Online Marketplaces for secondary materials face a large array of challenges. The table below outlines some of the major hurdles encountered.

Challenge Description
Price Volatility &
International Competition
Secondary materials often have a hard time competing with the prices of primary raw materials. This may be due to fluctuating commodity prices and/or oversupply due to large import volumes.
Lack of Knowledge &
Access to information is a significant hurdle for companies trying to acquire secondary materials, including: supply location, quantity and frequency, price transparency, and quality. At the same time, companies trying to find alternative uses for their materials often are unaware of interested buyers.
Logistics & Transport Irregular delivery frequencies, material transportation permitting, and risk of holding area contamination all present challenges to logistics companies.
Quality Procurement departments may be hesitant to buy secondary materials because of: potential contamination, low or unknown purification rates, no third-party testing, or lack of performance guarantees.
Regulatory Regulations can create challenges for companies trying to exchange secondary materials in transporting across borders, variations in the definition of “waste” and end-of-life criteria, or in determining what qualifies as hazardous materials.
Technical Processing waste and by-products into marketable secondary materials is not always economically feasible given the technology available. For many materials, improved collection and sorting innovations are needed to put secondary materials on par with virgin material prices.
Trust As with any supplier-buyer relationship, trust must be established before materials or money is exchanged. The exchange of secondary materials requires another level of trust due to quality concerns and poor price transparency.
Regular Supply Quantity Companies that look to buy secondary materials expect consistent and regularly-scheduled supply quantities as they would with primary materials. Because companies produce widgets (not waste), they are under no pressure to deliver by-products of regular quantities.