Disgraced former Business Boost proprietor Perry Tait has been born again in the second-hand computer market where he now provides marketing consultancy services to a new business called Echo Warehouse Sales (EWS).
Operating under the name Echo Customer Solutions (ECS), Tait confirmed he is supplying marketing services to EWS, saying "it [ECS] is a marketing company that doesn't trade in computers". However, EWS, which began operations in April, does.
EWS proprietor Barton Porter said the company is owned solely by himself and is operating both as a reseller of new and used hardware and as a clearance house for some big industry players. Discussions are currently underway to procure supplies of ex-rental PCs and laptops from a large vendor, Porter revealed.
"We buy and sell some products but also operate as a weekend clearing house, getting rid of old stock for people like Rentworks and Vantage Point Technology," Porter said. "We currently have five suppliers who leave stock with us on consignment and we earn a commission on any sales we make.
"We are selling about four or five systems a week at this stage but are definitely not yet looking for a high volume of sales," he said.
Situated on a major arterial road in the affluent northern Sydney suburb of Chatswood, EWS has to date been using roadside signs, newspapers and flyers to attract buyers. While it also sells new computers, EWS' niche is in acquiring, refurbishing and reselling ex-government PCs, a market tainted by the Business Boost debacle.
Porter said he has no intention of emulating the marketing model adopted by Tait which saw daytime TV shows used as vehicles to attract large numbers of first-time buyers. This attracted a volume of sales that was beyond Business Boost's infrastructure, forcing it to subsequently close down with large debts, massive consumer backlash and consumer watchdogs nipping at its heels.
"Perry Tait is employed as a marketing consultant only," Porter said. "He has an exceptional marketing brain but is a shocking businessman. We can learn a lot from his knowledge about the industry and his past experiences."
Of future plans for EWS, Porter sees the business operating seven days a week in perhaps three or four prime locations around Sydney.
"There is a lot of second-hand stock around and a huge demand for low-cost computers, so we definitely think there is a legitimate business opportunity in this area," Porter said. "What we have to do is get the right business model, systems and methodologies in place."
Tait is very repentant about what happened to Business Boost suppliers and customers and claims to be doing his best to leave that episode behind to get on with his life.
"The lessons I learnt are part of the consultancy service I now provide to Echo Warehouse Sales," Tait said. "I now understand the market and know what has to be done to avoid the problems experienced [by Business Boost]."
Tait said EWS should not be doing any TV advertising, dispatching of any goods and would only sell what they have in stock from directory sites.