First off, please don’t think we’re ungrateful. Perhaps two well-meaning aunts both bought the same gift. Or something came in the wrong size and the generous gifter has misplaced the receipt. Either way there is a chance many people are heading towards 2017 with a few unwanted gifts.
Well help (and profit) is literally at hand in the form of your smartphone. There is a plethora of buying and selling apps out there to turn your (well-intentioned) trash into someone else’s treasure.
We took 2016’s greatest toy – the Star Wars Chewbacca Mask from that Facebook Live video – and listed it on a few mobile marketplaces to see how it fared.
Probably the best-known buying and selling app. Ebay is available all over the world and with around 165 million members, we were hopeful someone out there would want to take Chewie off our hands for the right price. We were not disappointed. Setting up an auction via the app was a breeze and within 24 hours we’d attracted the attention of five Wookie-wannabes. Push notifications and a satisfying ‘ker-ching’ sound kept us up to date with bidding activity and the auction format made the final few moments as exciting as unwrapping a gift the first time around.
Sold for: £26.59
Austrian ‘fleamarket’ app Shpock (SHop in your POCKet) launched in September 2012. A strong competitor to the likes of Ebay as there are no listing fees, this nifty little marketplace now has an estimated four million users across Europe so far. Only allowing for a buy it now price, we set our sights high and asked for £25. Our inbox soon pinged with a message bartering the price down until we agreed on a satisfying £15. We exchanged PayPal details and soon enough Chewie was on his way to a new owner far, far away…
Sold for: £15.00
Headquartered in Singapore, Carousell was founded in 2012 as a marketplace for buying and selling second-hand goods. Most popular in its home market as well as the US, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, the app has attracted a total of over 41 million listings since launch. What sets it apart is a distinctive follower/following format, that creates a community, and means that you only see items posted by your favourite sellers. Our lack of followers soon proved an issue. Despite listing Chewie at a bargain £10 (not including P&P), he sadly remains homeless. Perhaps we need to work on our community ready for next year…
Sold for: Zilch.
Probably the most varied marketplace we tried; as well as Star Wars merch Gumtree users can find cars, jobs, and even a new home all via its slick app. Listings are based on location, encouraging real world face-to-face meet ups. After going live, our mask generated a modest amount of page views but no bites. However, after two days we did find a new hope (sorry) with a willing buyer in our area. A bit of bargaining later, we had a sale. A short walk down the road we met our buyer, exchanged the standard festive pleasantries and left, cash in hand.
Sold for: £15.00
A cross between Carousell and Gumtree, the app is a “person-to-person” mobile classifieds service, which allows users to easily browse, buy, sell and chat to others locally. The process of selling was incredibly smooth. After a simple tap of the sell button, an image, headline, description and price can all be added directly from the app. Within two minutes, our mask was posted and live. Here we reached a little difficulty; although our mask generated a nice steady amount of interest, no bids or offers were made. We persisted but at the time of posting, we’ve yet to see any bids. A great app but like Carousell, one that is likely to reward investing a little time in it.
Sold for: Nada.