The ranks of would-be Craigslist killers continues to grow, but one young Seattle startup is taking a different approach in its effort to give everyday people a new way to sell things online.
StuffHopper, an on-demand service for selling items from the Seattle metro area, will pick up anything from large sofas to computers to antique pinball machines from your house and then sell them through any one of its online distribution channels that include ebay, etsy, and cherish. The company also handles photographing and posting your items online, negotiations with buyers, and, through its distribution partners, shipping to buyers across the world.
“We are a mirror image to Amazon — while you can buy anything on Amazon, you can sell anything on StuffHopper,” said CEO Adam Dreiblatt, a serial startup founder, investor and former consultant. “And, like Amazon, StuffHopper will handle all the logistics so you don’t have to do it all yourself.”
Potential customers who live in the Seattle area contact StuffHopper about pickups via the company’s app or website, sending some basic photos and scheduling a convenient time for someone to come to their houses. If StuffHopper estimates that their stuff is valued at more than $100, it will send a team to retrieve it. Then, StuffHopper will take photos of the items, post them online, and sell them to the highest bidders through the distribution channels they think are best. Sellers get 50 percent of the net revenue from the sale, and if their items aren’t sold in 60 days, StuffHopper will return them at no cost or donate them to charity — customers choose.
The company has been in operation for about a year and is bootstrapped, Dreiblatt said. StuffHopper spent about a year building its revenue model into their business, he said, so from the beginning the company was built to have a product and customers without needing outside money. That said, the company is now interested in investors as it looks to scale, Dreiblatt said.
StuffHopper is entering a competitive scene for online marketplaces for secondhand goods, going up against other startups including Seattle’s OfferUp and Gone, as well as bigger names like Craigslist. However, Dreiblatt says that StuffHopper’s exclusive focus on sellers sets it apart from rivals.
“Craiglist makes you do it all yourself and DIY is hard,” Dreiblatt said. “We take care of the whole process of selling and make it easy. It’s also focused on both buyers and sellers, while we focus only on sellers.”
Of OfferUp, the Bellevue online marketplace and one of the area’s most valuable, secretive and fastest growing startups, Dreiblatt said that the same holds — OfferUp requires customers to handle their own postings, negotiations, and shipping, while StuffHopper does not.
When asked about Seattle-based rival, Gone, which also does not require customers to handle selling themselves, Dreiblatt noted that Gone specializes in electronics, while StuffHopper sells a range of stuff.
“We do furniture, tools, electronics, and smaller appliances, among other things,” Dreiblatt said. “We’re really a one-stop shop.”
Ultimately, Dreiblatt says that companies today have done a good job of making it so convenient for consumers to buy things that they now expect to be able to get almost anything easily. But on the selling side, he sees an opening in the market.
“Up until now, it’s been easy to buy things, but hard to sell them, especially if you’re trying to sell multiple items at once,” he said. “We’re changing that by taking care of all of the hassles in selling your stuff.”