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Q&A with Stephen Preuss, PayMore CEO, and Erik Helgesen, PayMore President

Jan 26, 2021


Franchise Chatter (FC): Welcome, Erik and Stephen. Thank you for your time today. Can you explain for those who may not know what the concept of PayMore is?

Stephen Preuss (SP): Absolutely – PayMore is an electronics retailer that provides customers a fast, safe and easy way to buy, sell and trade. We accept both used and broken electronic devices in exchange for cash or for discounted, refurbished electronics.

We were aware of the issue of electronics piling up in local landfills in our community because no one knew what to do with their outdated and old devices. Once we realized we could do something about this problem by not only helping our community and the environment but also running a great business, the concept of PayMore was born. Our goal really was to solve the problem of old and broken electronics piling up in our landfills and reduce the eWaste footprint by repurposing the electronics that are brought to us.

The idea really resonated with us because we wanted to do something good for the environment that was equally as helpful for the people of our community. Not only does PayMore give people somewhere to sell broken or old electronics they don’t use anymore, but they can also feel safe about being in our stores rather than getting scammed online or meeting a stranger in a parking lot. In addition to that, we even offer local electronic recycling to our communities to prevent chemical ridden electronics entering our local waste facilities.

FC: What makes PayMore different from other buy, sell and trade electronics retailers?

Erik Helgesen (EH): As Stephen kind of touched on before, we are a very community-focused company. We think it’s really important to provide customers a place where they feel safe to buy, sell and trade electronics without the hassle or worry of dealing with strangers or online scammers. We’ve heard too many horror stories of people being ripped off or robbed when they met a stranger to sell an old phone or purchased an electronic that didn’t look like the picture or didn’t have the capabilities that were promised.

Customers can avoid those issues by coming to PayMore where they know they’ll be safe and are in good hands. We also train our staff to professionally data wipe all devices to further protect our customers from identity fraud, and our stores make sure all electronics sold are fully functional, passed a local law enforcement screen by serial number, and are covered under a warranty.

FC: When was the company founded, and when did you decide to start franchising?

SP: Erik and I founded PayMore in 2011 in our small, close-knit community of Massapequa, New York. In 2012, this first location exploded with high volume trade-ins, frugal shoppers looking for deals on gently used electronics and tremendous local support for our green environmental efforts. Our local community could now visit a PayMore Store to safely trade in their old or broken electronic devices for cash or trade up their device and shop for discounted electronics all in one local electronics hub, while enjoying expert electronic advice and guidance from our staff.

This was the point we knew that our concept could be duplicated and grown nationally to provide electronic savvy entrepreneurs an exciting opportunity to own their own PayMore in their local community. We decided to partner with Fransmart franchise development company in 2020 to help with our franchising initiatives.

FC: Can you tell us more about your currently operating locations?

EH: Right now, we have four operating locations in New York and North Carolina – our first store in Massapequa and a second New York location in Bensonhurst, and our two stores in North Carolina are located in Cary and Gastonia.

The PayMore stores have an average footprint of around 2,000 sq. ft. and are very modern and sleek inside. Any electronics expert or tech savvy entrepreneur would love the look and feel of the layout as soon as they enter the store, and it also makes it easy for customers to find just what they’re looking for or browse our available products without being overwhelmed.

FC: What are your plans for franchise expansion, and why should potential franchisees choose PayMore?

SP: Well, we do have several franchise applications being processed in 31 states, but we have plans to expand in major markets nationwide.

We’re the perfect franchise for electronic savvy entrepreneurs because we offer them the opportunity to bring a store that they will love and enjoy to their community, while also doing their part to benefit the environment. With the influx of new technology and gadgets being developed constantly, there will always be demand for somewhere to sell old devices and buy new ones that customers trust and feel good about working with.

We became the highest grossing secondhand electronics dealer on Long Island and quickly signed up over 30,000+ customers. We know this is possible all over the nation and are just looking for the right franchisees to do so.

FC: Why did you choose to partner with Fransmart?

EH: We are the first electronics brand to partner with Fransmart, but through our conversations with Fransmart CEO Dan Rowe and the experience he has with growing powerhouse brands, we feel confident he can guide us and provide us the expertise we need to expand nationwide. Dan has a good eye for brands that he truly believes in and thinks are a good investment for franchisees, and we’re super excited to be one of those brands.

SP: Yes, I agree with Erik. We’re thrilled to partner with Fransmart because we know they can help us reach our full franchising potential.

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