Australia’s next social media shopping platform, Bountye, has launched to re-create community commerce for the booming second hand economy.
Looking to change the way we buy and sell second hand goods, former eBay Director Asim Brown has set up a mobile marketplace called Bountye to bring back the personal touch experienced through consumer-to-consumer (C2C) or peer-to-peer selling.
Our love affair with shopping for a bargain has seen the second hand economy boom and has it worth $45 billion in Australia alone. Dubbed as Australia’s next social media shopping addiction, its hoped Bountye will power the industry further for everyone from fashionistas, to mums, students and specialist interest groups.
Bountye raised $600,000 via private investors and partnerships to fund the development of the app, which is now available for free in the Apple App store. Bountye is a mobile marketplace for people to buy and sell anything, but also experience deeper and more meaningful interactions with each other during the process. Bountye connects users with people in their neighbourhoods, or who share their interest via a simple, compelling and beautiful interface.
Facebook is already testing out eBay-like features with a news feed option that shows a unified view of items on sale across user groups and adds the ability to search public groups. And there are other niche players, like Oddswop and 5Mile, that allow users to buy and sell pre-owned or speciality goods, however many of these platforms are clunky, don’t leverage technology, don’t consolidate social commerce, payments, or facilitate the goods exchange in a convenient way.
Bountye is set to change the way we buy and sell second hand goods with an easy-to-use mobile-based, group-oriented marketplace that seamlessly integrates with leading social platforms. Users can list items by uploading photos, and can choose to make items available to everyone on Bountye or just members of a select group. Users can join and create private or public groups based on special interests or local communities.
All users also must have verified profiles, complete with real names and photos, with ratings added once they begin buying and selling on the platform. Buyers and sellers can chat through in-app messaging to discuss prices and delivery options, with transactions also processed through the app through escrow. Bountye will charge a commission of 4.9 percent on each sale in all categories except for motor vehicles, where it will charge a one percent commission.
“Commerce has always been at the heart of communities but it was only the medium with which we exchanged goods that continues to evolve,” says Brown. “I felt that one of the key drivers to peer-to-peer selling was the connections we make. This was in direct contrast to anonymity that prevails in the B2C world. Bountye brings back the personal touch, while helping people find unique items. It also helps people declutter and make money from their unused goods at home.”
By downloading the app, users of Bountye can:
List and sell their items
- List items in under a minute with simplified listings and photo uploads.
- Choose to make items available to everyone on Bountye, or just members of a specific group.
- Share listings easily with friends and connections on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
- Chat safely with interested buyers via easy-to-use, in-app messaging.
- Get paid securely – all transactions are processed automatically within Bountye which is also one of the first in Australia to use escrow, in order to protect both buyers and sellers.
Discover and buy items
- In-app personalised, daily feed based on likes, locations, friends and groups.
- Browse or search for specific items across categories including fashion and jewellery, electronics, furniture, cars and motorbikes, home and garden, kids and baby, and more.
- Chat safely with sellers via easy-to-use, in-app messaging.
- Comment on photos of items, make offers and securely pay for purchases straight from the app.
- Choose local pickup or a delivery option for purchased items.
Follow friends and join groups
- Follow friends, people they know or their favourite sellers. All users have verified profiles complete with real names, photos and ratings for both buyers and sellers.
- Join private or public groups based on special interests or local and social communities.
- Create and manage their own group to enable their own community to buy, sell and connect with like-minded people. So for instance, if people collected rare printed George Orwell books, they might join an invite only group of others who collected books and know the value.
While there are other apps in the market, there hasn’t been one tailored specifically to the Australian market yet, which when combined with Brown’s experience at eBay, gives Bountye a competitive edge in the industry.
Power Retail had a quick catch up with Asim Brown to get his thoughts on the second hand economy and what part Bountye plays in it.
What’s driving the boom in the second hand economy?
Australians are smart and savvy shoppers. They have embraced online retail, which grew at 8.6 percent for a total spend of $15.6 billion last year. This growth in online retail spending is creating a sub-economy.
The second-hand market is booming because it provides a unique opportunity to purchase at a cheaper price and to find one-off items – slightly different to what we see in mainstream retail today. It’s also driving a market for people who want to sell items, often that are in near-perfect condition, online and within their own trusted community.
What differentiates this marketplace from the likes of eBay?
We know people want to buy from people they know and people they can trust. So we’re bringing a community feeling back to selling pre-loved items. Bountye breaks down the barriers of location and anonymity, and focuses on trust and relationship.
When you buy pre-owned goods, they don’t normally come with a 30-day money back guarantee or free shipping, or any of the other retail standards we’ve become accustomed to. Which is why the pre-owned goods market boils down to relationships and trust, which is the centre of our Bountye community. We’re recreating that community vibe with our platform.
Essentially we’re leveraging many of the elements of social like chat and the ability to comment on items, but also extending into other areas like rating buyers AND sellers. We also allow users to create public and private groups, so that they can buy, sell and connect with likeminded people (i.e. people that live in your area or people who share common interests/identities.)
Finally, Bountye users have the added safety of knowing that your funds don’t exchange until the buyer and seller are happy.
What’s next for Bountye?
Our vision is to be the number one destination to buy and sell your pre-loved goods. We are already receiving incredibly positive feedback from our launch and we believe the timing is right for a community driven marketplace.
Clearly, increasing our footprint and partnering with others who complement our strategy is part of our long-term plan.