Mike Barile spent two years raising nearly $ 20,000 in credit card debt to bring his first startup, Backflip, to life.
The former management consultant spent time at Uber, then through AppAid Academy, after taking a coding academy bootcamp (where Barile met his co-founder Adam Fosner) at Google and at a failed cryptocurrency startup, working hard at startup grinding Were.
Burned by the crypto experience, Bariel was casting for his next thing, and trying to find a way to eliminate some rent money when the idea for a backflip hit. The experience of selling electronics online was still shady and Barile and Fosner thought there should be a better way.
This is how the backflip became. It offers customers cash on delivery for their used electronics — anything from Android to Xbox and Apple devices to Gameboys.
“When I first started working on the backflip in March 2019, I met this kid named Chris and he wanted to buy some of my old iPhones. He was a student at USF and as a side hustle he started buying used equipment and resuming them and then either selling them himself or selling them to an official reseller. , ”Said Barile. “Chris started making so much money that he quit school. It was a moment of holy filth. He can earn a lot of money for doing this and he is doing a really good job. “
The problem, Barile said, was security. “He has got all these devices, for which he is paying cash and he is driving around the city … everyone who works [refurbish and resell] The industry has at least one story about being robbed at gunpoint. “
The backflip solved that problem by being a middleman between buyers and sellers and taking a small commission to manage the transaction.
The company raised its first money at the end of 2019, but before that, Fosner and Barile used electronics away from credit.
So far, Backflip has facilitated the exchange of around 3,000 devices. The company handles everything from wiping a device and ensuring its quality to finding a buyer for electronics. According to data provided by the company, the company pays approximately $ 150 per device and deposits more than $ 500,000 with users of the service.
“We did all kinds of stuff to get our first few users,” Barile said. We posted advertisements on the Facebook marketplace and Craigslist. We started experimenting with the barest-bones mobile app at the end of summer. At that time it was just Adam and me, ”Barile said.
From now on, Backflip is working with the UPS Store to provide in-person drop-off and packaging centers for used electronics. Over time, Barile sees services that offer cash on delivery. “The experience would be similar to an Amazon retreat,” he said. “Also we will pay you.”
Currently half of the company’s inventory is used for handsets and mobile devices, but Barile said he could skip a third of the inventory because the word spreads to about one-hundred pieces of electronics ready for a backflip. is
“Unlike other resale options, Backflip prioritizes user time and convenience,” Fosner said in a statement. “Forget behind-the-scenes negotiations on price and scheduling meetups. We are here to do all the work for the seller and make sure they are paid appropriately and quickly. Backflip users can know that they can use their devices Are getting the most, without having to do anything except bring them to the UPS store or box them at home. “
The connection to the refurbished community began early for Barile, whose mother owned a side business called “Stone Cottage Workshop” where she was flipping refurbished furniture on eBay and at a local thrill store near Bariel’s nuclear hometown.
“We want to build the Amazon of making things disappear from our apartments,” Barile said.