Thursday, September 14, 2006

How To Make Six Figures, Selling Cardboard Boxes

Marty Metro Story

When Marty Metro and his wife added up the number of times each of them had moved over the years, it came out to an astounding 29 times. Metro, 34, knew they weren't alone in using massive amounts of cardboard boxes and was convinced he could help movers, businesses and the environment by creating a solution to the cardboard quandary. Says Metro, "I'm a systems guy; my life revolves around using technology to enable business processes."

With a decade of experience working and consulting on large-scale business technology, Metro made it his goal to build an online marketplace that would allow big companies to get rid of their used boxes and scraps in an earth-friendly way, as well as offer companies and individuals the opportunity to buy used cardboard boxes at roughly half the price of new ones. Leaving the lucrative corporate life he had known, Metro traded in his BMW for a delivery truck and developed the web-based infrastructure that would help him fulfill his earth-friendly goals., a U-Haul authorized dealer, has also netted contracts with large booksellers, clothing importers, manufacturers and even some real estate firms to pick up unwanted cardboard. Local deliveries are made to those who purchase cardboard boxes (the company also sells moving supplies), and when the move is done, will pick up the used boxes.

Currently covering the area between Los Angeles and San Diego, the company plans to expand by franchising in the top 50 cities in the United States in the next three to five years. For now, offers an online exchange for those outside the delivery area to link up and exchange boxes with others for a nominal fee. With annual sales projections exceeding $750,000, the company boasts 75 percent-plus gross margins. "It makes me feel great," says Metro. "We have created a win-win environment."

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