Digital platform takes guesswork out of paper business

Heather Lynch

PaperAdvance recently sat down with merQbiz® – a new player on the North American pulp and paper scene that is looking to transform the way people buy, and sell paper.

By 'digitizing' the transaction process, merQbiz is connecting buyers and sellers in a transparent, online marketplace, and is revolutionizing an industry one paper sale at a time.

PaperAdvance:What are merQbiz's business principles? What gap in the marketplace does this service fill, and how was it first identified?

merQbiz: At merQbiz, we are transforming the way recovered paper is bought and sold by directly connecting verified buyers and sellers and placing control of the market in their hands. We lead with technology, using it to solve problems, uncover new opportunities, and deliver value for our customers. merQbiz was founded in January 2017 after extensive market research revealed there was an opportunity to innovate and bring technological advancement to the paper industry – an industry historically rooted in conducting business in a traditional environment. In speaking with current recovered paper customers about their challenges, a crucial need became apparent: the ability to conduct business in an easier, more transparent manner. Thus, the development of the merQbiz platform began with the goal of transforming the buying and selling experience.

PaperAdvance: The company offers members a 'transparent' marketplace - how do you achieve this, and how do you define 'transparency'?

merQbiz: The marketplace allows buyers and sellers to communicate directly and conduct transactions in the manner that is best suited for them. Transparency is a key component of each transaction and is achieved by placing control of pricing, product quality, and logistics into the hands of buyers and sellers. merQbiz puts the control of the market where it should be – with the buyers and sellers.

PaperAdvance: What benefits do membership offer to a buyer or seller in a transaction they would not attain without your services?

merQbiz: In addition to providing buyers and sellers a powerful tool that gives them enhanced transactional efficiency, merQbiz provides tangible value in terms of price transparency and quality reporting that can positively impact their bottom line.
The platform also provides our customers with increased visibility to new buyers and sellers and tools to meet their specific needs. They have the ability to submit an RFQ (Request for Quote) for their monthly recovered paper requirements as well as fulfill their immediate needs. Buyers and sellers can negotiate the price for a particular listing through the 'make an offer' option which gives them control over their buying and selling decisions.
We take the security of our customers' transactions seriously, which is why we verify buyers and sellers before they can access the site. After joining the platform, buyers have access to all listings and sellers have access to all buyers. Our online video helps explain the process.

PaperAdvance: Are your services 'scaleable', meaning, are they equally applicable to large and small-scale buyers and sellers?

merQbiz: Yes, we welcome all buyers and sellers of recovered paper to the merQbiz marketplace. Our platform is designed to meet the specific needs of our customers, whether large or small, while helping them to uncover additional areas of potential value.

PaperAdvance: What geographic location are you targeting? Are translation services available to members if needed?

merQbiz: Our current business operations are in North America. However, we plan to expand into additional geographic regions and markets in the future.

PaperAdvance: What are merQbiz's next steps? Where does the company hope to be in five years? Ten?

merQbiz: merQbiz will continue to innovate and transform the way recovered paper is bought and sold. We plan to expand our geographic footprint and provide value for buyers and sellers of other industrial products as well. Our aim is to provide a seamless experience for our customers and to partner with them to continually improve that experience.

PaperAdvance: Is there any desire to apply the business model to another industry?

merQbiz: We plan to expand the merQbiz marketplace to include additional categories of industrial products in the future, including other recyclable materials but not necessarily limited to markets involving only recyclable products.

PaperAdvance: Can you provide a sense of fees for membership?

merQbiz: There is no initial registration fee or monthly membership fee. merQbiz charges a transaction fee to buyers and sellers. Specific details on fees and terms are provided during the account setup process.

About merQbiz
merQbiz, based in Manhattan Beach, California, is an online marketplace designed to improve the way buyers and sellers of recovered paper do business. The platform is transforming the customer experience by directly connecting verified buyers and sellers and placing consistent control of pricing, product quality and logistics into their hands. merQbiz emphasizes transparency and efficiency in all transactions, putting control of the industrial market with buyers and sellers.