The Silicon Review
"We offer much higher amounts of cash versus retailers who will only provide you trade-in credit—and that’s only if the device is within a two-year mark."
Intending to bring in one percent of the world’s electronic waste through its facility, it appears that Gizmogo is already on its way. The tech buyback company is bringing buzz to the technology industry and peers alike. The company encourages customers to send their old, used, and even broken electronics to its recycling facility and receive hefty amounts in exchange. But what does it take to run such a young startup and turn it into the number one online buyback company in the nation? We sat down with the president and CEO of Gizmogo, James Wang, to find out.
The company is based in Chino, California.
Interview Excerpt: James Wang
Q. Gizmogo is an online used electronic product recycling platform. This sounds highly promising. How did this idea come to your mind? Was there any previous experience that led to the establishment of the company?
JW: When you look at the statistics of how many electronic devices are disposed of improperly, it is shocking. At Gizmogo, we believe that recycling (electronics) can be done properly by educating our customers. The more we can do our part, the better the planet will be. I do have 13 years of experience working in the tech industry. I would see loads of electronic devices thrown into dumpsters; I knew there had to be another way. This is how I came up with the idea—to have a company where we are helping our community by recycling their old, used, or broken phones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets. It was founded in 2019 and has been rapidly growing since.
Q. What are your focus areas?
JW: Definitely the recycling industry, specifically E-waste. We focus on buying back electronics from customers that may end up in landfills. Hazardous components like hydrochloric acid are produced by sitting in landfills and eventually rise to the top. This adds to the air pollution and bad air quality. Studies have been done and found that local communities that reside next to waste areas have a high amount of lead in their system. There are also many common congenital disability cases rising due to the high level of toxins in the environment.
To reduce these causes, we have come up with a way to recycle more electronics properly. Our company offers the most cash in our industry for electronics. Once our customer has sent the phone to us, we inspect it to verify its condition and pay for them accurately. After that, our technicians go in and preserve things like precious metals found in devices. It takes a lot of energy to create new materials, so recycling them helps conserve energy and save the planet.
Q. How do you plan to create a one-stop processing service platform for idle electronic products?
JW: We already have! Gizmogo has come up with a system where we offer our customers free shipping and will even send them a box to ship their idle devices in if needed. Once the electronic is delivered to us, it goes through a secure identification deleting process and is inspected thoroughly. We will then begin to obtain things like metals and microchips that can then be used to give life to another phone, laptop, or computer. All old, used, and broken electronics are welcome.
Q. Who are your clients? Would you like to share a success story or two?
JW: Our customers range from college students looking for cash to pay for books to businesses we partner with to bring in as many electronics to our facility as possible. We have our Brand Ambassador program to allow our customers to earn cash. One client I can think of at the top of my head is a college student, Justin Schiefner. He was a college student when he first heard about Gizmogo and recognized the great incentives our Brand Ambassador program offered to everyday people like himself. He always found himself broke after paying for all of his classes and books. He needed a little more money in his pocket, and we gave him the opportunity through the program. He told his friends about it and how easy it was to join and participate. Soon, Justin was (and still is) one of our top-earning clients. He is happy making extra money while his referral code does the work for him.
Q. How do you measure success, and over what timeframe? How are these metrics determined?
JW: Ever since opening the business, my motto has always been progress, not perfection. Measuring success for me is measuring the rate of how incredibly fast we’re growing and how much more brand awareness we are receiving—also, seeing the electronic devices come through to Gizmogo headquarters. So far, these goals have surpassed my expectations as far as timeframe.
Q. Could you describe your typical management style and the type of employee that works well with you?
JW: I am a very hands-on kind of manager. I love to see how things are going through the day in each department. The entire Gizmogo office attends meetings twice a week with me, and I am always available for each department’s individual needs throughout the week. I like to check with each department to see the progress of the weekly goals set on Monday. I can work well with any employee, as I love to work with people with different perspectives.
Q. What is your company’s policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so the employees can keep up on their skills or acquire new skills?
JW: If any of our employees needed anything at all to excel in their skills, they know they can talk to me about it. I think they know I am very open-minded to their ideas and encourage teamwork. I believe they learn best from each other, as I am constantly preaching about teamwork. Every person working for Gizmogo has an extensive background in customer service, sales, advertising, and marketing. Overall, my employees in each department are experts in their own field, and they know what they’re doing.
Q. What new endeavors is your company currently undertaking?
JW: Right now, our philanthropic views are important to us to execute. On top of educating our community about recycling E-waste, we are also working with local non-profits to get involved with things like beach clean-ups, etc. We have even organized beach clean-up events in the past. Our employees are so passionate about it. We had volunteers offer to clean some of the Orange County beaches we were focusing on. Gizmogo is all about protecting natural resources and ecological sustainability. We need to do our part and implement these practices into our everyday lives.
Q. How do you plan to transform your company into a future that is unfolding before you?
JW: The thing is, everybody uses electronics. I want people to know who we are and to think of us when they need to sell their electronic devices. You know where to go when, say, you need a new TV or laptop. It’s an automatic thought. This is my dream for Gizmogo—to have people in the U.S. know exactly where to go when selling their old devices—no second thoughts. We offer much higher amounts of cash versus retailers who will only provide you trade-in credit. And that’s only if the device is within a two-year mark. We are trying to make a name for ourselves in the U.S. first, then the world.
James Wang: The Inspirational Leader
James Wang, President, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Gizmogo. With 13 years in the technology industry, he knew there was a possible way to increase recycling for electronic devices. Mr. Wang recognizes each device’s precious materials and how it can be given new life for someone less fortunate. He believes through awareness, educating communities, and giving back an incentive to customers would work. Today, Gizmogo is his brainchild for just that.