Congratulations to our
2017 Small Business of the Year

Angie Cardona-Nelson

eWaste Direct

Livermore, CA



Here's My eBay Small Business Success Story

As a newly married couple looking for furniture at an auction, Angie and her husband stumbled upon an entire office-worth's of used electronics. This chance encounter turned into an eco-friendly business that diverts electronic waste from landfills by recycling and refurbishing used electronic across the U.S. Founded on Earth Day in 2008, eWaste Direct is now a full-time sustainable business with global reach.

Why did you first start selling on eBay?

We first started selling on eBay because we had a feeling that some of the electronics and computer equipment we were collecting had potential value. As our curiosity grew, so did the vast variety of items we discovered, which has been the biggest foundation of our growth and success. We started our business offering free pick-ups when many of our competitors were charging for that service. We have continued to do this and it remains one of our biggest differentiators, allowing us to build new relationships, evolve and thrive as a business.

Why do you deserve this award? 

We feel that we deserve this award because we are the ultimate "ECO-preneurs". Our journey started just over nine years ago as newlyweds simply trying to make ends meet. By chance, risk and some luck we discovered what e-waste was and felt there was an opportunity to create a business that was green and sustainable for the planet. We started the business with our pick-up truck out of our garage and through eBay we have grown that business into a 5,000-square-foot warehouse with 12 employees. Our business and success continues to grow mostly because of the platform and global reach eBay offers us. Regardless of the outcome, we have already won because of what eBay has allowed us to do, and for that we are eternally grateful.

How has selling on eBay contributed to your success?

Selling on eBay has contributed to our success in many ways. First, the platform and tools eBay offers makes our process of research, content, pictures, listing and shipping far more efficient and streamlined for our team. Next, it offers a massive global market of buyers ranging from enthusiastic consumers, IT department heads, schools and government agencies – to name a few. Our items help multiple facets of buyers fulfill their immediate needs while saving money with quality reused goods. Lastly, the analytics features eBay offers allows us to siphon sales much faster and keeps our inventories fresh. This success allows us to adapt and remain competitive as we grow.

What is your proudest business moment on eBay?

Our proudest moment for our business was when we sold our most memorable item on eBay. We were in the process of removing items retired from a data center when we acquired some Apple server equipment. This was, and remains to be, the biggest transaction in our company history. It was also one of our very first international transactions. It allowed us to purchase our first box truck and expand our business location. It also helped change our direction by starting to focus on a B2B model which ultimately increased our growth trajectory. At that moment, we knew we were on to bigger and better possibilities, especially the confidence to look globally.

Where does the inspiration for your business come from?

The inspiration for our business actually comes from the future. As climate change has been a hot topic in the news recently, we have been doing our part for the last nine years. To date we have diverted over 7 million pounds of e-waste from landfills. By selling reused electronics we are extending the life of electronics that would otherwise being discarded. We average over 1,200 sales a month, so over time this impact is remarkable. Even with the items we recycle, we do so in the form of "Urban mining" which is removing precious metals and rare earth minerals from existing electronics that have lived their full lives. This is far more effective, efficient and safer than traditional mining with heavy machinery and harmful exposure to natural land. We are doing our part now for our children and many future generations.

How has selling on eBay impacted your life?

As an immigrant from Colombia, I came to the U.S. with nothing more than a suitcase, some hope and in pursuit of the American dream. Shortly after my husband and I got married, we came across an opportunity that would change our lives. We started an electronics recycling company on Earth Day in 2008 with virtually no experience, but with an entrepreneurial spirit, determination and relentless pursuit of owning our own business. This path led us to eBay, and the rest is history.