free shipment aspect is very important for customers. There’s a cost involved in that, so how do you manage not to charge for it?

Yes, of course we have an account with UPS, so we provided people shipping labels, which is an automatized process. We have integrated the UPS system with our website. The whole point of this service is convenience. People just want to get online, ship it and forget about it, and get paid. Basically, that’s the core bottom of the service, the convenience.

This UPS integration that we have on our website makes it easier to automatically generate the prepaid shipping label and they get it online. They can print at home if they have a printer. If not, they also receive a QR code by e-mail, which they can scan the code in an UPS store and they’ll print out the label for them and ship their gadget.

Are there used gadgets easier to sell or that retain more value?

Yes, I would say gaming laptops. They retain value for about 4 years because they are better than the budget laptops that you can buy at Walmart for 200 dollars. Those budget laptops don’t resell very well six months later because they have very low specifics, very low processor speed. For whatever you want to use it, it’s not very practical, whereas gaming laptops have a lot of computer power and people do like those.

What are Gadget Salvation’s plans for the next three to five years?

Pushing more advertising of our brand. Growing, but slowly. We had competitors such as Gazelle and Nextworth that we believe were too aggressive in advertising, later ended up going out of business because of this. Our plan is to maintain the word-of-mouth and keep focusing on providing a fair value for our customer’s gadgets and fast payment, this is why our customers choose us.

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