Last week, I wrote a piece called Have you tried Shpock? It looked at my first forays into using the the app-based marketplace and I was impressed. At time of writing, I had one offer of a purchase on Shpock for an item that was also listed on eBay and Gumtree but had had no real interest. I said I’d report back on that initial sale.
The good news is that it went flawlessly. The buyer kept his appointment, arrived on time, examined the goods, paid me the asking price in cash and took the item away. From listing to closing the deal took less than 20 hours. For reference, in nearly a week on eBay, I received only a single question and Gumtree elicited no interested enquiries.
I listed another item on Shpock over the weekend and had a successful sale there too. This time I didn’t get the full asking price but did receive an offer that I accepted. The buyer came round within the hour and picked it up. Shpock does seem to be a good venue for making quick sales.
And that got me thinking about why it’s so successful. Admittedly I live in a digitally connected, densely populated, metropolitan area, but the power of the app does seem to lie in it being hyper-local. The search defaults to items within a mile and the result is people very close by are able to make a purchase, which is binding once both sides confirm it, and close the deal very swiftly too. There really is no reason why eBay, for instance, couldn’t come up with a similar interface.
As I wrote before, there isn’t any particular application yet for Shpock to be a venue for professional marketplace sellers but there is surely some insight to be found in its success and popularity. And app marketplaces are also clearly the way forward as smartphones become so completely ubiquitous. What is most telling is that eBay owned Gumtree hasn’t been able to succeed on the same basis with these sales. They should be watching their back.