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Tørn digitalises sales of surplus building materials

Tørn runs a comprehensive online marketplace for sales of surplus building materials from professional suppliers, dramatically reducing waste and increasing efficiency in the industry. “Our solution makes it easy to bring new, quality materials back into use,” states Anjali Bhatnagar, founder and CEO of Tørn.Published 2 Jan 2024 · 3 min read
Wooden doors on display for sale

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At a glance

  • Online marketplace for surplus building materials and DIY supplies
  • Digital platform brings new, unsold surplus goods back into use
  • Reduces industry waste, saves time and money

An alarming amount of new, unsold building materials end up in storage or landfill. In Norway alone, as much as 8 percent of all building materials produced goes unsold, even when the price is drastically reduced. The same is true for the other Nordic countries and Europe in general. Unsold materials are fraught with costs: Retailers and wholesalers are burdened with dead stock, while the environment suffers from unnecessary production, transport and disposal.

“Solving this problem is complex. It requires connecting many different parts, understanding the entire value and logistics chain, and communicating with numerous stakeholders,” explains Bhatnagar.

Quick digital sale of unsold building materials

Tørn has established an online marketplace for surplus building materials, connecting hundreds of retailers and wholesalers with customers located throughout Norway and beyond. New materials are continually being added, and 50 per cent of the incoming surplus goods are sold within one month of posting.

“We use 100 per cent of our effort on making it easier for suppliers to post their surplus, finding buyers for hard-to-sell materials, and facilitating sales and delivery. Because all surplus is now available on, and the goods are now sold through, one digital platform, the customers find what they need in one place,” says Bhatnagar.

Tørn does not actually handle the goods. The company’s proprietary solution features own-developed algorithms that facilitate all necessary tasks – from posting the goods in an active, online marketplace to logistics, shipping and marketing.

“We have simplified the process for everyone involved. Take the seller, for instance. After a sale, all the store needs to do is pack the item for pick-up. Tørn handles the rest,” she adds.

Wooden planks lined up for sale
Thanks to Tørn, all surplus goods are available on and sold through one digital platform, so customers find what they need in one place,

Tørn solves retailers’ dead stock problem

Tørn allows retailers and wholesalers to focus on their core business, saving them time and money on the handling, marketing and shipping of surplus goods. Similarly, buyers are able to purchase new, quality materials at substantially lower prices than any other marketplace. Most buyers are individuals or small businesses who benefit from the average discount of 40 to 70 per cent.

In addition, Tørn has a positive environmental impact by preventing waste. “We operate at the top of the waste pyramid by avoiding waste in the first place,” says Bhatnagar. “When new goods are used as intended, recycling is not necessary either.”

This means fewer emissions and less landfill and incineration. In the first three years, 3 716 metric tons of surplus goods have been saved.

Digitalisation drives the market

The surplus goods problem creates a huge market potential for digital solutions such as Tørn.

“As a third party, Tørn matches sellers and buyers in one large digital platform, on behalf of everyone in the industry. We are not limited to a particular store chain or geographical location. This means we can grow exponentially,” says Bhatnagar.

Launched in 2020, Tørn already has close to 500 Norwegian and Swedish stores on its platform. Norway has some 900 retailers and 300 wholesalers in total, while the Swedish market is 20 per cent larger. The company plans to expand into Germany, which has a market 10 times larger than Norway’s.

“Our solution is scalable and replicable in other markets and for other goods, such as electrical plumbing, electrical, heating and plumbing, ventilation, and climate and energy solutions,” she adds.

Tørn was named a finalist in the Norwegian Construction Industry’s Innovation Award 2023.

TØRN AS

TØRN AS

Stortings gt. 10, 0161 OSLO, Norway

Website

Anjali Bhatnagar

Founder & CEO

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