Redefining Hardware Recycling Programs: The Power of Revivn's Direct Buyback Program

For years, the hardware recycling industry has primarily operated on a revenue share model — but Revivn’s direct buyback model is fundamentally reshaping the industry.

Revivn’s innovative approach simplifies the resale process, eliminating the uncertainties and surprises associated with revenue sharing. As a result, our direct buyback model offers more transparency, efficiency, and value for customers. Here’s how it works. 

Understanding the traditional revenue share model 

Historically, the industry has operated on a fee-for-service basis, charging for services like pickups, data wiping, and hardware serialization. 

As the industry evolved, however, it became evident that some of the hardware possessed secondary market value and could be resold. This led to the introduction of a revenue share model, with pre-negotiated fees for various processes. 

In this model, revenue is shared only after hardware is resold. Following the pickup, the vendor provides a preliminary report detailing the processed hardware and associated fees incurred. Over the next 60 days, they attempt to remarket, or resell, the hardware. In the event of successful resale, they deduct the previously incurred fees. They then share 60-70% of the resulting proceeds with the customer, a percentage that is considered the market standard. 

Challenges in assessing resale value 

One significant limitation of this model, however, lies in the challenge of valuing and remarketing used hardware. It’s a challenging loop — selling an item is difficult without knowing its value, and without frequent sales, it’s hard to determine that value. 

The challenge stems from two key factors: 

  1. There is no universal database that provides valuation for items — akin to a stock market for used hardware.
  2. Because traditional recycling partners cater to a diverse client base, they collect a wide array of enterprise SKUs from various industries. This ranges from finance companies with Bloomberg terminals and networked desktops, to tech companies primarily using Macs, as well as hospitals using healthcare IT equipment. This lack of specialization complicates the ability to determine the marketability and resale value of the collected items. 

During the 60-day period following hardware collection, these vendors contact wholesalers, buyers, and brokers to ascertain market demand and pricing. However, this is a manual and time-consuming process. While proficient vendors can make markets well for specific products, the task remains challenging. Given their broad range of products, they often resort to wholesaling the majority of their hardware when making new markets. 

This unpredictability leads to a poor customer experience

This traditional model introduces a degree of unpredictability for clients. Once hardware is surrendered to a recycling vendor, clients are left uncertain about whether they’ll ultimately receive compensation or incur fees. The final financial outcome becomes clear only after the two-month remarketing period.

Compounding this uncertainty is the time constraint faced by traditional vendors to conclude transactions within 60 days. This pressure may lead to sales at suboptimal prices, potentially reducing earnings for all parties involved.

Ultimately, traditional vendors are structured to be profitable across various industries. However, the broad spectrum of hardware and SKUs they handle complicates the creation of effective markets for these products. This diversity in client needs and hardware types prevent traditional vendors from delivering a consistently high-quality customer experience.

Understanding Revivn’s innovative approach 

Our specialized, data-driven approach to forecasting resale value

Unlike traditional recycling vendors, which typically service schools, governments, and corporations, Revivn only services corporations. Because we specialize in specific sectors such as tech, marketing, and entertainment companies, we collect fewer SKUs than the average recycler. 

Our focus is strictly on corporate IT equipment — the hardware used to power your end users, office, and backend infrastructure, including server equipment. Because traditional vendors have a wider client base, they collect a more diverse array of equipment, including medical equipment and cable boxes, which are outside our collection scope. Our specialized scope enables us to more accurately assess the marketability of assets.

Additionally, unlike traditional recycling vendors, we leverage technology and big data. We compile datasets of all SKUs we receive and run sophisticated pricing algorithms for assets being resold. This system crawls the web, tracking the selling prices of hardware and wholesale assets. Additionally, we use our own proprietary software that allows us to credit our clients prior to actually reselling the hardware. By assuming the risk associated with this process, we ensure our clients receive faster payments compared to those offered by traditional vendors.

Our accuracy is further enhanced by the consistency of SKUs we receive, with new SKUs generally falling within one to two standard deviations from those we regularly process. With over a decade of experience, our models are enriched with extensive data, ensuring accuracy and reliability. 

Our bulk (aka lot buyback) model vs. the traditional consignment model

What also makes Revivn unique is our comprehensive “bulk” pricing approach for your hardware collection, rather than individual line item pricing. 

In contrast, traditional recycling vendors often operate on a consignment basis and provide detailed line item pricing. This allows clients to see the individual sale price and revenue generated for each piece of hardware. 

However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that these line item prices are not always accurate. Frequently, different SKUs are sold at identical prices. This occurs because many traditional vendors wholesale the bulk of the hardware and simply divide the value of the wholesale lot by the number of devices. To verify this, one can review their reports and compare the final prices for two similar-spec laptops to see if they are identical. This happens because wholesale buyers often don’t provide detailed line item pricing. As a result, traditional recycling vendors — who are striving to sell items for the highest value — must estimate the wholesaler’s bids on each item due to the lack of information. 

Additionally, accurately showing net sale prices in e-commerce transactions can be difficult, especially with marketplace fee deductions. For example, an item selling for $100 on eBay might net the seller $90 after fees. The client then receives 60-70% of this amount. Displaying the details of this transaction in line item pricing isn’t feasible, and as a result, it’s a detail often overlooked in standard reporting. 

Our bulk (aka lot buyback) approach diverges from this practice. We do not assign individual prices to each unit. Instead, we provide a single, guaranteed, aggregated price for your entire collection of hardware. As a result, our bulk purchasing strategy effectively absorbs the risk of market fluctuations that impact price, ensuring a more stable and predictable pricing model for our clients. Additionally, our model allows us to post buyback in 10 business days or less and wire the funds to customers immediately.

Ultimately, the experiences provided by traditional recycling vendors and Revivn are distinctly different. With traditional vendors, there’s typically a 90-day wait to receive either a bill or payment — the latter of which is determined by questionable line item pricing. In contrast, Revivn ensures payment 10 days after pickup, providing a straightforward process with no surprises. 

Revivn’s net positive model: a commitment to our customers

At Revivn, our net positive program is designed to help exempt our customers from any fees and instead earn funds from pickups. We work to waive fees for pickups that have secondary value. In instances where pickups do incur costs, we inform the customer upfront, and they can use credits in their account from previous pickups to offset them. 

Additionally, asset disposition often presents budgetary challenges for IT departments. In some quarters, they may need to request additional budget for disposition fees, while in others, they encounter unexpected financial returns. This unpredictability in expenses and revenue can be difficult to navigate. To mitigate this, Revivn allows customers to accrue buyback credits in our app, which can be strategically applied to offset costs for future pickups. In addition, our dedicated account management team will evaluate your upcoming offline assets and build you the most effective plan tailored to your needs. 

Furthermore, our capability to accurately forecast resale values enables us to offer our customers a guaranteed quote upfront. This approach ensures complete transparency with no hidden surprises, and customers can receive payment and reporting without waiting for resale. There are never any unforeseen charges arising later on, which can occur with other traditional recycling vendors if they fail to market the equipment. 

Revivn's methodology marks a leap forward in the industry, offering customers a more efficient, predictable, and profitable experience.

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