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November 10, 2021 - Comments Off on Lockdown Luxuries and Covid Comforters

Lockdown Luxuries and Covid Comforters

A staggering £6.6bn has been spent by Brits over the pandemic on items they no longer use, according to a recent study by home insurance group Aviva.

Items bought span a wide range of categories; from the expected video games and home fitness equipment, to the understandable fashion and home décor items, to the downright gangsta hot tubs and pizza ovens.

What is consistent across all categories is a sense of “buyer’s remorse". Lockdown and the pandemic may have released money otherwise spent on holidays, socialising or commuting, but is it Covid that has created the “regretful buy”?

Maybe the XXL hot tub wasn't such a great idea...

Even pre-pandemic, Brits were having packages delivered to their door or local collection point. Wardrobes, sheds and attics all over the country are stuffed with items that are no longer used. Many of which never made it out of the wrapper. I mean, how many of us have books on our shelves that we have never read?

The solution isn’t to stop buying - these items save us time, improve health and wellbeing and bring us joy. What is needed is a new approach and mindset towards ownership.

If you are no longer using or benefit from an item, then why not release it into the community! You don’t have to sell your items (who knows, you might get back into that hobby or extreme sport) why not rent it out, for someone else to try out night golf?

Regardless of whether you sell or rent, you will be taking a responsible and community focused approach to resources. Renting out your dusty DIY tools can result in one less power drill that needs to be made, to be packaged and to be delivered. Carbon footprints will be reduced and you will recover some of your initial outlay. Now you can buy something you need with the extra cash (and free up some space in your garage). Maybe this time why not try getting a preowned ice-cream maker? According to our sources, it’s very likely it will have only been used once!

Find a new home for your lockdown follies…

Paperclip is a buy, sell and swap marketplace with 100,000 active users. Our trading platform allows you to earn money by quickly and easily selling your preloved items. We will shortly be releasing a brand new rental feature which will allow you to lend items at a fraction of the cost of buying them new!

Head to paperclip.co to create a free account and get trading today.

Keep up to date with the latest news from Paperclip HQ, follow us on Twitter here.

Published by: Laurence in Musings, Perspective

January 20, 2021 - No Comments!

Paperclip’s Fitness Fortnight: keeping you moving through lockdown

During these challenging times, it's never been more important for us to keep moving. Exercise is proven to boost self-esteem, sleep quality and brain power while reducing the risk of depression and disease. The January weather (and blues) can make it all the more difficult for us to motivate ourselves to get fit. But fear not, Paperclip is here with our top tips for staying active...

Give Yoga a go-go

Yoga is a safe and effective way to build up your strength, flexibility and balance. Learning the poses correctly helps minimise the risk of injury and a even a quick session once in a while can be great for clearing your mind. Attending classes are usually advisable if you’ve never done it before, but there are plenty of teach-yourself videos and live-streams online you can access for free during lockdown.

Home cookin'

Whether you're jetting off to school, college or work, it can be all too easy for us to grab some food-to-go and as we know, it's not always the healthiest option...

Now we are all spending more time at home, there's never been a better time to work on our culinary prowess. Whats more, there's a ton of free recipe apps dedicated to helping you hit your weight-loss and fitness targets...

You can also check out Paperclip's 'Home & Garden' category. There are some great bargains on utensils and all your other kitchen essentials.

Now not having the correct kit is no excuse...

Bring the gym to your living room

For some us, not being able to hit the gym has been one of the toughest parts of lockdown. The wet weather and short days can make pounding the pavement seem even less appealing than it did before.

However, you can now bring the gym the comfort of your front room. If you don't mind buying your gear second hand, there are some real bargains out there. Remember, used plates weigh the exact same amount as brand new ones and cost a fraction of the price. Head to Paperclip's 'Sports and Outdoors' category and save up to 50% on the RRP of all your home gym essentials.

Want to make a 100% saving on your home workout kit?

We're giving away everything you need to turbo-charge your workout completely free to one lucky user. It's free and super simple (it takes less than a minute) to enter. Just head to our Fitness Fortnight competition post to find out more...

fitness, paperclip, lockdown
Click to enter our giveaway now...
Learn to meditate

During times of anxiety, it can be really useful to practice meditation to help manage your headspace. Reducing stress can help lower cortisol (the stress hormone that makes losing weight all the more difficult) considerably. If you’re not sure what meditation or breathwork entails, it’s the practice of training the mind to a state of mental clarity that studies have found helps you deal with stress, anxiety and more.

Meditation needn't be something that takes hours out of your schedule. Just 15 minutes of sitting alone in a quiet room is a great start. There are plenty of great resources online and some great communities on social media for you to get involved with...

Exercise with friends

Prefer to hit the gym or go for a run with your buddy? Well you've got plenty of options for you break a sweat with your mates from home. Not only have Houseparty and Zoom surged in popularity over lockdown, but online instructor classes from Turnd Up and SG23 have also kept us moving with interactive, screen-sharing sessions available online. In short, there are now loads ways for you to link up with your pals online, without having to leave the home.

Remember you win everything you need for the perfect home workout by entering our Fitness Fortnight home gym competition. Click here for more info...

Published by: Laurence in Musings, Perspective

August 27, 2020 - No Comments!

The top 20 items students need to add to their uni shopping list

The top five must-haves alone will set parents back £1,897 in the first term...

As students around the UK start getting ready for university life, the race is on to get all the must-have items ready for beginning of the year. The Paperclip team reveal the top 20 most sought-after items ahead of the September term.

The top five most in-demand student items – including bikes, a smartphone and laptop, cost on average £605 via Paperclip. While if parents are buying brand new, these same five items would cost a significantly higher £1,897.*

On average, the total cost of buying all of our 20 items second-hand on our online marketplace comes in at around £1,695.

Speaking about our findings, our new CCO Keith Parkman said: “The first term of university can be incredibly expensive for families, particularly if you’re adding a new laptop in to the mix.

“However, the first five items on this list alone cost more brand-new than all 20 items if bought second-hand on Paperclip, so it really goes to show how shopping around on platforms like ours can make all the difference to student spending, particularly when it comes to tech.”

To help families tick off the necessities, we have released the top 20 most searched items ahead of the first term in September...

The top 20 most wanted items are:

1.Phone
2. Textbooks
3. Bike
4. Clothes
5. Laptop / Macbook
6. Headphones
7. Games console
8. Chair
9. Kitchenware
10. Desk

11. iPad / Tablet
12. TV
13. Monitor
14. Lamp
15. Mirror
16. Duvet
17. Camera
18. Fridge
19. Printer
20. Weights

On the latest trends, Keith added: “Life as we know it has changed significantly in the last few months, and this year’s university students will be experiencing something entirely new. That being said, we are still seeing a huge number of searches for household items like kettles, duvets and lamps so it very much looks as though prospective students are looking forward to venturing out on their own for the first time. 

kettle, items
This Stagg kettle has been viewed over 400 times on the KCLSU marketplace!

“One thing that we have seen as a result of the pandemic is an incredibly high demand for bikes, which are now in the number three spot – up from 8th in 2019. Although there are a handful of universities that we’ve come to associate with cycling, it’s amazing to see how many students all over the UK are now planning to bike around rather than drive or get public transport."

This Intense 5.5 FRO was recently sold for less than half the RRP on our Greenwich SU marketplace back in June

With so many items added every day to our uni marketplaces, new students can be sure to find what they need for starting the next chapter of their lives. Students can also find our pick of the bunch in the 'Featured items' section at the top of our platform's homepage.

Heading to university this September? Read about our free Digital Welcome Pack for students or sign-up here...

*Paperclip uses its marketplace data to report on consumer behaviour and trends in student spending, including the most popular items, searches and average spend at key points throughout the academic year.

Published by: Laurence in Musings, Perspective, Trades

August 30, 2018 - No Comments!

The real cost of university

Exploring the real cost of attending university in 2018

Does going to university in 2018 have to break the bank?

The average three year degree will cost a student £140,000; enough for a house deposit, a brand new BMW, a trip around the world for a year, a jet ski, and still have enough left over for a rainy day!

So how does a degree end up costing a student so much?

Read more

Published by: Laurence in Musings, Perspective

July 19, 2017 - No Comments!

The Dos and Don’ts of student living…

Whether you’re in halls or renting with friends, student life usually involves sharing your living space with other people. Follow these simple etiquette tips to avoid becoming the annoying one that everyone secretly dislikes...

Do

…respect other people’s property.

And that includes their biscuits (however tempting that opened pack of chocolate hobnobs in the cupboard may appear).

…be considerate about noise.

Everyone is allowed to turn the volume up to 11 now and again. Just not at 3am. When your housemates are sleeping. On the eve of their last finals exam.

…your dishes!

Mess can be a major battleground in communal living spaces. To avoid arguments, it’s best to tidy up after yourself as you go.

student living, washing up, living, Student Roost, Paperclip

Doing the dishes always takes a fraction of the time you think it will!

Don’t

…hog the TV remote.

Or the bathroom. Or the Playstation. Or anything else that’s supposed to be for everyone.

…avoid communal chores.

A cleaning rota is a good idea. Being the housemate who doesn’t stick to the cleaning rota is not a good idea. There are a bunch of free apps available online for you and your housemates to keep track of household tasks.

…always fight your corner.

People can have very different ideas about where to position the sofa, how to stack a dishwasher and whether toilet paper should hang “under” or “over”. Of course, everybody thinks their right way is the right way. Trouble is, everybody else thinks their way is the right way too. Being willing to compromise could save you a lot of hassle and upset.

Just remember, your current living situation isn't forever. There will be some up and downs along the way, but if you follow these rules and be your friendly, kind and positive self, you shouldn't have too many problems rubbing along with your housemates in your new digs.

Still haven't sorted your university accommodation? Check out our friends Student Roost. They have a presence in most of the big student cities and have a great reputation for providing top quality, safe, secure accommodation!

Follow us on Instagram for the latest news from Paperclip HQ.

Published by: Laurence in Musings, Perspective

July 18, 2017 - No Comments!

Paperclip’s uni checklist

The countdown has begun. Get ready for your new life as a university student...

So many jobs. So little time. If you’re struggling to keep track of everything that need doing, here’s our ultimate checklist for uni first-timers.

1. Find accommodation that’s right for you

If you haven’t booked your accommodation for the upcoming academic year, now’s the time. Rather than just looking at price, you may wish to consider location and amenities. A saving of £20 per month on rent will pale in significance if you’re having to get a train into campus every morning!

Our friends at Student Roost provide award-winning student accommodation in most of the major cities. Safe and secure, Student Roost halls are conveniently located close to universities and offer flexible tenancy agreements!

2. Buy essentials

Some no-brainers for you: clothes (including face masks), bedding, towels, toiletries, stationery and electrical items such as laptop, phone and chargers. If you’re going to be doing your own cooking, rather than living in fully catered halls, then you may also need cutlery, plates, pots, pans etc.

If you want to make a saving, Paperclip now offer our own ‘Student Starter Pack’ for with all your bedroom, kitchen and bathroom essentials. They’re currently discounted at just £299 and are delivered to your door at no extra cost.

Just some of the items in our Student Starter Kit

What’s more, if you return your items at the end of uni, Paperclip will refund you £90!

3. Get a railcard

A 16-25 railcard gives you 1/3 off all rail travel. Costs £30. Saves an average of £199 a year. (We’ll leave you to do the maths!) Buy one from the official railcard site or enter our competition to win a free one here.

4. Find your important documents

Passport, driving licence or other form of ID? Check. University paperwork, including your acceptance letter? Check. Student finance documents? Check. Accommodation info? Check. Now put them all together in a nice, secure plastic folder and keep it somewhere safe.

5. Set up a student bank account

A student account is not compulsory. But most come with lots of extra features and discounts that it would be a shame to miss out on. You can open an account as soon as you receive your offer letter – no need to wait until the start of term.

6. Register with a doctor

If you’re going to be spending more weeks of the year at university than at home, then you need to register with a local GP as soon as possible. Especially important if you have an ongoing health condition such as diabetes or epilepsy. Find a GP near your university here.

7. Check if you need a TV licence

The rules governing who does (and who doesn’t) need a TV licence are more complicated than you might think. Even if you only ever watch YouTube on your phone, you may be breaking the law if you don’t get one. See if your family TV licence covers you.

Good luck!

Published by: Laurence in Musings, Perspective

September 21, 2016 - 2 comments

Let’s all consume collaboratively.

We’re usually taught from a young age to be wary of the people we trust. You go through life meeting all sorts of people from family members to teachers, friends, colleagues and so on. Each new person we meet, we assign some sort of ‘trust score’ whereby we calculate in our heads how much reliance and confidence we have with that person, no matter what the thing in question is (a secret, your car, money or even their word).  Today, I think that's a little different thanks to technology and its self-governing attributes but I’ll get to that later on. Fast forward a number of years later and trust is the new currency in the economy.

The intensification of consumption, by way of collaboration, in the world has risen undoubtedly thanks to new technology and the start-ups that harness its power. Paperclip is a prime example of this, amongst other technology start-ups. We encourage you to buy, sell and swap goods from strangers you’ve never met before and instil a level of trust in them based on a self-governing system of reviews and ratings. 20 years ago, this would have seemed insane; stranger = danger (remember when entering your credit card information online was deemed senseless? I don’t.) Companies such as AirBnB have proven that this new form of consumption does work, and it is evident in both their business model and user base. AirBnB lets you post images of the most intimate rooms of your house to then post on the internet in an attempt to attract random strangers to rent from you. BlaBlaCar is another start-up which lets people use their personal assets commercially; it allows you to hitchhike in someone else’s car for a small fee as opposed to an expensive train or bus ticket. These two companies are examples of several start-ups that have utilised everyday assets to derive greater value from them. The evidence can again be seen from the amount of consumers using these services. Welcome to the world of collaborative consumption.

By definition, collaborative consumption is a social and economic system driven by network technologies that enable the sharing and exchange of assets from spaces to skills to cars in a way and on a social scale never possible before (Botsman, 2012). Consumers are starting to see the efficiency and value in trading, renting and bartering assets, skills and time in a fairly democratic, self-governing way. This is apparent by looking at the types of businesses that operate in the market today. As mentioned earlier, this is all possible thanks to the rise and diversity of technology. As technology advances by way of sociability, geography and mobility, it increases both efficiency and trust among people almost simultaneously (think social media, GPS locations and mobile phones; they've all increased efficiency and trust). What’s more astonishing is the way in which ordinary people have had their lives changed simply by engaging in collaborative consumption, whether that be by the higher income they now generate or the relationships they build through networks. It quite a shift from when the only things we shared were trains, buses, parks and stadiums.

So what now? As consumers and as entrepreneurs we should continue our participation in the collaborative consumption ecosystem and find yet more ways to expand its reach. By increasing our consumption collaboratively, we leave room for more efficiency in both the environment and the economy. Some firms are starting to realise this; Uber is already working towards it. As consumers, we can start by using more services like Paperclip, AirBnB, TaskRabbit etc, which will see the consumer better off. Adopting these types of consumption habits will be our biggest step towards a more efficient future.

Ziad.

Published by: alan in Musings

August 15, 2016 - No Comments!

Buying a TV on Paperclip

After recently closing our seed round, we moved into an office and required some office equipment. Where could we buy a 50 inch TV quickly an easily? Using our own platform of course! So we booted up the app and were delighted to find a decent Samsung 50 inch HD TV going for £200 locally. Naturally, we low balled and sent an offer for £150. After a brief back and forth, we settled on £180.

When dealing drugs, it's advised that you 'stay away from the end user' (Layer Cake, 2004). However, when it comes to a tech startup (or any firm with customers to be fair), it's the opposite ; you want to get as close as possible to your end users. Simply asking them 3 things that they like and dislike about your platform will provide invaluable feedback - actually sitting with them and watching them use whatever you've created, even more so. Sometimes I like to camp outside the houses of our users and watch them with binoculars as they go about their daily lives. Once or twice I've even snuck into their homes and watched users as they sleep. Just kidding, I'm a tech CEO goddamnit, have some respect - I hack their webcams and watch them remotely.

TV, app, buy, swap, sell

The classic Paperclip trade-cycle from top right > left > bottom right... Make offer > meet in a safe public place > enjoy new item

Anyway, the deal went down at around 7:30pm in an Asda car park on the outskirts of Cardiff. The seller arrived wearing a tuxedo and driving a custom car, an eclectic combination that I've come to expect from esteemed Paperclip users. We cracked some jokes and made the exchange. Easy!

The TV now sits proudly on our office wall - we've recently been donated a PS4 by a friend, and Steve likes to watch Netflix on it during lunch. We'll beam our stats dashboard onto it during the days as of September.

Published by: Rich Woolley in Musings, Trades

June 30, 2016 - No Comments!

3 ways to stay sane when starting-up

Starting-up - we've been there! Earlier this year we closed our seed round. However, having 21 different investors has resulted in a lot of delays with the paperwork.

As such, the roller coaster of emotions for 2016 has looked like this;

  • January: optimism - funding talks go well
  • February: joy - advanced talks, agreement in principle
  • March: jubiliation but fear - investment agreed, paperwork actioned
  • April: paperwork being drafted - minor agitation
  • May: paperwork delayed due to slight error in initial 50-page draft investor agreements - bouts of depression
  • June: momentary joy, then absolute depression - paperwork delayed
  • July: ???? - but the outlook is RAGE [5th August, follow-up] The day we received the cash was the happiest day of my life. It made everything above totally worth it. 10/10 would ride emotional roller-coaster again.

Note: worth mentioning that during the above timeline, our competitors managed to merge and raise a further $100m USD while we were still haggling over £100k GBP...this didn't help.

Obviously it's great that we've closed our round, but until the funds actually arrive it still feels like the rug can be pulled from beneath us. Even though it's unlikely, it's still horrible.

Digging deeper...

Depression in startups is a real thing, and only recently starting to gain more attention as a serious issue - 30% of startup founders report feeling depression - and it's totally understandable; you've put yourself on the line, you've borrowed money from all of your friends and family, you've gone 'out there' with your idea and it feels like it's all on you to make it happen. Every day that you're delayed, your competitors gain ground on you.

So what can one do to keep sane during these dark times?

Let's roll:

  1. Startup Housekeeping: during this downtime, budget has obviously been constrained. However, Alan and I took this time to both review our current v1.0 for 'quick fixes' and UX breaks - and also plan v2.0 with our legendary designer, Steve. We also updated the website a little bit to make us look less like the startup noobs that we then were (and still are in the grand scheme of things). All of this was completely free to do, and having spent so many months focusing on whether things actually worked it was nice to turn our attention to making things work well. It also got us all excited for our v2.0 release and the rest of our runway.
  2. Scrappy User Acquisition and Marketing:

    being without a budget doesn't mean we haven't been able to draw users to the app, in fact it has spurred on an entrepreneurial instinct that we haven't had since university. We took the time to build our social media identity, speaking directly with existing users, and focusing on retention campaigns - after all, it's cheaper to retain a user than acquire one. During this time we actually stumbled upon a user acquisition strategy that has yielded some amazing results and now become one of our primary user acquisition strategies - we'll share it in due course.

  3. Work on yourself: everyone has goals; learn to play the piano, finish off my online course in iOS development, get completely fluent in speaking French are just some of mine. Having some downtime is the perfect time to work on yourself and do all the things that you were putting off! Such endeavors have benefits in so many ways; distracting you from your own impatience, replacing all of those 'rewarding feelings' that you were feeding off in the early MVP days when progress was coming thick and fast (as an aside, I reckon the feeling of accomplishing so much in a short space of time actually becomes addictive, which further compounds the depression when a slowdown inevitably does arrive - but this could be absolute BS as I'm just speculating here. But you gotta speculate to accumulate right? Is that saying even relevant here? I digress). Re-kindling my love for the gym, and hitting up Tinder are things that have personally helped me through tough times; if everything goes to hell, at least I'll have become a hench womanizer in lieu of being a successful CEO. Plus, everyone loves exercise-induced endorphins... 😉

So there you go, 3 ways to keep sane during the dark times!

Good luck!

Rich

Published by: Rich Woolley in Musings, Perspective

May 20, 2016 - 1 comment.

Start-ups and Students

So, people usually ask me, "Zee why on earth are you still at university if you've already Co-Founded a start-up?" Apart from student discounts, it really comes down to three factors entrepreneurs need, and it happens to come free if you're a student; smart people, passionate people and time. Students often forget about these riches. They are at your disposal whilst studying at university. What students also tend to forget is that the student demographic is a very profitable one indeed. Pushing a product, service or app to students can be very, very pivotal to the success of your start-up. Being a student means you have this entire demographic in the palm of your hand.

Smart People:

Universities are jam packed with veteran academics who have PhDs in pretty much anything you can imagine, whether it be finance or law to business and computer science. It is not very hard to arrange a meeting or to walk into the office of your lecturer and get advice on an idea. These people have spent their entire lives studying the foundations of subjects that are key to your start-up, meaning their advice is critical to what you're looking to achieve. Having a bunch of guys with PhDs advising your company is pretty impressive. I usually find myself sitting in the office of a lecturer that doesn't even teach me, asking about something that's not even in the university curriculum. In fact, lecturers and academics enjoy talking about their field away from the classroom syllabus. I mean, we've all seen Breaking Bad right?

Passionate People:

Universities are home to some of the most passionate and sharpest people in the country; students. Before having their brains and livelihoods dampened by the corporate world, students are very keen on solving issues and working towards exciting things. Regardless of your skill set, if you are passionate about the issue or problem you are trying to solve, then the chance you'll succeed are very high. Start-ups are fueled by passionate team members, therefore, finding someone to start a project with is not hard if you're at university. In addition, you can find these people at relevant events and societies meaning you won't really have to do much digging. In fact, Rich and Alan met at university!

Time:

Entrepreneur or not, we all crave more time. As I'm writing this I have next 4 months off. Students enjoy several months off university after they've finished the academic year, giving them plenty of time to work on something. Actually, even during the academic year, you can still manage your time between studying and working...maybe not so much for the social life but oh well. One of the main reasons I chose to go to university is because I knew I'd have heaps of time to work on Paperclip and other projects, as opposed to going into full-time work. I'll let Alan tell you about that.

 

Finding motivation can be pretty hard as a student. Luckily for me, Paperclip was up and running before I undertook a hideous Economics degree. But for most students, they find themselves at a loss due to not knowing where to start or where to look. Plus career advisors on campus are pretty shit. The best thing to do is to start hitting up relevant events. What do I mean by relevant? I mean events that are related to your start-up (tech events, networking, marketing etc). Why? Well because it's a solid starting point for you to see how the underpinnings of start-ups actually function and also because you'll meet people with much more experience than you and people who are just starting out like you. I met Woolley at Start-Up Weekend at Google Campus. I thought Woolley was 16 years old. Anyways, from these events, you'll start understanding more about the workings of start-ups and more importantly, the tools needed to get you going. Just go, you literally have nothing to lose. Seriously...

Lord LaBeouf

I only found out 2 weeks ago that Rich isn't a teenager. He's actually 27 or 28... I think. Still old regardless.

Woolley at Start-Up Weekend. I only found out 2 weeks ago that Rich isn't a teenager. He's actually 28 or 29... I think. Still old regardless.

In my opinion, the best time to start a company is at university. Not when you're knee deep in corporate work, have a mortgage resting on your shoulders and some wife probably named Bertha breathing down your neck telling you you're useless. Actually, forget the last point.

Ziad

 

 

Published by: alan in Musings