CLINTON — A common question kept popping up when would-be customers inquired about Dan and Kristi Sampey’s shredding business.
Where are you located?
For about two years that business, Shred-Eze, operated out of the couple’s home. Now, after closing on a real estate transaction in June for $39,900, the business is now located in the Lyons district at 113 Main Ave., the former home of Dr. Terry Winter’s dentistry office.
“Some people came to our home and dropped the stuff off and they were picturing these $75 shredders,” Dan said. “But we have industrial shredders. They’re not the little toy you buy at the store.”
The business’s concept was formulated in late 2014 when Dan’s mom died. In attempting to close out the estate, it became clear that destroying all the documentation would be cumbersome, not to mention expensive.
Dan eyed places in the Quad-Cities, only to be frustrated by the cost. So, after conversing with his wife Kristi, they decided to buy a shredder for $2,000.
“We started destroying all (of my mom’s) documents and we thought we should make a business out of this,” Dan said. “I’m not the only one who has parents who have passed away. There’s a lot of people in the same predicament.”
That’s when Shred-Eze was born, and while they’re not being overrun by customers at this point, having a building of their own became a desire with the questions being asked by potential customers.
And those customers have ranged from small- to medium-sized businesses to neighbors, family and friends.
“People don’t realize nowadays that identity theft is getting worse and worse and worse,” Dan said. “You have this information and it’s putting together a puzzle. Especially locally, people can start gathering information on other people through the mail and stuff.”
According to the Bureau of Justice, more than 80 percent of identity theft victims experienced the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank account information.
The number of elderly victims of identity theft is increasing, with 2.6 million people affected in the most recent study conducted in 2014.
Even with the issues associated with identity theft and the new building, Dan and Kristi aren’t yet quitting their day jobs, which are in Sterling, Illinois.
“The building came to our attention and the price was good, so we wanted to give people an address now,” Dan said. “Right now, we’re both working full-time jobs, so it’s pretty much evenings and weekends (at Shred-Eze).”
The business offers free pickup for local residents in Clinton, Camanche and Fulton, Illinois, and if customers want to drop off, they can call (563) 219-6699 for more information.
Dan said the business will take small to large volume paper shredding orders. The shredding goes along with other services listed on the Shredeze.com website, featuring hard drive destruction, computer recycling and video transfers.