Earlier this week, I came across a new and cool service called Take My Mac, which purchase Apple hardware (iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, etc.). As someone with a lot hardware sitting in my office (and an environmentalist), it struck me as a great idea so I fired off five questions to Take My Mac’s Andrea Bebirian
Q: How did Take My Mac Get started?
Take My Mac was actually inspired through my own love of Apple electronics. Apple is one of the most successful and innovative companies in the electronic market. With Apple always coming out with newer technology that excites the consumer market, many people often want to upgrade their current device or desire to gain quick access to cash.
I took the time to talk to some people I knew who always bought the latest iPhone model. I asked what they did with their older iPhone. One of them told me, “Right now, I’m holding off from selling my other iPhone. I seriously don’t have the time to sell it. I have to go to Chicago for 2 weeks, and then I’m flying out again to visit some family. I’m just going to upgrade and get it over with since I just need that new iPhone now.”
The other person told me, “I dropped my phone by accident and the screen shattered. Who would want a broken iPhone? It’s wasn’t worth much anyway since it was pretty battered up, so I tossed it.” (YIKES!)
I thought about what those people told me that night. One person just tossed their phone aside, while the other one contributed to e-waste… I knew there had to be a solution for these two examples. That’s when I thought, “To please the consumer market by providing them an easy to use service to sell their popular Apple devices and to cut down on e-waste, I could open a company to eliminate the hurdles of the lengthy and sometimes frustrating selling and recycling process.”
Q: How does Take My Mac work?
Take My Mac works so easily. All you have to do is visit http://takemymac.com and click on the “get started” tab. From there, choose your device and fill out a form to provide details about your electronic device. Through email, the consumer will receive an excellent quote for the device and has the option to either accept or decline the offer. If the owner of the device accepts, a prepaid label is sent to them to ship out their device. Therefore, they aren’t charged for shipping!
Once Take My Mac receives the device, it is inspected, and all personal and non-personal data is removed in a secure manner, if necessary. Once this process is complete, the previous owner of the device gets paid – and they’re done!
Q: What happens after a product is purchased?
3. With all the devices Take My Mac receives, they go towards good use. For instance, affordable laptops will be openly available to schools who are in need of technology upgrades, while iPhones are pitched to aspiring startup companies looking for an inexpensive way to connect with their employees and customers. In addition, other electronics are placed into “second homes” to be reused again to their full potential. Other electronics that have no value are recycled completely – guaranteeing absolutely no waste in order to keep the earth clean to reduce the increasing rate of e-waste.
Q: What’s been the response so far?
4. Our response has been growing a bit. We are really trying our hardest to get the word out about our company. We are hoping that with much interest and exposure, we will have a huge boom for our quality service, loyalty, and high satisfaction rate. No surprises yet – but we have one coming up in the future!
Q: Why do you think so much computer hardware isn’t recycled or refurbished?
5. In my personal opinion, many people may not think twice about what their electronics can do to the environment. In 2007, 205.5 million computers were disposed, with only 18% being recycled. Moreover, 140.3 million phones were trashed, with only 10% of those units being recycled. Because of these statistics, hazardous waste has driven the United States to spend millions of dollars to recover harmful elements within landfills to avoid harming the environment. Many of these devices that contain cancer causing agents such as chromium, lead, and cadmium are extremely harmful to our health when they are trashed.
We as consumers should definitely be aware of the impact we could make if we could recycle and sell our electronics towards good use. Just by recycling our electronics, we are protecting our health and the environment, conserving natural resources, supporting the community, and we can create more recycling jobs to regulate the economy. As for companies, they are steadily catching onto the “green” movement, and Take My Mac is delighted to see this trend rise. We are hopeful other companies who do not fully practice green methods will catch onto the trend.