Cathie Anderson

Sacramento women expand appliance recycling business, open retail division

Remember Rachel and Gina Mozingo? These two tall, slender women founded an appliance recycling business in October 2013 and astounded men and women alike when they showed up to pick up heavy appliances – without Popeye.

Well, the last year has brought so much growth for the Mozingos’ business, Eco Appliance Recycling, that the two co-founders are the ones filled with wonder. They continue to pick up old appliances from a growing number of customers, but they also added repair and retail divisions to their startup company.

“We had appliances, and we started noticing that we had a lot of nice appliances,” Rachel Mozingo said, “and a lot of people called and asked us whether we sold used appliances because they couldn’t afford new ones. That’s when we hired a technician and started working on the retail side of the business.”

The Mozingos started out with a 2,100-square-foot warehouse unit in North Highlands but expanded over the last year into roughly 7,400 square feet.

Even that space wasn’t enough. Eco Appliance Recycling will relocate Aug. 1 to an 11,300-square-foot space at 1060 National Drive in North Natomas. There, they will have an air-conditioned showroom, something that they don’t have at their current site in Suite 3 of 3429 Freedom Park Drive.

The Mozingos used to manage their entire business alone, but Eco Appliance now employs a technician with 20 years of experience, a business manager and a couple of part-time movers. On their website, www.ecoappliancerecycling.com, they now tell customers: “Love your appliance and want to keep it?? Call us and let our technician come to you to diagnose the problem.”

Business manager Kelly Freeman said she has been struck by how much of a charge their female customers get out of knowing that women are not only selling but delivering the appliances.

The two co-owners, who are partners in life as well as business, say they have been surprised by how easily everything has fallen into place for them. They launched a new website, www.buybudgetappliance.com, to allow consumers to browse through their selection of used washers, refrigerators and ranges.

“I don’t want to say it was easy,” Rachel Mozingo said, “but definitely we’ve been pointed in the direction we needed to go to have everything fall into place.”

They had bought a 24-foot car-hauler to move customers’ used appliances, but their business quickly outgrew it.

“We’re moving so many appliances that we actually sold that (trailer),” Rachel Mozingo said. “And, right now, we’re renting a 26-foot truck, but we are actually looking into buying a big commercial truck.”

Eco Appliance picks up 200 to 300 used appliances each week at no charge from businesses such as Eskaton and Sears Outlet stores as well as residential customers.

“We have a system set up with Sears Outlet, and we take care of all the appliances they need recycled,” said Rachel Mozingo. “We started with one location for them, and now we’re up to seven locations in the last three months.”

Although Eco Appliance is only a year old, Gina Mozingo said, competitors see them as a threat. Other companies in the used appliance business include Appliance Warehouse at 4926 Auburn Blvd. and Nick’s Appliances at 3001 Franklin Blvd., both in Sacramento.

The Mozingos told me they have grown because customers like the quality of products they are selling. The two women say they wouldn’t sell anything that they wouldn’t put in their own home. If appliances can’t be repaired and resold, they sell them to scrap metal dealers.

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee

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