Now it’s o.k.; now that the big boys started in a garage. Big boys, I mean Apple and Amazon, but also for some companies that pre-dateApple: Harley-Davidson (1903), Walt Disney Company (1923), Wham-O (1948), Mattel (1945), Maglite (1955), Yankee Candle Company (1969), and HP (1939). There is even a television commercial about it.
Our story, way back in 2012; on a balmy September night when I opened the garage I was surprised to find a multi colored mountain of wire. Not one spool to be found, just a mangled, colorful mess. And when I say mountain, I’m not saying it reached to ceiling, but if I crawled on top of the pile, I could touch it.
That night, I threatened to throw away the shirt and shorts that Greg wore, because of the stank odor. After three rounds in the washer and tripling the dryer sheets, the outfit was smellaby fine. (yes, I made of that word.) That was the start to an exciting, stimulating journey. For him, because he started a business in the most bleak and dismal economy. And me, although working for someone else at the time, because I knew I would soon join the industry which I knew nothing about.
Greg knew everything about the business. He had intense motivation. Greg had worked the scrap business years ago, and he’s always referred to it as happy and gratifying days. He had a master’s degree in Philosophy, but his heart is scrap metal. Electronic recycling is just an evolution of the same; watching the metals market, getting dirty, breaking a sweat before 9:30 a.m. and working on a very small margin. Less than attractive to most, but to Greg, he sees the potential in volume.
Back to the garage, where there is a pile of wire. That wire was gone in 24 hours. We pocketed a nice little profit and left the seller and buyer thrilled with the transaction. And we’re off.
Greg scoured the local ads for a warehouse that would fit our needs. He came across the perfect warehouse space, with the use of a forklift and loading dock. 1000 square feet of open space. After the purchase of a small scale, a few pallets and Gaylord boxes, we were in business. Me? I always knew there was money in trash, waste, scrap, whatever you want to call it. I like to call it recycling. It just sounds more sophisticated.
Things took off fast. In fact, I hardly remember those first months, they were so busy. Me, finding a domain name, putting up a website and researching local competition. Greg was working from early morning until evening and half the day Saturday. Word got out that he was fair and accurate for pricing electronic scrap. To my knowledge, we have not lost a customer, at least one we wanted to keep.
I won’t bore you with all the details, but in less than a year, we had to lease 5 times the space, purchase a commercial truck, 2 forklifts, 2 large scales and employ help. The computer scrap buying and selling business had developed into a business solution for local companies to get rid of the electronic scrap. We held to our promis which is, we never charged for picking up unused electronics from local business. Evidently, it was something that was badly needed an appreciated. We covered the greater Tampa Bay Area and still do.
What’s next? Naturally, branching out to another business. Asset Recovery of Tampa, concentrating on re-marketing usable computers and office electronics for the best return on investment. We are hoping to help businesses nationwide, to find monetary relief for the IT equipment purchases of the past.