Phobio LLC: Redefining Trade-In Services with Curiosity and Transparency


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Necessity is the mother of innovation.”–has instigated the era of technological dominance and its further advancements. Although technology has steered global growth, it is one of the contributing factors of climate change and global warming. With various other underlying factors, technologically-operated electronic gadgets are counted as one of the biggest contributors towards environmental depletion. Built using (hazardous) chemicals and metals, these gadgets have limited longevity–a major drawback. However, their life-span can be extended under certain conditions, using high-quality software development—which can make them recyclable as well as reusable. 

Empowered by the concept of electronics ‘trade-in’, Stephen Wakeling (CEO and Founder) initiated Phobio LLC—generating customer-friendly software and effective trade-in solutions. Incepted in 2010, Phobio seeks to be the most transparent and trustworthy company in the trade-in industry. “Power tools, appliances, furniture – they all should have trade-in platforms so that consumers can recoup some value when they are ready to buy something new and so that the items that are no longer needed do not end up in landfills,” asserts Stephen. 

Profound Foundation

Personal experiences with gadgets and customer-services motivated Stephen to establish Phobio. With the debut of iPhone in 2007, Stephen was fascinated by its longevity and the software updates which pivoted the cause. It was that moment when he recognized the essentiality to build an electronics trade-in company. 

After encountering an unpleasant experience while selling his MacBook Pro, he was further influenced to build a solution which eliminated the peer-to-peer risk inherent in selling on platforms such as eBay and others. Thus, he incorporated Phobio LLC—with a culture of curiosity and a commitment to transparency.

Reliable and Scalable Trade-In Services

Phobio LLC offers companies simple, scalable, and reliable trade-in programs for their customers. Up till now, the company has focused on personal electronic devices such as phones, laptops, tablets, and other wearable gadgets. However, it foresees opportunity to develop trade-in solutions for various industries and products. 

Phobio recently started working with Drone Nerds—a new business category for the company. Moreover, the global pandemic accelerated its business operations since companies, schools and individuals required updated electronic devices to work from home in an effective manner. 

Central Figure of Phobio

Stephen states that he constantly looks forward to ‘what is next for the company’ and how to propel its growth and expansion—his primary role at Phobio. He undertakes the central role in defining and personifying the company culture. “I want people to feel that they have the autonomy to make decisions and take ownership over their work. And I want them to feel supported,” asserts Stephen. 

Robust Company Culture

Phobio adopted work-from-home models during the pandemic, like most companies. Moreover, it maintained regular communication with every member of the team and provided support and assistance on financial and other necessary terms. 

In a threshold to create and maintain a strong company culture, Phobio prioritizes regular reinforcement of its company mission, and celebrates every success of the team and ideas that were implemented. Every year, the company strategizes its goals for performance and its new sustainability objective. Phobio ensures that every employee derives their quarterly bonus in alignment with the company’s objectives. 

Philanthropic Approaches

In addition to environment-friendly services and sustainable practices, Phobio is heavily indulged towards inculcating philanthropic approaches. A majority of its philanthropic activities are focused on environmental and social justice initiatives organized locally in the Atlanta area. Stephen emphasizes, “This has the 3-fold benefit of contributing directly to our local community and exercising our company values in the context of team-building.”

Over the past decade, Phobio’s volunteer activities has included activities such as clean-up days at nearby state parks, Habitat for Humanity, and other initiatives for the Crossroads organization assisting those recently released from incarceration. Stephen believes that exercising such responsibility towards the local community together “reinforces our company-wide commitment to global sustainability issues and our mission to fuel the circular economy.”

Ensuring Rigid Delivery and Services

To ensure maintenance of minimality and environment-friendly approaches, Phobio reviews its products on regular basis. Additionally, the company is actively working towards expanding the various kinds of products that can be included under the concept of trade-in. Stephen believes that with every phase of a product’s recycle and reuse cycle, it contributes to fighting environmental depletion.

Necessitating Awareness on Climate Change 

The impacts of climate change and global warming have increased with time. With respect to the rising concerns, Stephen remarks that a majority of the world is lagging behind in the serious addressal of climate change and many emerging environmental issues. The scorching hot weather in the western U.S. during the ongoing summer can serve as an instance for the future consequences of negligence of the present generation—if substantial changes are not made soon. 

According to him, “While there will always be people who don’t believe in global warming or in investing in solutions to environmental issues,” it is imperative that government, industry and individuals unite to devote the money and the resources needed to address the many issues faced by the population.

The Silver Lining

With the growing concern induced by aggravated climate change and global warming issues, green-tech companies have emerged as a silver lining. These companies have not only popularized the exponential adoption of sustainable practices, but have also made it a trend to inculcate environmental-oriented business practices in daily operations. Remarking on the onset of green-tech companies, Stephen believes that although it is growing, the industry is ‘still at its infancy stage’. He adds that there is ample opportunity for companies and individuals to achieve growth in this sector and cast an impactful difference on the planet

Stephen Wakeling

Read full issue: The 10 Innovative Green Tech Companies to watch in 2022

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