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This edition of Employee Spotlight, we’re featuring Emel Meteoglu, B-Stock’s new Vice President of Product. With an extensive career in product management and UX, Emel brings ample experience to her role at B-Stock, but what drives her is something beyond her expertise and knowledge—it’s leveraging that experience to make a difference.
Emel’s sweet spot resides somewhere between engineering and business—at a crossroads between enterprise companies and startups—and it’s what brought her to B-Stock.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
“I went to school in Turkey for Product Management Engineering. I know it’s a cliché, but I knew from a young age that I wanted to become a product manager to bridge the gap between business (sales, marketing, support) and engineering.”
Q: What brought you to B-Stock?
“A couple of things were going on in my life. One, I was ready for a new adventure, but I wanted to do something meaningful. I wanted to use my skills to help people. The second thing going on was, we’d just gotten a house and I was shopping a lot, and buying furniture—and unfortunately, I was returning some of it. Due to the high cost, if you pay full price and think the item may be damaged, as an end user, you want to return it. You want to ensure that if you are paying full price, you’re getting the highest quality possible.
As she went through the process of returning a table she’d ordered that arrived with a dent on it, her parents—who were visiting—were amazed by the flexible return policies, which aren’t prominent in Emel’s native Turkey: “If you want to return something there, you really have to fight. Even if it’s defective, you may not get your money back. The customer is not always right.”
This got Emel thinking: in the midst of seemingly limitless returns, where does the merchandise end up, and how much waste is being generated? Is there a way to pass these returned items on to secondary end users and generate savings? The answer she came up with was: through “second life givers;” Emel’s term for buyers. And just as she contemplated these possibilities, B-Stock reached out, as if through serendipity.
“I know there are many traditional liquidation channels, but this industry is so fragmented and open to disruption. We can definitely build something useful for everybody—retailers, resellers, and end users! Moreover, this also got me thinking that I can actually not only help people, but help Earth by giving these products a second, third, fourth life. That really drew me in. I’m finally going to do something meaningful, so 10 years from now I can tell my kids the platform we built helped bring billions of returned products back to life. I’m very excited about what we can build. The opportunities that we can create for resellers and for solving inefficiencies, and the pain points that we can solve for retailers is unlimited. As I tell my own team, sky’s the limit. We just need to focus and build it right.”
Emel’s vision for B-Stock goes beyond selling overstock to vetted buyers—it suggests that we can become a major player in the gig economy, fostering the future of buyers and helping them not only grow, but learn along the way:
Q: How do you envision B-Stock enabling people to grow into elite buyers?
“Uber has 900,000 drivers in the U.S. It’s not unrealistic to imagine having one million second life givers help us find returned products second homes.
The number of second life givers is only limited by the number of adults in the population, and you don’t even have to own a car to start your side hustle! This is why I believe the sky’s the limit: we can extend our platform in a way that we can help second life givers start their business if they don’t know how to start; help them create their own website, obtain a business license, or provide education: Business 101. We will walk with them, side by side from the beginning. We will help them build, manage, and grow their business so that more and more people can do this job and help us bring more products into life.
Q: What is your vision for sellers?
On the seller side, we need to think about how we can onboard more products onto our platform. How can we make sellers’ lives easier? How can we integrate more into the seller so it’s less cumbersome for them and it’s easy to upload the inventory in our system? How do we solve other problems for them through scanning, lotting, and sorting?”
Q: In the future, what do you hope you can say you did with B-Stock?
“I’m envisioning that there will be state laws that say no reusable product goes to landfill; it must be resold. I would also like to see B-Stock as the ecosystem of giving products a second life, so that it connects all the players, such as returns and inventory management businesses, logistics, warehouses and fulfillment centers, and even other liquidators!
When I see those two things happening, I’ll say we made it: we created a platform to save Earth. And that’s what I’ll try as long as I’m here.”
Asked what her requirements are for working with a product or company, Emel had this to say:
“As a product manager and leader, helping others is what motivates me. I want to build useful products that are easy to use and innovative. These are my three criteria:
It should disrupt the existing industry and the ways in which we operate.
It should be useful to others by addressing their pain points and providing value.
It should be intuitive and simple.”
We can’t wait to see all the wonderful things Emel brings to B-Stock.