It seems kind of backwards, doesn’t it? Grant it, improving the bottom-line usually means increasing profit margin but not in this case.
We’ve been in business for a little over 4 years. We have learned a lot in those four years and certainly have a lot more to learn. We started out as a home business in our garage like many other companies. We started with a huge pile of electrical chords and a simple website. Now we occupy three and a half warehouses in Tampa and a warehouse in Lakeland. We didn’t intend to grow this fast, but we did. One day we looked up and we’ve grown into a ‘real’ company with 15 employees, and all the insurances and compliances that go with it.
After a short time, we felt like we needed cameras. Not so much for employees but for times when we are closed and no one was in the warehouse. Then we needed a large cage to store our hard drives to keep them safe. More room, more employees and more procedure manuals come with the growing business. Everything was going along faster than planned. We had no problem paying our overhead. We were making money on our e-scrap and selling the hard drives after they were wiped clean to DoD standards.
Then something was revealed that changed our way of doing business. It was reported that 67% of hard drives were sold online, i.e. ebay.com, amazon.com, and Craig’s list, with detectable data. We never had a problem with data erasure, because we had state of the art equipment. Nothing could ever be recovered after the procedure we put our hard drives through. Data destruction is in degrees and the degree that we wiped hard drives there was no question of data destruction. We were confident that no one could get valid data off any hard drive we sold. But that did change things at Urban E Recycling. No matter what, we were going to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, when someone gave us a computer or hard drive, no one would think twice about the security of their personal information.
Just so you know, used and cleaned hard drives can get quite valuable, especially in volume. If they are shredded, on the other hand, it tremendously reduces their value. But we decided, shredding hard drives was the only way to go. We want business to feel confident that no one will retrieve any information from any hard drive that passes through our company.
So, we bought a shredder and started shredding every hard drive that we came across. We changed our policy January 1, 2016 to never sell a hard drives as a unit, only shredded scrap. A certificate of hard drive destruction is always available for no charge upon request.
Yes, we have decreased our profit margin on hard drives. But not to our surprise, has improved our bottom line.
We sell scrap, not computers or hard drive. Security is priority at Urban E Recycling; where there is never a charge for our services.