Neighborly OfferUp Hopes To Clean House In The Mobile Marketplace
OfferUp has approximately 21 months to become a mammoth hit. Here’s why: for nearly two decades, on average, I’ve moved to a different city every two years. Along the way, I’ve inevitably needed to ditch stuff at the last minute and then replace goods that travel poorly. OfferUp might just make the process of buying and selling household wares a little easier and quicker. This would make my next move simpler and my nerves much stronger. I’m not planning on going anywhere, but the inaudible clock is ticking surely. Let’s go OfferUp.
Stuff’s Got To Go
OfferUp is a new mobile application that looks to revolutionize e-commerce by making transactions as simple as taking a photo. Well, almost that simple. Snap a pick with a mobile device, name your price, and describe your negotiating terms. With a click, the offer will travel through Facebook, Twitter, and Craigslist (maybe Pinterest). Buyers can use the app to search for items within a general region. For privacy, neighborhoods remain undisclosed.
Last time I moved, I took a zillion pictures and spent a LONG time making Craigslist adds. Not to mention, I squandered precious time filtering through inquiries and several bogus buyers. OfferUp might really hasten transactions in the peer-to-peer marketplace. A nifty feature, “True You,” allows users to submit identity verifying information, which gives cross-checked members greater confidence in dealing with anonymous parties. All information is kept private through in-app communication until users choose to exchange information.
Currently, there is no cost to either download the app or use the service. Money still needs to exchange hands person to person, but the company hopes to add mobile payment options. OfferUp is available on iOS and plans are in the works to become Android friendly soon. The Seattle-based startup is focused on building a local community first, but looks to grow nationwide. Children’s consignment shops, including Hopscotch, Le Petit Shoppe, Little Quadoo, and My Kids Closet have signed on already to work with OfferUp.
Bringing Up A Startup Baby
Beside simplicity and security, family needs figure prominently in the vision of team OfferUp. Founder and CEO Nick Huzar wanted an OfferUp-like app himself when he learned that he was going to be a father. With a first child on the way, he had a roomful of stuff he had to clear in order to make a baby room. It didn’t take him long to think about all the other new kid’s things the family would need–and quickly outgrow.
A little research taught Huzar that he was hardly alone. According to a 2010 Department of Energy report, one quarter of families can’t park a vehicle inside their two-car garage because the space is clogged with belongings. An estimated $7,000 worth of unused stuff takes up room in the average American home. OK, I might have shlepped my stuff all over the place, but I guess I haven’t accumulated that much.
Prior to turning his attention toward helping families, Nick Huzar was the co-founder and CTO of Konnects Inc. In Konnect’s first year, membership grew from 1,500 to over half a million. The team also grew from 2 to 26 people. The company managed to raise over $5 million in funding while he was on board.
Before Konnects, Huzar worked at T-Mobile for 3 years. He helped the company transition from Voicestream to T-Mobile, leading in the development and integration of web applications. This inadvertent gypsy hopes that experience will help OfferUp manage space and stuff for years to come.