GioPod: An Opportunity to Trade Up Your Ipod

With Apple pumping out a new incarnation of the iPod every six months, many consumers are wishing there was an easier way to trade in and upgrade.
Discontent with the lack of online iPod exchange services, two friends sought to correct that, hoping to add a fresh edge to the wired world of online iPod exchange and earn some money in the process.
‘I saw lots of classified ads saying that [iPod owners] wanted to sell and upgrade,’ said first year-undecided/undeclared major Isaac Yerushalmi. ‘I wanted to find a solution to help them.’
Together with his friend Armin Golian, a first-year psychology major at Santa Monica College, Yerushalmi created GioPod.com, an iPod exchange service that will be launched this week.
After three months and countless hours of working out their idea, the two-man team finally fleshed GioPod to life. While the site functions as an online service for existing iPod owners to trade in their old iPod for either cash or credit toward another one, what distinguishes GioPod from similar Web sites is its convenience.
GioPod requires customers to fill out only three informational fields before the appropriate amount of credit can be offered to them for a new iPod. If the customer decides to continue with the transaction, GioPod will send them a box with pre-paid postage and a shipping label within 24 hours. And once the customer drops off their iPod in the provided box to any local post office or UPS drop-off location, it’ll only be a few days before their new iPod arrives at their front door.
‘We like to call our Web site a ‘buzz-kill-free’ site,’ Yerushalmi said.
Apart from the quick turnaround time, perhaps one of GioPod’s most convenient features is its additional music transfer service. For those worried about losing their music files once they trade in their old iPod, GioPod, upon request, will transfer all files from a customer’s old iPod onto their new one. The best part? It’s free of charge—comfortably placing GioPod above its competitors.
As convenient as the service is, the development of GioPod wasn’t quite as simple. During development, Yerushalmi met with Golian a few times a week to work out the kinks of their idea—like money.
In search of financial backing, the two contacted several private investors known from personal connections and sold them their idea. A daunting task, but Yerushalmi asserted that the key element in finding interested investors was confidence.
‘It takes lots of preparation,’ Yerushalmi said. ‘If you’re not confident with your idea, they won’t be confident.’
After presenting their potential investors with market research supporting the promise of GioPod, several meetings later, the two-man team closed deals and the rest is history.
Although both men have a background in Web design and business, Yerushalmi said he owes much of his entrepreneurial success to his 12-month employment at a small online company, Game Liquidations, during his senior year in high school.
‘I was fortunate enough to be hired by a company that sells games on eBay.