Making a purchase is easier than it’s ever been. These days, you rarely need to leave the comfort of your favorite chair: Just click on an item to add it to your shopping cart, and it arrives at your home or office within days or even hours.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for selling the items you no longer want or need. Who among us hasn’t dealt with the endless frustration of Craigslist hagglers and no-shows when trying to offload a gadget or a box or two of baby clothes?
A startup called Gone! is working to make selling as easy as buying. The company developed a mobile app that allows people to take photos of their unwanted items, which the app can instantly identify. Gone! then finds the best price for the item on the secondary market—or, if the item can’t be sold, provides options for recycling or donation.
The buying process tends to be frictionless, but selling can be painful.
— Gone! CEO Nicolas Bayerque
Gone! got its start last fall through the Techstars Austin business accelerator program. After being selected to participate in the program, the team was given $118,000 in seed funding and access to a network of mentors, in exchange for an equity stake in the company. Now, the company employs full-time and part-time workers in Austin, TX, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“The problem isn’t finding a marketplace to sell your used items—there are quite a few of them already,” said Nicolas Bayerque, CEO of Gone! “The problem is that they aren’t pleasant to use. The buying process tends to be frictionless, but selling can be painful.”
Nicolas Bayerque is CEO of Gone!
Gone! acts as a virtual concierge service to help people find ways to clear their clutter—at a profit, whenever possible. The company teams up with online and offline marketplaces, and has access to a large network of data regarding average pricing for secondhand goods.
As a result, Gone! often can give customers offers for their items within a few minutes, Bayerque said. The company makes its money by taking a small mark-up on each item sale, and also receives compensation from affiliated donation and recycling centers.
For now, the app is available only for Apple devices and only in Austin and San Francisco, but for those who’ve been able to access it, it’s a simple process. Take a photo of the item you want to offload, and the app’s photo recognition tool identifies your item. You then can add a short description and specify details about the item’s condition. Soon, you’ll find out the best price available for your item in the secondhand market, and Gone! will drop off packing boxes at your door.
To check out our infographic titled “15 Fantastic Reasons to Clear Out the Clutter at Home,” visit www.sparefoot.com/storage-tips/15-fantastic-reasons-to-clear-out-the-clutter-at-home.
If the item can’t be sold, the app will let you know how to donate or recycle it. For a small fee, the company will pick up your unwanted items and take them to a donation or recycling center. “We’ll find the ultimate road for anything you have,” Bayerque said.
About two-thirds of items from Gone! customers are sold, while one-third are donated or recycled. Either way, it can help you clear your clutter quickly and painlessly.
“We’ve gotten a great reception from our customers,” Bayerque said. “It’s pretty straightforward for them. They’re excited that we take care of prepping, packing and shipping, so they don’t have to do anything.”