Growing Companies

What started as a guy buying and selling used cell phones is now a company that sells thousands of iPhones and computers every year.

Brian Burke started IBuyCells in 2006. Alone, he was buying and selling used Verizon phones out of his house in Loveland. In 2008, he saw much more potential in selling Apple computers and iPhones. In October of 2009, he founded SellYourMac.Com and generated $1 million of revenue in the first year.

For the first year, pallets of used computers and iPhones were being shipped to his home. So many were coming in that his neighbors began complaining to the City of Loveland. After receiving a cease and desist order, Burke decided it was time to find an office.

Now located in Lincoln Heights, right off of I-75, Burke and his nine employees receive up to 800 computers at a time. They wipe all existing data from the computers, then upgrade and clean the products. After the computers are shiny as new, or as close as they can be, they’re put into the inventory and loaded onto SellYourMac.Com and Ebay. Ebay is the main point of sale for the company, providing around 95 percent of sales.
Using e-mail lists from publications such as MacWorld, Burke sends out blasts about SellYourMac to up to 270,000 people. His most successful blast was responsible for more than 200 quotes on their products soon after the e-mail was sent and 3,000 people on their site at one time. SellYourMac also has some of the highest rates of Google organic search in the world. Type in “Sell Mac,” or “Sell iPhone,” and SellYourMac will be on of the, if not the first, websites listed.

“I’ve always known that the market potential is huge,” Burke says. “People are always upgrading their Apple devices, especially iPhones.”

With upgrade times for iPhones usually running around two years, and three to four years for MacBooks, SellYourMac sells more than 2,000 iPhones and 3,000 to 4,000 MacBooks and MacBook Pros annually.

With the growing business, Burke is looking at a new space in Loveland with more room for a small retail center. The 600-square-foot retail center will resemble an Apple store, and have several computers set up for people to use and play around with, which Burke believes is one of the easiest ways to sell a Mac. Burke thinks the retail center will increase sales, but he will continue to focus on the online side of the business as his main source of income.

“Right now, we are only at about one percent of our potential,” Burke says. “We have so much room to grow.”

By Evan Wallis
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7A Techview Dr
Cincinnati, Ohio 45215
Brian Burke