A decapitated laptop with only three buttons on its keyboard. An iPod, with a screen dim enough to make one wonder what fruit represents “Apple Inc.” A Giga Pet. Those are all things people have tried to sell me at Ohio Wesleyan University.
I run a business at OWU called Universitronics™, where I buy and sell OWU students’ working and broken electronics. I see all kinds of crazy things every day. (In case you were wondering, I did buy the laptop, iPod, and Giga Pet.) I try not to ask questions unless I need to. So, often–after a transaction– I am left wondering: “What in the world happened to these electronics?” How is it that only three keys are left on a keyboard? HOW? Did they test out a new chain saw? Did they try to sharpen a cheese grater?
Maybe you have seen me around campus tabling. I post where I’m going to be on “www.owu.org”. So far, I’ve been all over campus. I took a tour of the residential halls to see which produced the most customers: Bashford, Smith, Thomson or Hayes. All had problems. Bashford lounge is a huge, wide-open space, but it has a relentless heater that sporadically makes earsplitting bangs. Smith second floor lounge lacks a toilet within driving distance. Thomson first floor lounge simply doesn’t have enough traffic. And the furniture in Hayes’ lounge is too awkward to table with. “What about Welch,” you may ask. I never tried it. Students actually attempt to study there. I am not allowed to conduct business at the fraternities or other living facilities.
Lately, I’ve settled in front of the Thomson store. Well, to the side of the Thomson store, next to the chips (the school says I can’t block traffic). It’s a popular place, although I can never tell when someone wants to do business with me or buy a bag of chips. More often, students go for the chips. I wish the students were at least torn between the two choices: “Chips–no. Money! Chips! No, electronics–no. Chips!”
Students’ inclination towards chips aside, I really think Universitronics™ does a good service by giveing students money for something they don’t want or are about to toss out, whether it’s working or broken. This benefits the community on many levels.
Suppose you no longer want an iPod. Instead of tossing it, giving it away, or selling it to someone without much interest (aka for an ultra-low price), Universitronics™ will buy the item from you at a fair price, add value to it (e.g. cleaning, hardware modifications), and pass it on to someone who needs it or will break it down for parts. Universitronics™ simultaneously provides a valuable service to the OWU community and helps the environment.
Suppose you are taking photos on the JAY-walk, and you run into President Rock Jones. This startles you, and you drop your camera. The lens smashes. Normally, you would toss the camera and add to America’s already expansive waste problem.
But, now with Universitronics™, you have the option to both help the environment and get money for what you once called “trash.” Universitronics™ will buy your busted camera and harvest it for parts. In short, Universitronics pays the OWU community to get rid of stuff they no longer want. So next time you’re sick of the feel of your iPod, or your laptop shorts-out, don’t toss it! Don’t let it collect dust! Save your wallet and the environment, and sell to Universitronics! More information about Universitronics and tabling times can be found at www.owu.org or www.universitronics.com.