BusinessWings.co.uk: Have you always wanted to set up your own business?
Ashley Payne: Yes, certainly. I’ve always wanted to work for myself and be in charge of my own destiny. My mum laughs about how I used to go into school and sell my packed lunch and come home with money.
If there was any sort of craze in schools, like Pogs or Pokemon, I was always the one making money off it. Even before trade-ins were big in the shops, I was selling my computer games second hand to my friends.
So when my business partner, James Forrest, and I came together, it felt like the right time to do it – we both had a very clear vision of what success meant to us and are very focused and work-driven. We had the idea, we had the motivation and we had the goals in mind so cashinyourgadgets was born!
BW: What inspired this idea? What made you think there would be demand for this kind of service?
AP: After doing my A-levels I went to work for a trade company that sold old electronics to foreign countries. I stayed there for three years before setting up my own company doing the same thing with James, called Stock Sourcing.
The goal was to give businesses access to what we call ‘blue chip products’ or highly desirable electronics – and to supply them in good quantities to companies overseas and in the UK.
People change their phones, laptops and cameras more than ever, so we have millions of pounds' worth of old gadgets sitting in our homes gathering dust
We starting to rent a warehouse in Suffolk with 8000 or so square feet and by our third year of business we were turning over £1.5million a year.
Cashinyourgadgets.co.uk was born in response to the ever-increasing popularity of people selling their old stuff online. With the recession, consumers have become increasingly money savvy, looking for new and inventive ways to make money – while we also knew that consumers love gadgets.
People change their phones, laptops and cameras more now than they ever have done in the past meaning that we, as a nation, have millions of pounds worth of old gadgets sitting in our homes gathering dust.
I would literally go around to friends’ houses and work out the amount of money they could be making on their old gadgets lying dormant in cupboards and drawers.
This gave us an idea for cashinyourgadgets. While sites like eBay are a massive success and a good way to make money, the key thing for us is the ease factor and the excellent customer service we provide.
Not only do we give our customers a good price for their gadget but we give them the money quickly and efficiently and have so far had rave reviews on Trust Pilot, the review site.
BW: Would you say demand is growing as people replace phones and other gadgets with ever greater frequency?
AP: Yes definitely. Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen at least three smart phones come out and manufacturers like Apple and Samsung just don’t let you feel like you’re up-to-date unless you’ve got the very latest model.
I’ve had my handset for eight months and it works perfectly but the reality is I’ll probably get a new one in a couple of months. The pressure that manufacturers are under to keep ahead of the game and keep profits rolling in is immense so with the amount that consumers are investing, it’s only fair that they get something back for their older models.
BW: How did you finance the venture?
Cashinyourgadgets.co.uk was financed from a combination of retained profits we had built up over the years and from a small family member loan into the company. We continue to finance it through profit and re-investing money made to improve the website and give consumers an improved offering as time goes on.