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Recycling at an ecoATM

The automatic teller machine was a mind-blowing concept during 1930’s but our ancestors did not have the technology to design the machine then.

Several years later the machine was designed and people loved to use it. Users were able to make financial transactions without waiting in the queue or filling out forms.

Late in 2012 a US based startup designed a fully automated machine, the ecoATM, which pays you instant cash for your old or broken electronics gadget.

Recycling or making money with old electronic gadgets is usually a bit of a problem, not to mention, a hassle. Either you sell the item for a pittance or you donate it. But an automatic machine which pays you instantly for your old junk is truly a remarkable idea. It is a right blend of technology and recycling.

The machine works exceptionally smartly with a state-of-art database and intelligence system. It begins with a visual scan where the seller places their device in the ecoATM kiosk and where the kiosk will identify the device model and provides appropriate connector cable for linking the device to the ecoATM network.

When the user connects the connector to the device its value is estimated based on a real-time pre-auction system which has a vast network of buyers who bid these phones in advance.

The machine compares the device with undamaged models using algorithms and tags a price for the device that the user has placed on it. However the co-founder of this project, Mark Bowles, says that some customers have successfully tricked the machine to pay for fakes. The security of the machine is enhanced by asking the user to enter a drivers license number and thumb prints. This eliminates the risk of the machine taking fake products.

You can either get cash from the machine or use it as store credit. It even has an option to donate the money instantly to a selected charity.

With 60 employees and more than 150 ecoATMs across the U.S. the company has been able to recycle more than 600,000 devices so far with the aim of recycling 25 million by 2014.

The co-founder says “They might buy a broken iPhone 4 from me for $250 and then put a $50 refurb in to fix the glass. If they had to buy it from Apple, it would be $700.”

Article and image source:  ecoATM

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