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Tom Stroup
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Valaset Services

Tom Stroup, Founder of Valaset Services

Spotlight on Valaset Services

At the 11th annual eBay Radio Party & Conference in Las Vegas, I was excited to meet with Tom Stroup, a longtime Terapeak customer and owner of Valaset.com Services, an I.T. and telecommunications asset recovery company.

Tom used to work as a service manager for an I.T. and Telecom company in Michigan. After the company went out of business in 2005, he took some time off. "I needed to recharge and consider my options,” he says. “I spent that summer dabbling in selling online. I had only ever used eBay as a buyer before then, but I hit a few estate sales in the area and found some things to resell."

That small beginning would eventually lead to years of successful eBay selling.

As Tom experimented with online retail, he tried to come up with sources of inventory—and was reminded of the clients from his former line of work. Whenever a new phone system or computer equipment was installed, they were left with obsolete equipment and had to dispose of their unwanted assets. It occurred to Tom that there was an unmet need in many businesses in the area for the collection of parts and equipment to be recycled, refurbished, or resold.

"I came up with the idea for Valaset Services by merging the words Value and Asset,” Tom explains. My clients have assets they no longer need and I help them recover some value in the disposal process."

As eBay became a growing source of sales for his business, Tom explored services and solutions for e-commerce retailers

I first encountered Terapeak while attending an eBay Live event in 2007--I asked one of the guys at the booth to show me how eBay analytics could benefit my business and I signed up right then and there. I have been using Terapeak daily ever since.

Like many eBay businesses, Valaset Services continually adapts as it grows. Tom describes how his inventory storage capacity has changed since he founded the company, "At first my inventory fit in my basement,” he says. “Then it expanded to include my garage. I added a 10’ by 20’ storage unit and the need for more room kept increasing. Within a couple of years, the operation became busy enough to warrant hiring full time employees and a warehouse space. We currently occupy 4,400 square feet and our inventory covers numerous product categories such as Computers & Networking, Ink Cartridges, and Cellphones."

Tom says that Terapeak plays a major role in processing new stock at Valaset Services. "When we receive inventory,” he explains, “one of my staff takes a laptop and goes through each pallet deciding which items are worth reselling and which items are going to be recycled, and it's all based on Terapeak data. That same data helps us assign pricing effectively, which is so important when you list used computer parts."

In Tom’s opinion, Terapeak is the best analytics solution for his operation. "Anyone can run a search in eBay completed listings and see a small sample of recent activity,” he says, “but are they really researching their product? When we process a unique piece of equipment like a Blade Server (which might only sell a few times a year), we rely on being able to search through an entire year of eBay sales history to make the right decision about whether that item is worth listing online. And some of those items turn out to be very valuable."

Meeting Tom in person in Las Vegas was a treat. It's not everyday that I get to interact with Terapeak customers like Tom in person. When I ask what the future holds for Valaset Services, his outlook is bright. "Like any business owner,” Tom says, “I'm determined to keep growing the operation. We continue to add new clients and expand our inventory into new product categories."

More information about business asset recovery services can be found at valaset.com

Visit the Valaset Services store on eBay. 

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