With more than a handful of marketplace options available to sellers online, LA-based SellSimple announced today the launch of its iPhone app to let users upload an item once and sell it across many of the popular ones in a single go. Currently the app allows the ability to allow users to post on eBay, Craigslist, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, text message, email, and its own SellSimple Marketplace.
Co-founded by Julian Sarokin and Kelian Suaya, both in their early twenties, the duo built a pitch deck and demo video of the idea and went around to investors to obtain a $250,000 seed round to get going. “It’s a way to get your stuff sold no matter where you want to sell it. If you have something you want to get sold, it doesn’t matter if you put it on Craigslist, EBay, or SellSimple, we’re the go-to tool,” said Sarokin in an interview with BetaKit.
Users of the app upload photos from their mobile device, list their price, add a description, and check off any or all of the various marketplaces to sell their items. Once an item is sold anywhere, it is effectively deleted from each of the other marketplaces automatically. The company only makes money, a 5 percent fee, when something is sold on its SellSimple Marketplace and acts as a free tool if the item is sold anywhere else. With eBay charging upwards of 9 percent and Craigslist charging nothing, Sarokin said the startup’s focus is being a cheaper alternative to eBay while placing an emphasis on user acquisition to later build out its product search feature and will look to place an emphasis on affiliate marketing as another revenue stream.
“The way we want to structure it is that fees are a huge pain point for users on EBay, so we wanted to come up with a way so that we could be on the same side as the seller,” Sarokin added. “We’re going to charge the lowest fee…because we’re using it as a user acquisition tool [rather] than a monetization tool. Later down the line what we want to do is build out our product search…basically we would take a commission for driving those sales.”
Although there are multiple mobile apps available that allow users to snap a few pictures and quickly post from their mobile devices, including Yardsale, Quickable, Antengo, and OfferUp, Sarokin said SellSimple’s main advantages lie in being both a mobile and web marketplace and offering more than just facilitating the meeting between sellers with buyers. The company’s marketplace allows anyone to purchase items using their credit card or debit card and uses Escrow services to mitigate fraud by giving buyers the ability to hold funds until they actually receive the item. Previous attempts in this space have failed, with platforms like Shopigram and Shopcaster who pivoted from being a mobile marketplace to allowing local boutique businesses to set up an online shop.
SellSimple is also in the works of developing an Android app and has international expansion plans on the horizons. Currently, its functionality is available only in the U.S., however Sarokin noted that as soon as payment processing partner, YC-alum Balanced goes international they will too. With its eyes on being the tool sellers look to, SellSimple will have to prove that it has what it takes to thrive in a crowded space where several startups have already come and gone.