Backflip Offers Easier Way To Turn Used Electronics Into Hard Cash – TechCrunch

Mike Barile spent two years racking up nearly $ 20,000 in credit card debt to bring his first startup, Backflip, to life.

The former management consultant had spent years working hard in startups, first at Uber, then, after completing a coding academy bootcamp through AppAcademy (where Barile met his co-founder, Adam Foosaner) , at Google and at a failing cryptocurrency startup.

Burned out by the crypto experience, Barile was looking for his next thing and trying to find a way to get some money back for the rent, when he came up with the idea for Backflip. The experience of selling electronics online was still shady and Barile and Foosaner believed there had to be a better way.

In this way became Backflip. It offers cash on delivery customers for their used electronics, from Android devices to Xboxes and Apple devices to Game Boys.

When I started working on the backflip in March 2019 I met this kid named Chris and he wanted to buy some of my old iPhones. He had been a student at USF and at the same time he started buying used devices and refurbishing them and then selling them himself or to an official dealer, ”said Barile. “Chris started making so much money he dropped out of school. It was a ‘fucking shit’ moment. He can make a lot of money doing this and he’s doing a really good thing.

The problem, Barile said, was security. “He has all these devices that he buys cash for and he drives all over town… Anyone who works in the [refurbish and resell] the industry has at least a history of theft at gunpoint.

Backflip solved this problem by being the middleman between buyers and sellers and taking a small commission to handle the transaction.

The company raised its first funds at the end of 2019, but before that, Foosaner and Barile lived on credit and used electronics.

So far, Backflip has facilitated the exchange of approximately 3,000 devices. The company takes care of everything, from wiping a device to ensuring its quality, including finding a buyer for the electronics. The company pays around $ 150 per device and has deposited just over $ 500,000 with users of the service, according to data provided by the company.

“We did all kinds of things to get our first few users,” Barile said. We have posted ads on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. We started experimenting at the end of the summer with the simplest kind of mobile app. At that time it was just Adam and me, ”Barile said.

As of now, Backflip is working with UPS stores to provide in-person drop-off and packing centers for used electronics. Over time, Barile sees these services expand to offer cash on delivery. “The experience will be similar to a comeback from Amazon,” he said. “Except we’ll pay you.”

Currently, around half of the company’s inventory is second-hand handsets and mobile devices, but Barile said that could drop to a third of inventory as rumor spreads about it. hundreds of electronic devices that Backflip is ready to accept.

“Unlike other resale options, Backflip prioritizes time and user convenience,” Foosaner said in a statement.. “Forget the back and forth of negotiating prices and scheduling an appointment. We’re here to do all the work for the seller and make sure they get paid fairly and quickly. Backflip users can know they’re getting the most out of their devices without having to do anything other than bring them to The UPS Store or pack them up at home.

The connection to the home improvement community started early for Barile, whose mother had a side business called ‘Stone Cottage Workshop’ where she sold refurbished furniture on eBay and at local thrift stores near the bucolic hometown of Barile. in New Jersey.

“We want to build the Amazon by removing things from your apartment,” Barile said.

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