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This Newtown founder is bringing tech to gold sales

Brandon Aversano launched Alloy after having a tough time selling his own gold pieces on Jewelers' Row.

Gold. (Photo by Pexels user Lisa Fotios via a Creative Commons license)

Every founder has an origin story featuring a unique, often deeply personal combination of factors that led them to starting a company. For Brandon Aversano, it was a historic district of jewelry buyers and sellers and a cancer diagnosis.

In the fall of 2022, Aversano took a trip to Philly’s Jewelers’ Row to see if he could sell some gold pieces he inherited from his late grandmother. He had been recently diagnosed with cancer, had to go on disability, and was trying to pull together some extra money.

Aversano had done his research to know what the pieces were worth, but when he brought them in, he found that he was consistently being offered less than what he expected.

“I was totally intimidated and bullied into selling the items. So I ended up not selling them,” he told Technical.ly. “And what I was thinking to myself during that time was like, wait a minute, if I’m in Center City Philadelphia and there are signs everywhere that say ‘we buy gold’ and ‘we buy gold and diamonds’ and this is a problem for me, this is definitely a problem for other people.”

Brandon Aversano's headshot

Brandon Aversano. (Courtesy photo)

To solve this problem, in February, Aversano started Alloy, an online platform where customers can sell their gold jewelry for cash. The basic process is the same as other online jewelry and gold companies: Request an appraisal kit, send in the pieces, receive an offer and get a cash payout. Then the company sells the gold to a refinery.

But Aversano wanted to bring more technology to the world of jewelry buying and selling. Alloy has an app where users can put in information about their pieces and receive an estimate for what they’re worth without needing to physically mail them or bring them to a storefront.

“This technology is not only going to be good for business, but it’s going to be really good for consumers because we’re going to basically allow consumers to educate themselves and make the best and most appropriate decision for them,” he said.

The company launched its website and mobile app in June. Aversano’s background is in management consulting and product design, so he worked with a team of developers to build Alloy. The platform was made in React Native using programming languages JavaScript and TypeScript. Aversano said the company plans to launch a web-based version of the app soon as well.

So far, the company has raised about $150,000 from friends and family, but is otherwise bootstrapped, per Aversano.

Alloy is headquartered in Newtown, Bucks County, where Aversano is based, but the other two team members — a head of digital marketing and head of customer experience — are spread elsewhere. Aversano said he hopes to move into a bigger space in the future so he can hire an operational team to receive and review gold pieces that customers mail in.

Alloy’s team is small, but isn’t lacking experience. The company’s head of customer experience was formerly head of customer service at JetBlue, where Aversano previously worked as a global operations manager. The founder further tapped into his network of former colleagues and now has James Hnat, a previous chief general counsel of JetBlue, on his board of directors, as well as advisory board member Elizabeth Windram, who was previously chief marketing officer for Uber.

“I want to get to the point where consumers understand that there is a better option for them,” Aversano said. “And they understand there are tools at their disposal, that they can educate themselves prior to making decisions that are not in their best interest.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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