This year’s Amusement Expo brought a lot of intriguing new products, including the well-received BuyBack Booth. This “reverse vending machine” exchanges people’s old or broken phones, giving the customer cash or store credit. The idea perked the interest of many Expo attendees, none more so than Andy Shaffer, topper at Shaffer Entertainment which operates across the Midwest and eastern states. Shaffer installed the first BuyBack Booth in the country over the weekend in Arlington, Ohio, at a Verizon retail store near Ohio State University.
“I’m extremely bullish on these,” Shaffer said. “We’re getting our foot in the door with having this type of automated technology. We just need to let the reservoir of young people up the street know the machine is here!”
The idea of recycling broken or simply old phones to retrieve the valuable materials inside isn’t original, but Shaffer and others in the industry believe this is a standalone solution. However, with price and profits in mind, Shaffer had this to say:
“I would like to get more of these, but I could go buy four jukeboxes for how much this cost,” Shaffer said. “That said, I’m not down on the industry or the kiosk, I’m very optimistic. After all, I am the first guy in country to get one! But the key is that if no one knows that kiosk is sitting in there, no one can use it.”
We’ll check back in with Andy after he’s had the unit on location for a bit. Meanwhile, to learn more, check out articles on the BuyBack Booth in previous issues of RePlay and visit the company online at www.buybackbooth.com.