U.S. News

Turn Old Tech Into Cash With SecondRotation

Linda R. Sittenfeld, Senior Producer

What are you doing with that drawerful of old cell phones? And those early digital cameras?

Wish you could get a little cash for them without the hassle of starting up your own business? Now you can. Rousseau Aurelien, CEO of Second Rotation explains:

What is Second Rotation?
SecondRotation.com is a Web site where people can sell consumer electronics very easily. Second Rotation takes away the challenges people face in peer-to-peer commerce. Only one in 30 registered users on eBay becomes a seller. It's too much trouble. It takes too much time. And that prevents people from participating in high volume.

Second Rotation provides three types of rewards: financial, it's great for the environment, and you can choose to donate to a charity right on our site.

How does it work?
The service is targeted directly at consumers, the most demanding segment of the population. We also receive items for companies, and we're expanding that.

We take the products and 90 percent get serviced and sold to secondary channels. The remainder get recycled.

We are not a consignment shop. We are a buyer and reseller.

Will you take any sort of gadget I've got?
We currently support 10,000 skus in our database, and we're adding more all the time. All are resold in the U.S. right now. Many on eBay.

You'd be surprised how many people want a BlackBerry Pearl but they don't want a new one. We had iPhones 30 days after they came out.

How many people do you have working for you?
We have a staff of 33 people. Some in engineering, some in marketing and merchandising. And many in processing — cleaning up the items and reselling them.

Is this a good business?
The market is huge. Around $18 billion for all products. And we don't want to just participate. We want to rule this space.

How did you get start-up funding?
We are working with Venrock, one of the most established venture firms in the country. Their mandate is to create million-dollar companies.

Are you making money right now?
We launched in July 2007. Of course, we make money on every transaction, but we're still in expenditure mode. We expect to be profitable in March 2009.