Guests and Profiles

Inspiring Success: Trade2Save Uses the Terapeak API to Generate Profits, Progress

By Aron Hsiao  on April 03, 2013

Charities like Game Changer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation give hope to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses, offering the rest of us a chance to make a small difference through donations. Thanks to Trade2Save.com, charities can accept consumer electronics devices through the Terapeak API to make material giving possible.

The Trade2Save Story

Trade2Save.com, based in San Francisco, California, was founded by CEO Chris Whittome in 2007 after moving from England to the U.S. The company provides consumers with a platform backed by the Terapeak API to sell used cell phones for cash. The company also operates an online trade-in website and powers the in-store cell phone and consumer electronics buying operations of hundreds of retail Play N Trade stores around the U.S.

Trade2Save enables the GameChanger charity to make a big difference in the lives of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Key services include:

  • A web platform for consumers to sell used iPhones, Cell Phones or iPads at great prices using a free return shipping kit and receiving payment as soon as the device is received.

  • Convenient Play N Trade store partnerships for consumers to turn a cell phone or other device into cash or apply trade-in value toward store credit.

  • Options to donate used cell phones or other device to charities, via web or in-store, to help children fighting life-threatening illnesses.

The company has relied heavily on the Terapeak API since the very beginning. "If we hadn't had Terapeak," Whittome says, "we simply couldn't have done this; we would have needed dozens of people working on pricing all the time. We wouldn't have been able to get into the business, full stop."

How Trade2Save Software Works

Trade2Save's software, which powers its for-profit website, charitable relationships, and the buying operations of Play N Trade retail stores, utilizes Terapeak's Research API and developer program for data.

The Trade2Save product purchase process:

  1. A search query is assembled in the Trade2Save software platform for the item in question.

  2. When submitted, the query is passed to Terapeak's Research API, which has access to the full database of Terapeak data.

  3. Terapeak immediately returns current pricing information for the item to Trade2Save who makes an on-the-spot offer to the seller accordingly, maximizing both the offered price and the resulting margin.

"Terapeak's API and data are primary tools for us," says Whittome. "The great thing about them is that they allow us to offer the highest possible and most up-to-date prices." This real-time, automated dimension of Trade2Save's Terapeak use is critical to its business model.

"While the customer is busy answering the question sheet about their device on our website—does it turn on, what is its condition, does it come with a battery, and so on—our software is busy querying Terapeak about it. By the time they click the 'Calculate Price' button, Terapeak has updated our price so that the offer that we make to them absolutely reflects its current market value."

Trade2Save's Terapeak API searches are regularly updated to ensure that customers receive the highest possible offers, and to ensure that there are no incorrect or unreasonably high or low offers.

"In our Terapeak searches we use a lot of wildcards and differentiate between products that are in good and bad condition," says Whittome. “For example, by adding exclusions like '-as' to eliminate AS-IS data, '-cracked' to eliminate cracked screens, and other similar things. We also eliminate the risk of outsized offers by setting a maximum price and minimum price through the API. That way, we discard anomalous sale prices from our decision-making process."

The result is a software platform that uses current marketplace data that is able to move with the market and process over a quarter of a million dollars in consumer electronics goods each year. This enables new kinds of charitable giving.

Chris Wittome and the Trade2Save team promoting their business and charitable work at CES 2012.

Growth, Profitability, and Giving

Thanks to Trade2Save and Terapeak, when a consumer sells their used cell phone or consumer electronics device, they can make the world a better place in the process. At the point of sale each Trade2Save customer has the option to donate dollars directly to charities, or take the full sale amount. 30 percent of Trade2Save's profits go directly to select charities that help children with life threatening illnesses.

"There is such a large amount of cell phones and other consumer electronics gadgets out there," says Whittome, "and yet people have this thing in the back of their mind that says there's not much value in these things. Terapeak allows us to show them that there is value there—and to incentivize them to sell or donate their devices, instead of chucking them or leaving them to gather dust in a closet."

Whittome is looking to grow both the business and charitable operations going forward, adding more donation partners with GameChanger Charity and beginning to work with educational programs like the Irvine Public Schools Foundation. Thanks to his hard work, clever business model, and the Terapeak API, the future for Trade2Save, for countless gadgets that would otherwise be forgotten, and for children in need, is a little bit brighter.

To see how Terapeak can help you to start and grow your business, take advantage of Terapeak's free trial membership today.

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