Rockllin company Upgrade Swaps buys old phones from people and then sells them to others. (Thursday, May 22, 2014) News10
ROCKLIN, Calif. – As more Americans upgrade their phones, they're turning to recommerce to give their old tech gadgets new life.
When Pastor Robert Fruen and his wife got new matching iPhone, they didn't want their old phones to go to waste, so they turned to UpgradeSwap.
"We moved here from out of state and wanted to swap carriers," Fruen explained. "We sold those phones in order to buy the new phones."
Data from Recon Analytics shows Americans upgrade their cell phones every 22 months, which is more often than in other countries. So what happens once we ditch our old phones for a new one?
"People have phones sitting in their houses they never sell," Jonathan Martis said. "And once they hear they're worth money, they need to find a place to sell it."
Martis runs Rocklin based UpgradeSwap. He buys used phones and tablets. The prices hinge on the type of device and its condition. He's trying to stand out as one of the newest companies in the mobile device buyback market by offering more cash upfront.
"We offer a same day payment option which allows you to sell your phone that day, get your offer, and we'd pay you the same day," Martis added.
The recommerce trend is booming. So much so that Martis quit his state job to focus on his company. Last August, Martis was buying and selling phone upgrades. That didn't work out., so he revamped his business model.
"I decided if I am going to grow this business to be as big as can be, I need to stop working full time at the state," Martis said. "I have a wife and a kid and it was a tough decision but I believe in this business. "
He makes money by selling the phones on eBay.
It's something Fruen could have done that himself, but there's no guarantee it would have sold. Sites like UpgradeSwap are a sure thing.
"To me it makes all the difference in the world because I'ts actually kind of stressful getting out and meeting different people," Fruen said.
There's billions of dollars sitting in people's drawers," Martis said. "Mobile devices people don't know have value."