Even the best run label converting businesses accumulate rolls of unused materials or even pieces of equipment. They often retain some degree of value, but are usually trashed. As a rebuttal to this throw-away culture, a UK entrepreneur has created Recycle Depot (www.recycle depot.co.uk). It resembles eBay, but arguably offers better potential in this case because it is specifically targeted at the label, print and packaging industry to trade surplus and unwanted items.
“We had some experience running a small label business, and each year we had a clear-out of product returns, material off-cuts and end-of-line stock. We ended up throwing useable items in the skip or giving them away free to local schools,” said Brin Whitfield. “We estimated that others probably did this too, so we decided to create a marketplace where items could be sold easily and would only incur a cost upon sale of the items.”
Current items on offer include desktop printers, thermal transfer ribbons, paper rolls, self-adhesive label stock, a rotary numbering unit, and even a refurbished Xerox Docucolor 6060. The site operates on a “no-sale, no-fee” policy and items stay advertised as long as required. When the product is sold the customer pays a fee of 30 percent of the sale price, ranging from a minimum of £10 to a maximum of £100 ($173).
“To make it easy for the advertiser, we administer the adding of products to the site,” says Whitfield. “All the customer needs to do is fill in a simple form which can be faxed or e-mailed back to us and we set it up. No money changes hands on our site. If someone sees a product they like, they add it to their basket and the contact details are forwarded to the seller, who calls them and arranges payment and shipping directly.”
He adds that customers can also place wanted ads for items they may require. Suppliers of new products can also purchase a banner advertisement in the first part of each section. There is also a free directory listing of companies that can supply those products. During 2006 he says he will donate 10 percent of all revenues generated on Recycle Depot to environmental charities within the UK.