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Mark Whiteside & Steven Mason
Customer Stories
eTech Surplus

Mark Whiteside & Steven Mason, Founders of eTech Surplus

Spotlight on eTech Surplus

When Mark Whiteside first started selling discarded parts and equipment on eBay in 1998, he had no idea how large his operation would eventually grow. eTech Surplus started with an inventory small enough to fit in a home garage, but today it’s a thriving eBay store housed in a 12,000 square foot warehouse facility. Achieving such success took time, lots of hard work, and a little help from Terapeak.

In the beginning, Mark and business partner Steve Mason set out to create a business model very different from that of the average eBay seller. eTech Surplus would consign, resell, or simply dispose of unwanted business and industrial assets for other companies.

"Finding inventory was difficult early on,” Mark says. "Very few companies put any sort of priority on getting rid of excess equipment, and they can be very selective about who they do business with. We had to do a lot of cold-calling to build up the relationships we have now."

As demand for their service grew, Mark and Steve found that scaling their operation presented unique challenges. "It was easy when it was just the two of us," Mark explains. "We could identify and work out the right asking price for just about anything we listed. But as we hired more staff, it became harder to pass all of that experience on to our employees."

We don't sell iPods.  Used industrial equipment can be challenging to identify and even tougher to price effectively because of factors like condition and low sales volume. We went looking for more sales history than what we could find on eBay. We tried a couple of research solutions and found that Terapeak best fit our needs.

Most eBay sellers won't ever have to use arcane keywords like "microsphere compounding aseptic isolator." But jargon and industry-specific complexities don’t discourage Mark's team. "It doesn't matter how obscure the equipment is," Mark says. "As long as someone has listed it on eBay in the last year, we know what it's worth because of Terapeak."

Though Mark and Steve saw the benefit of Terapeak’s eBay analytics immediately, their satisfaction with Terapeak has continued to grow. "Our employees can look up 90% of what they need to find in Terapeak," Mark explains, "and they only need help with a few of the toughest items. The larger our team grows, the more value we get out of the service."

Terapeak product research is so critical to the continued success of eTech Surplus that Mark can't picture doing business without it. "I would lose an employee," Mark says, "before I would give up Terapeak!" We’d guess that Mark won’t ever have to worry about that particular problem.

Details about eTech Surplus and its commercial asset consignment and disposal services can be found at www.etechsurplus.com

Visit the eTech Surplus store on eBay.

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