Cash in your old phone
Cellphone recycling is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Most devices contain poisonous substances, such as mercury and arsenic, that are harmful to the environment if they end up in a landfill.
To prevent this, companies like Zwipit are encouraging consumers to sell their old cellphones and smartphones, which they then refurbish and resell.
Zwipit was started in Spain and has now expanded into 10 other countries including Turkey, Italy and Chile.
Zwipit South Africa’s CEO Felix Martin-Aguilar says that there are about 70m cellular devices in SA, which meets the demand and supply the company needed as a gateway to venture into the continent.
Through a four-step e-commerce process, Zwipit gives you cash for your unwanted devices.
Consumers access the mobile-friendly website, enter details of the cellphone they want to sell and are then given an offer for the phone that they can either accept or reject. Once an offer has been accepted, a courier will fetch the device from the consumer and the cash will be deposited into their account within 10 working days.
Director of marketing and South Africa operations Nothando Moleketi says the e-commerce model still poses challenges in an environment like SA’s where people are still very wary of the business model.
“As we grow we will partner with retailers so that consumers can sell their devices through them and then receive vouchers from the store,” Moleketi said.
Although Zwipit has only been in SA since 25 November, Martin-Aguilar is optimistic about its growth in the market. “We have had a good start to operations and I am confident we will reach 5 000 units sold by the end of the first quarter.”
Through partnership with Microsoft Mobile devices, Moleketi says the company is reaching more people and increasing its presence on social media platforms.
Due to this being the f irst venture into Africa, Zwipit’s pricing still relies on international demand and supply. Currently, it also only sells recycled units on the international market.
Moleketi notes that the demand for certain devices in Africa will differ to that of Europe and is confident that in time Zwipit will have a presence that is strong enough to buy and sell within Africa.
“We just need to educate the consumer on e-commerce as they are not as comfortable [with it] as people are internationally. When we go into phase two we will look into having a refurbishment facility in South Africa and t hen have pricing on African standards,” she
“We have had a good start to operations and I am confident we will reach 5 000 units sold by the end of the first quarter.”
Nothando Moleketi and Felix Martin-Aguilar