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PayMore Turns the Secondhand Retail Industry on its Head

Apr 7, 2023

Exterior sign at a PayMore store

What do you get when you create a franchise concept, built from eighteen years of fine-tuning until it’s the exact representation of what you have always envisioned it to be?

  • 12 operational units in several different states
  • 10 units in construction
  • 52 units in development

All in THREE years!

Stephen Preuss and Erik Helgesen have figured it out. They are the dynamic duo behind PayMore, a resale concept exclusively designed for the buying, selling, and trading of electronics. Two guys from Long Island, motivated to keep old and broken electronics out of landfills and reduce the country’s e-waste footprint, have combined their suite of skills to make a difference for consumers, the planet, and franchise owners in search of a better quality of life.

Preuss, CEO, and Helgesen, President, began their original resale concept in 2005, rebranded to the PayMore business in 2011, and spent the next near decade putting a spin on the resale model the industry had not seen. Their model is so distinct, so high-tech yet brilliantly simplified, so marketable, that PayMore stores are popping up across the map like popcorn in hot oil.

Gone is the sordid reputation of a trade-in shop. PayMore has redefined the resale shopping experience with bright, branded stores, and the strongest level of personal data protection available on the market.

“We blew up the secondhand industry,” Preuss said. “There’s nothing shady, it’s a whole new experience where a soccer mom can come in, feel comfortable and have a good experience.”  Seventy percent of PayMore customers are repeat customers, proof that consumers have caught on and like what they are seeing. “We have turned the secondhand experience on its head.”

The stores are run by knowledgeable, friendly staff who not only know about electronics, but who can talk about the impact e-cycling is making for the world.

“We are bullish on the environment,” Preuss said. “That was the motivation behind starting the business in the first place, and now we get to educate people about it, while finding solutions for them and their electronics.”

The PayMore franchising team is hosting multiple Discovery Days per week up and down the east coast of NY, outside of Washington DC and in North Carolina too; and they’re having a blast doing it. Preuss attributes the popularity of the brand to a reasonably low investment to get started relative to sales, the fact that it’s a store in a box that can be up and running quickly, and because their Item 19 numbers are attractive.

“It has been incredible seeing our vision come to fruition, and watching it grow,” Preuss said. “I love meeting and talking with people who share our vision, and then watching them become successful.”  Preuss and Helgesen each bring a different skillset to the table that perfectly balances the concept and makes for a great partnership.

Helgesen comes from an IT background and is responsible for the brand’s state-of-the-art, proprietary software. “Not only is it proprietary, but there’s nothing else like it out there,” Preuss said.  “As our success builds, it will be impossible to encapsulate what we have done with our custom software. It is unique, but very simple, very user friendly. We pride ourselves on this software. It runs everything. It’s complex on the backend, thanks to Erik, but very easy to use.”

There are PayMore stores in seventeen states, with expectations to fill the map with another thirty-plus stores by the end of the year. Franchise candidates should be visionaries who see where the brand can take them, with a mindset that goes well beyond single-unit transactions.

“We’re looking for good, gracious people who fit our culture,” Preuss said. “We are big on quality of life even though we work hard, we want the stores to make a good living for people so they can have time with their families, that’s part of our ecosystem.”

As for working with the team at Spadea Lignana Franchise Attorneys, Preuss said it has been refreshing and harmonious. “There isn’t anything I’ve ever asked that hasn’t been answered. There was a lot of handholding in the beginning, but now that we are busy, the speed at which they turn things around is great.”

If you are interested in learning more about the PayMore franchise program, reach out to the team through their website.

The Spadea Lignana team is enjoying the journey with Stephen, Erik, and their team of franchise owners and wish them congratulations on continued growth.

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