Sage Sustainable Electronics has unveiled what it hopes can be the Kelley Blue Book of the e-scrap industry.
Columbus, Ohio-based Sage announced the public launch of the Sage BlueBook, a website providing estimates of values of e-scrap. The free beta version is the world’s largest source of pricing information for used computing devices, according to Sage.
“We hope that the BlueBook helps our business, of course, but from a mission perspective, we know that it’s going to help people rationalize extending the life of used electronics,” Sage CEO Bob Houghton told E-Scrap News. “We think the BlueBook is a way of motivating people to reuse rather than recycle, to repair more than they do.”
Sage offers ITAD, recycling and data destruction services.
The company’s BlueBook site currently provides value estimates for about 11 million device models from more than 9,000 manufacturers, Houghton said. It provides estimates for resale of electronics in various conditions, from refurbished to not working, as well as an estimate for the value of materials if a given product was recycled.
Currently, IT asset disposition professionals and others often rely on Internet searches to get an idea of an item’s value. But, in Houghton’s own Google search for a Dell device, he found a $50 price and a $150 price for the same item and configuration.
“The problem for anybody that’s in the business right now is there is a real dearth of solid information about values,” Houghton said. “What the BlueBook attempts to do is attempt to sort through all the noise in the market and produce market pricing for a particular model in a particular configuration.”
Anybody can do market research but the process is expensive, so it only makes sense on high-value items, he said. The BlueBook makes it more likely the life of a $50 laptop will be extended alongside that of a $300 laptop, he said.
The software constantly searches selling prices to find a valid value, he said. The most in-demand items have their values updated daily or weekly, and others less often. The software constantly augments the database with new items as well.
“The prices that it provides are not Sage prices, per se,” Houghton said. “These are not what we think this stuff is worth. These are an analysis of market data. It is what it is. It’s what the stuff is selling for out there.”
The materials value from recycling is based not on actual list prices but on a calculation taking into account estimates of commodity weights in a particular item and the current selling prices of those commodities. Some entries lack a recycling value because the software lacks weights for commodities in particular devices.
Sage plans to roll out a pro version in coming weeks. The pro version, available by subscription, will have additional features, including the ability to upload a large list of items to find value estimates and a forecast of future values.