Q. How did you come up with the concept for ReRunner?
A. At its core, ReRunner is a retail returns technology platform. I hate waste and holding on to things I don’t actually need or don’t serve a purpose; because of that I’m always returning items. My stepmom is the opposite, and when she was out of town, my dad asked me to help him return her collection of unused items. We got $350 back in returns that weekend and my dad said he would pay me to help him return items every month. It was then that the idea for ReRunner began, a convenient service to return unwanted items for people who don’t have time to do so themselves. Currently, Americans return over $400 billion of products every year. This is a huge industry, and ReRunner provides consumers with a way to save money and reduce waste.
Q. How long has ReRunner been in operation?
A. The ReRunner app launched in May 2019, and I have been working on the concept since 2017. The last two years have required a lot of market research. Consumers are returning hundreds of millions of dollars of products every year, but I needed to know which retail sectors have the highest rate of returns to focus on and how the business would work in practice. There were a lot of pilot programs and testing on my friends before working with a mentor to develop a business model, all while still working fulltime!
Q. Why did you decide to make donation part of ReRunner’s services?
A. Through the evolution of not holding on to things that aren’t needed, I considered the next step – donating. That’s where I got the idea for getting into donating items that can’t be returned, making sure they get a second life, and don’t end up in landfills. Each aspect of ReRunner’s operation comes back to maximizing the value of goods.
Q. How does your partnership with Goodwill work?
A. As part of their paid service, ReRunner customers can choose to have unreturnable items dropped off for donation–saving them the effort of going themselves. I have partnered with other nonprofits, but Goodwill is the easiest natural fit for ReRunner–99 percent of our donations go to Goodwill. If customers don’t specify an organization for returns, then Goodwill is our default partner.
Q. What made you choose Goodwill?
A. I’ve always donated to Goodwill, mostly because of convenience factor. I know they do good work and are everywhere, so I felt good about my donations. Since touring their Richmond Support Center and flagship Community Employment Center, my eyes opened to all the work that Goodwill does to help people become employable and more independent in a wide variety of industries. I am a now big believer and advocate for Goodwill’s social enterprise model. I love that they work so hard to reuse, resell or recycle things that can’t be sold. That’s one of the many reasons why Goodwill is the best fit for ReRunner. Donations fuel a lot of great services that Goodwill offers free of charge to people who really need help with career development, and we are proud that our donations go to such a worthy cause.
Q. What did you know about Goodwill before our partnership?
A. I work a lot with incarcerated youth as a volunteer with the Bon Air juvenile correctional facility, so I knew that Goodwill partners with the juvenile justice system for job development and training to reduce recidivism. It appealed to me to support an organization that offers services to people with a range of backgrounds and barriers to employment.
Q. What is the one thing you’d like your customers to know about Goodwill?
A. ReRunner is about reducing waste, and a lot of my customers feel the same way. I always stress to them the incredible environmental impact of Goodwill – even stuff that can’t be sold is shredded for insulation, sold as salvage, processed through e-recycling and much more! I let my customers know that this is somewhere they can feel good about their items going.
Q. What are you hopes for the partnership in the future?
A. Goodwill is everywhere, and I would love to expand our relationship and become a nationwide operation. I would love for ReRunner to be the service customers use for all small household goods and clothing donations. As we grow, I want to become an employer-partner for Goodwill. Hiring people who’ve been through Goodwill’s services, funded by donations, would be really coming full circle as an operation.
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