Reaching a Tipping Point – What It’s Really Meant

Tipping points are reached with critical mass, when momentum starts to take over.

Tipping points are reached with critical mass, when momentum starts to take over.

I feel like we have reached a tipping point in the last two months.

The first clue was when I met random new people at events and they had actually heard of REfficient before. Yes, “actually” because they could recount specifics about the company. They knew we were an online marketplace for businesses, and they would mention where they had seen us – in the newspaper, in a magazine, or just through word of mouth. It became clear to me that we had established a market awareness we did not have before. Continue reading

Not Such a Dirty Word After All

Caught you looking, didn’t I?  At REfficient we try to avoid using this word to describe some of our inventory, mainly because the word has a negative connotation. It sounds bad. It makes things sound like they’re worn out. Useless by today’s standards. No longer worthy. Well, you get the idea.

The thing is, #$@*&%# is not always a bad thing — in fact quite often it’s a positive thing. Manufacturers no longer manufacture #$@*&%# things. Stores and resellers very rarely carry #$@*&%# things. The longer something is #$@*&%#, the harder it becomes to find.

Let’s reflect for a moment on something #$@*&%#, shall we? How about a 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder? By today’s standards this car is completely #$@*&%#. It had 110 horsepower, by comparison a 2012 Honda Civic Si has 197 hp. Continue reading

Lion’s Lair Showed the Transformation Underway in Hamilton


Lions Lair Finalists

Lion’s Lair finalists await the decisions of who won the business competition

Lion’s Lair last night was truly a celebration of business in Hamilton. Yet the business competition with $100,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs was more than just a celebration of business. The night was proof that the transformation of Hamilton is well underway.

Hamilton has been known for decades as a steel city. As you pass over the Burlington skyway bridge and get a vista of Hamilton, you would think that it still is. As the steel industry has declined in recent years, Hamilton has been searching for new industries and a new identity. Last night, Lion’s Lair confirmed that other sectors are playing an Continue reading

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