For about a year now, a Web site that started life as Second Rotation has been buying back electronic gadgets including cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, laptops, GPS devices, gaming consoles, camcorders, satellite radios and portable hard drives. No matter how old.
During that time, the company figures it has helped divert about 5 million tons of this stuff from landfills. Now officially known as Gazelle, the site is officially out of beta and focused on establishing relationships that could make it a valuable partner for the business community. I would put Gazelle in a similar class (although not the same) as TechForward, a site that provides a guaranteed buyback service when you actually buy your new device. Gazelle is modeled more after eBay, in which how you get rid of your device is an afterthought. TechForward is part of a movement called Ownership 2.0 (honestly, I'm not making it up), which makes green disposal part of the "purchase" process. Here's more on the concept.
You can figure out whether some of your old gadgets can snag you some cash by searching for what you'd like to sell and then filling out a "Get An Offer" form. At that point, you'll find out how much Gazelle is willing to way for your product and how that price compares with the current market value. If you like what you see, Gazelle will send you a box to send it in. Once it has checked the condition against what you've claimed, the company will send you a check or donate money to charity on your behalf.
Rousseau Aurelien, CEO, says that about 20 percent of the people who get rid of stuff on the site are upgrading to a new version. Not so surprisingly from my standpoint, about 10 percent of the account holders are small-business owners looking to get rid of old technology, so Gazelle is exploring how to make the service more useful to these sorts of users. Aurelien says Gazelle also is negotiating potential relationships with retailers and wireless carriers. The site already includes a referral capability, which pays you cash every time whenever some you invite into the network sells at least $50 of stuff.
Aurelien Among the most popular items being sold on the site are GPS devices (there has been a recent wave of new releases), digital cameras and smart phones. Over the last month, no surprise, there has been a spike in iPhone sales activity.
What make a "re-commerce" site like Gazelle any different than the world's largest electronic garage sale and flea market, eBay? Basically, its commitment to responsibly recycle anything for which it can find no market value.