REbillion – Wouldn’t it be cool if…

REfficient Inukshuk

A signpost at REfficient – an inukshuk made from old server parts

A few pivotal things have happened over the last week.

It all started when I was talking with one of the City of Hamilton’s staff. He asked me what REfficient’s “big hairy audacious goal” (BHAG) was. The term was made popular in the book “Built to Last” and refers to the long term inspirational (and almost impossible) vision that companies set as a guide. We had realized early on that we wanted to create the “world’s sustainable marketplace”, but we’ve also evolved a lot since then. I realized I hadn’t thought about our BHAG recently. The conversation planted a seed.

Then I heard Frank O’Dea, Founder of Second Cup, speak at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce convention here in Hamilton. Frank was alcoholic and homeless during his youth in Toronto, and turned his life around through what he realized were three simple things. Continue reading

Tips for Reusing Packaging Supplies

Many packaging supplies can be reused to save money and be eco-friendly.

Many packaging supplies can be reused to save money and be eco-friendly.

Reuse is a great way to be environmentally friendly and save money. At REfficient, we apply this principle to as much as possible. This is obviously seen through our marketplace, but also in how we’ve redecorated our office.

We also encourage including reusing packaging supplies when possible.  But how do you do it effectively?

Here are common packaging materials which can be reused and tips to repurpose them effectively:


  • Check the durability of the boxes – this includes the seams of the boxes to ensure that they can hold weight again. You may have to re-tape the seams of the box to give them extra strength.
  • Remove or cover any company specific information, or information pertaining to previous shipments.
  • If the durability of boxes is poor, you can open them up so they lay flat, and use them as the lay sheets for pallets. Continue reading

How to Encourage More Women in Tech

How do we encourage more women entrepreneurs in technology?

How do we encourage more women entrepreneurs in technology?

Entrepreneurship is not just about great ideas – it’s about putting them into action.

In a previous posting “Why are there not more female tech entrepreneurs?”, I reflected on my experience as a female entrepreneur in the tech space and the lack of women colleagues. I identified issues that I have seen and experienced personally which work against more females getting involved in tech.

Yet being aware of some of the issues is one thing; doing something about them is another. Here are four suggested to-do’s, some of which are already underway thanks to leaders in this area. In those cases, we do not need to reinvent the wheel. Continue reading

Are Your Selling Price Expectations Realistic?

Pace cable boxes, DCT6200, DCT6208

Looking to sell equipment? Check if your expectations are realistic.

A recurring theme we see at REfficient is that selling price expectations are sometimes out of line with the market. It is hard to fault people – you buy it at one price at a point in time, so why wouldn’t you be able to sell it as such? There are actually several reasons.

Here are some pointers to consider when thinking about the selling price.

Technology depreciates too

There are many factors which go into technology depreciation. Certainly an obvious factor is the age of the equipment. The older a piece of equipment is, generally the less it is worth.

There are other factors that figure into depreciation too. The type of technology and the direction that technology has taken overall can affect the selling price. The legacy value of the brand and the demand for use are other important factors. Continue reading