April 27, 2020
Member Spotlight: Meet Sean Cleland of B-Stock Solutions .
Whether you’re someone whose mobile phone never leaves their hand, someone who wants a “just in case” phone or someone who is looking for a plan for your newest IoT device, wireless providers offer a variety of options that meet consumer and business needs. B-Stock Solutions’ Sean Cleland sat down with us to discuss the wireless retail market and how his company helps millions of trade-in and excess devices find their way to new end users.
What is B-Stock Solutions, and what is your role within the wireless industry?
Sean Cleland: B-Stock Solutions operates and manages B2B auction marketplaces for today’s largest retailers, manufacturers and carriers. From appliances and apparel to mobile devices and associated technology, we take customer returns, trade-ins or overstock, and we merchandise and market those products to business buyers all over the world.
B-Stock’s business model supports the wireless industry by selling millions of trade-in and overstock devices each quarter, along with accessories and other consumer electronics. We now have a dedicated team that handles mobility marketplaces, which is pretty cool.
Why did B-Stock join the Reverse Logistics & Service Quality (RLSQ) working group?
Sean Cleland: Mobile device grading is vital for the industry, and aligning on this grading is really important for us. To see carriers and OEMs agreeing upon a standard is really beneficial for what we do and beneficial for the industry. That was the catalyst that got us to join.
By participating in that group we’ve had a voice in the device grading process. One side of the working group is able to bring the technical expertise to the table. B-Stock is there to discuss uniformity and alignment. We’re the ones saying, ‘Hey, let’s make this something that is ubiquitous—something multiple people can adopt.’ This alignment is very important to us and our business model. B-Stock has the responsibility of going to buyers and saying, ‘This grading system works. Please use it and adopt it.’
How is B-Stock lending its voice within the RLSQ working group?
Sean Cleland: B-Stock is unique in that we have been more of an independent voice in the room. And as a company that represents multiple carriers, buyers and original equipment manufacturers, we think it’s essential for us to be present.
Within the industry, there’s a second layer of businesses that participate in the secondary mobile market, and at B-Stock, we see it as our responsibility to be their voice and advocate for them within the greater wireless industry. Being the voice of the business buyer has been a good contribution for us.
How do you see this working group expanding and growing?
Sean Cleland: Mobile devices are always changing, and when new models come in, there are just different things that we need to consider. I anticipate that trade-in and refurbished phones are really going to get a kick when 5G hits consumer hands. So, we’ll have to take a look at grading and ask—does this still make sense?
Our responsibility is to provide that feedback because it’s going to hit our marketplaces first. B-Stock will have to go back and say, ‘This is popping up. What do we do about it?’
How important is CTIA to B-Stock Solutions and its goals?
Sean Cleland: CTIA’s influence is important because it brings this necessary quorum to the wireless industry. The fact that we have everybody in the room is a huge, huge accomplishment. We have competitors, partners and more, and we think it’s great that we can come together to reach agreements on the issues facing the industry.
These are the people who help drive the industry. B-Stock is really proud to be among them, and we’re proud to be members of CTIA.
This interview has been edited and shortened for clarity.