All Posts in Perspective

January 4, 2022 - No Comments!

Paperclip Year in Review: 2021

First off, the team at Paperclip HQ would like to wish a very happy new year to all of our trading community!

2021 was another difficult year for us all, however, we are pleased to report that it was by far our most successful. Even with so many changes to our platform we still managed to hit a record number of marketplace transactions and items added, all whilst welcoming thousands of new users to the Paperclip community. Here's a whistle-stop tour of what we achieved in 2021 as well as a sneak peak of what to expect in the coming months...

Our 2021...

Transactions: on the platform are up a whopping 1,186% since January! With the majority of those listing an item making a sale within the first two weeks. It has never been a better time to sell your items on Paperclip...

Items added: we've never had so many items added as this year, with the number of items being added up over 586% since the beginning of 2021! Our most popular categories being women's fashion, baby & child and electronics.

Powerseller Programme: since launching our Paperclip Powerseller rewards programme earlier this year, we have since onboarded over 200 new sellers with 50 items or more. Head to our Instagram and check out some of the fantastic sellers we have championed throughout 2021.

Charity partnerships: over the course of the year, we partnered with a number of charities in order to help them sell donated items online, showcasing their items to our 200,000+ strong community of users on, rather than just the regular footfall from their High Street locations. It's been a real pleasure to help YMCA, Sustainable Wales and Craft For Charity develop their online presence and generate revenue for such fantastic causes.

Sustainable Wales' new Paperclip store

Features: online payments were released early this year, which enabled us to also implement Paperclip Credit; a way of giving back to our community via discount codes for credit, which can be redeemed and spent on the marketplace.

Our iOS and Android apps were updated considerably, with greater user experience all round. It's not easy managing 600 screens across iOS, Android and Web with development team of 4, and so we had to manage resources carefully, focusing on user-benefiting tweaks.

Parent's Pack: the last few months have been particularly challenging for parents, especially those having to home school their children throughout the pandemic. With this in mind, the team decided to release a pack of deals, discounts and giveaways for parents, totally free of charge! The pack features offers from Clarks, Ocado, Amazon and more. You can grab yours for free here...

What to look out for in 2022...

One-tap relisting: when you buy something on Paperclip, that item will soon move into your Paperclip profile, ready to be relisted for sale at the touch of a button once you're done with it!

Delivery: once we integrate a delivery provider, you'll be able to have your items collected and delivered to buyers without having to go to the post office!

A lick of paint: our Trade Centre and feed are being overhauled for a much crisper browsing and transacting experience, following some extensive feedback from our Powersellers.

Powerseller rewards: after successful trials, we'll take the Powerseller programme to the next level, with new rewards, badges for top sellers and new features on our social channels.

More, more, more: we'll onboard more communities than ever before, meaning a sharp rise in a the amount of items and transactions on the platform as we look to run ads

...Spoiler Alert! We're also working on a number of other features that will benefit our community, but for now it's best we keep them under the hood... everyone loves a surprise.

Stay tuned to our blog for more exciting developments throughout the year and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn here.

Published by: Laurence in News, Perspective

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

August 20, 2021 - Comments Off on Our top five selling tips

Our top five selling tips

How to stand out and sell fast...

Perhaps you saw Richard Branson in space and thought, 'that should be me!' Or maybe you got inspired by last night's episode of Dragon's Den. Maybe you had a nightmare that Alan Sugar was pointing his notorious finger at you and it’s filled you with motivation wanting to prove him wrong...

In any case, you’re looking to unleash the entrepreneur inside by starting selling second-hand stuff online. With the gig economy continuing to grow, it’s proved that everyone can make a full time living with opportunities online.

You may just be looking to declutter. In which case the money is just a bonus! Not to mention the environmental benefit. Less new things = less waste. Less waste = a happy Mother Nature.

Already an experienced online seller? Great! These tips will help take your operation to the next level...

The best place to sell second-hand goods are online marketplaces. They offer easy access to thousands of customers and a very low barrier to entry.
But how do you make sure you’re not wasting your time? How do you stand out to make sure your items fly off the shelves? Or, more importantly, out of your wardrobe?

We put together our top 5 tips for selling second-hand stuff online. Nail all of these and you’ll be halfway to Jeff Bezos. Seriously though, ticking all these off will make a big difference in your sales speed and volume. Let’s gooo!

1. Great photos go a long way

It may seem obvious, but this is the most common fault we see with listings. The pictures you choose can make or break your listing. Bright, eye-catching photos make your item much more appealing to buyers, even if it’s been used.

Check out this example we made with an Oculus. Which photo do you think will get more clicks and, ultimately, sell faster? The one on the right.
Use natural light from a window and organise your item so it looks neat. If you can, add something interesting in the background like a plant to make it stand out. Don’t overcomplicate it though. Make sure the surrounding environment looks clean and sanitary - think of the type of place you would prefer to buy from.

Keep it light and bright!

We don’t recommend highly editing your photos with filters as it can distract from the listing. It can also make your item appear differently from how it looks in person - which can only lead to one thing. Unhappy customers. Not what we’re looking for.

That being said, a few tweaks can go a long way. Use your phone’s editing options or download an app if you want to get fancy. In this case, we increased the exposure, brilliance, and highlights slightly to brighten the image. Have a play with some of the other options to see what you can do. Sometimes just using auto adjust is all you need!

You don't need to be a Photoshop wizz to make an attractive listing...
2. Tell it like it is!

As we mentioned earlier, unhappy customers are not something we are looking for. A sure-fire way to a bad review is to describe an item as something it’s not.

A detailed, accurate description is what we’re looking for.
You don’t have to write a novel, but make sure they know they know what’s up. If there’s a scratch on the back, mention it. If there’s a stain from some unidentified green liquid, let 'em know. If the shoes have holes in the bottom and still smell from your last training session then... well, maybe don’t sell those ones actually. But you get the picture. Make sure they know the faults before they receive the item to ensure a smooth transaction.

3. Batching

When it comes to listing a lot of items, batching can be a super effective way of speeding up the process. Gather all your items up and photograph them at the same time. If some need cleaning before, do all of those at the same time. Then list all of them at the same time.

Batching means you can get in the flow of the task at hand instead of constantly switching between. It also helps your stay organised as grouping your items together means none are left out.

If you’re going to use batching and upload all your items on the same day, we recommend listing on Sundays. This is the day we see the most traction for both buyers and sellers, so could increase your chances of a speedy sale!

4. Make it personal

People buying from marketplaces are looking to buy from other people. This makes it vital your account reflects you and shows a bit of personality. You want to stand out whilst also appearing trustworthy. Make sure to complete all verification steps so their confirmation icons appear on your profile. This lets people know you’re a real person, not a bot looking to steal their hard-earned cash.

Choose a clear and eye-catching profile picture. When creating your account try to avoid long complicated usernames and handles. Try “Joey sells stuff” instead of “joey21898374". Which one seems like someone you would rather buy from? A little bit of time and creativity can go a long way here.


Which one seems like someone you would rather buy from?

A little bit of time and creativity can go a long way here...

If you want to create your own brand to sell behind that then that’s absolutely fine. Just make sure you have a flattering logo and not a blank profile!

5. Share it

Once you’ve got your items listed and made your profile presentable, it’s time to tell the world. Share your profile wherever you can. The more people that know, the higher chance of finding your perfect customer. Sure, you will get some organic traffic from your platform of choice. But the best sellers know that a little bit of self-promotion can go a long way.

Try social media; Instagram, Facebook, TikTok. Post about your items or your selling journey and it will defiantly stir some intrigue. You could even go old school with leaflets or posters. Get a design from a website like Canva and have them printed locally or online.

And that’s a wrap!

So, there it is. Our top 5 tips for selling online. If you’re looking for the best place to buy, sell, & swap online - check out the Paperclip marketplace. We are biased, but we think it’s great and so does our community. We’re proud to say it takes less than 60 seconds to list an item, so armed with your new knowledge there should be nothing stopping you from running Amazon out of business.

Happy selling!

Published by: Laurence in Perspective, Trades

July 26, 2021 - No Comments!

The problem with fast fashion…

With the rise of social media and the availability of cheap clothing produced overseas, it has never been more tempting to buy a brand new outfit for every night out.

This has led to the fashion industry now manufacturing 400% more items than it was just 20 years ago. The reality is, most of these items are cheap, poor-quality, disposable items of clothing.

Right now in UK, more than two tonnes of clothing are bought each minute and according to clothes waste charity TRIAD (2019) and the average garment is worn just ten times before it is thrown away.

So where do all these clothes end up?

Sadly, a great deal of these items end up in landfill. Though the majority are sent to be recycled, not much of it is. The problem comes down to what our clothes are made from.

Nowadays, clothes are made up of a combination of fibres, fixtures and other accessories. These are often made-up of problematic blends of yarns, plastics, filaments and metals. This makes recycling a slow, labour-intensive process that requires a skilled workforce and an enormous amount of space.

Second-hand garments are often sent to local charity shops. But many complain of being swamped with donations, many of which are poor-quality fast fashion items that are heavily degraded even after just a few wares. Sorting through these becomes a near-impossible task and garments often end up being passed around between charity shops, further degrading and becoming less and less desirable over time.

The final destination

So where next? Well these remaining unsold garments are then sent, in bulk, for resale abroad in the form of 'charitable donations'.

Countries in central and Sub-Saharan Africa is often the recipient of these donations. An astonishing 63.4 million kg of old clothes from the UK were sent to be sold in Ghana alone last year. Amazingly, that figure has doubled in a decade.

With instability and corruption so prevalent in many of these countries, often these garments are dumped illegally or left floating in the sea rather than finding a new home. Factor in the carbon footprint of sending these clothes half-way around the world, and it's clear that we are heading for trouble.

clothes, fast-fashion, dump, fashion
Illegal clothes dumping in Africa

Not only is this is becoming an environmental catastrophe, but for many African nations, it is becoming an economic one as well. Second-hand clothing is one factor in the near-collapse of the garment industry in sub-Saharan Africa. In the past, many of these nations were home to vibrant textile industries but with second-hand western garments flooding the market, these are facing irrespirable damage.

So what can I do to help?

The first thing we can all do is to buy fewer items first-hand. By supporting your local charity shop you help to slow the demand for cheap, disposable clothing. Not only this, but you can help with the oversupply of donations whilst generating revenue for good causes.

If an item of clothing has a small tear, a missing button or just needs a little TLC, there's usually a way to save it. There are loads of great resources online to help you mend your clothes at home. Sites like Love Your Clothes offer free video tutorials on how to breathe life into your old garms.

You can try find your clothes a new home online should you want but if you do feel like recycling your clothes is the only option, just make sure that items are clean and fabrics are separated as best you can.

And what about Paperclip?

Not only does Paperclip provide a secure online marketplace to sell your second-hand clothes, but we have decided to launch our own sustainability initiative.

We have decided to partner with a number of charities to help find new homes for the unsold donations. Our plan helps these charities to extend the reach of their retail stores exponentially. Quite often items sit unsold in these shops for years before they are moved on or are sent to be destroyed or recycled. These partnerships will help showcase these items to thousands of buyers online, giving these clothes a much greater chance of finding their new home.

We will be releasing more information on this initiative, and announcing our first partnership over next few weeks, so keep tuned to our social channels.

You can get all the latest updates from Paperclip HQ on our Facebook page here, or you can follow us on Instagram here.

Published by: Laurence in News, 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

January 5, 2021 - No Comments!

Looking back on 2020: Year in Review

Most of us want to leave 2020 firmly in the rear view mirror. Rather than hitting you with a full Year in Review blog post, we'll give you brief rundown of what we got up to in the weirdest year in recent memory...

The Paperclip community
  • We managed to grow our userbase 2.5x, from 100,000 to 250,000 users!
  • Our university presence grew 4x from 42 to 168 universities.
  • 2020 saw a record number of transactions across our public, student and enterprise marketplaces.
  • Our Digital Welcome Pack for university freshers and returning students was launched. Here worked huge brands such as Wilko, tastecard, Amazon Prime, Perlego and Ola to provide real value to our student userbase.
2020, DWP, Paperclip
We launched our Digital Welcome Pack for students in Autumn 2020...
  • We gave away hundreds of freebies, shopping vouchers and even a brand new PlayStation 5 to our beloved trading community!
Marketplace upgrades
  • Payments was released, enabling our users to buy and sell securely with online payments, the next step in our plan to add delivery and rental services...
From September 2020, our users could purchase items using their credit/debit card!
  • Our homepage got a makeover and made upgrades to our buying, selling and messaging user experience.
  • We consolidated all of our university marketplaces onto a single marketplace, enabling students from any university to buy and sell with students at any other university and the wider public
Behind the scenes
  • We we're listed as number 34 in BusinessCloud's top 100 eCommerce Trailblazers.
  • We brought onboard some key advisory talent and investors with a successful investment round.
  • And finally, Keith Parkman (COO) and Millie Bowie (Designer) joined us full time, providing fantastic marketing, design and commercial sales talent and experience with them...

Despite some real progress in a number of areas, rest assured that we're just as keen to see the back of 2020 as you are.

Thanks for checking out our Year in Review and here's to a happy and healthy 2021!

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

Published by: Laurence in News, 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

December 30, 2019 - No Comments!

Paperclip Year in Review: 2019

It's been another busy year for the team at Paperclip HQ! With new hires, a new office, new partnerships and a whole load of new marketplaces, it has been an exciting period of growth for the UK's leading marketplace provider. Check out our Year in Review blog and learn more about what we got up to in 2019...

New year, new faces...

With so many new university and corporate marketplaces going live during 2018, the Paperclip marketing team needed reinforcements. Step forward Tara, our new Marketing Coordinator! With a background in advertising and experience working at one of Bristol's top media agencies, we found the perfect person to help us grow our user base and create dynamic marketing campaigns.

Tara was soon joined by Lorenzo, Jess and Hannah; all of which who arrived courtesy of our internship programme. Working on content creation, copy writing, user growth and variety of different marketing campaigns, the internship programme helps 2nd and 3rd year students get real, hands-on experience in the sector whilst they work towards their degree qualification.

Paperclip, year, 2020
Lorenzo & Tara on their first day at HQ

We also strengthened the Design team with Junior Designer Millie joining the ranks in September. After studying Graphic Communication at Plymouth University, Millie worked with our neighbours S3 Advertising before joining us on a full-time basis, just in time for our Freshers tour. During this period, Millie was joined by our new QA Manager Ivana, who is working remotely from Slovakia.

Relocating Paperclip HQ

After adding so many new faces to the team, we thought that Paperclip HQ deserved an upgrade...

Since 2016, Paperclip has been based in Cardiff's new One Central Square development. Starting off as part of Natwest's Accelerator programme, Paperclip found a perfect home in OCS and before long, we were powering the official One Central Square community marketplace!

Despite the office boasting some of the best facilities the city has to offer, the space just wasn't quite big enough to cater for our growing team.

After searching high and low for a new home, we found the perfect solution right under our nose (well, about 30 yards across the road...) Fortunately, a new space had recently become available at Millenium Plaza, our next door neighbour! With the same great location, more space and a great view of Cardiff city centre, it didn't take us long to set up shop in our new HQ.

Closing the investment round

Though it didn't take us long to find our perfect home, there wasn't much time for us to put our feet up. During the spring, Paperclip opened it's fourth round of investment. By May, we had secured funding from thirty new investors joined, ranging from doctors and fund managers to the co-founder and former CEO of Just-Eat, David Buttress.

We then embarked on our very first Seedrs campaign to top-up the existing round. We set a target of £300,000 and crossed our fingers...

After offering shares to our users, we opened up the campaign and promoted it tirelessly through our blogger network and on social media. By the end of the campaign we had raised a huge £420,000! With individuals from the USA to Qatar choosing to get involved, Paperclip now boasts a diverse group of investors with industry experience from all over the world!

Launching Version 3...

Prior to launching our Seedrs campaign, we rolled out Version 3 of the Paperclip app!

In response to the user feedback we collected during the first half of the year, our Development team set about making a slicker, easy to use platform with our user's needs at the forefront.

Paperclip, V3, year, 2020
Version 3 is go!

We merged messages and notifications under one icon for a cleaner and clearer user experience as well as sprucing up our buying and selling icons. We also added listings into a chat where you can remind your buyer/seller what item you are discussing on your messaging thread or provide further photos or item info if needed.

New uni marketplaces

We left 2018, with only a dozen university marketplaces live. By the end of the year, we had more than doubled that number. Once word began spreading of our success at Oxford, Cambridge and UCL to name but a few, more and more Student Unions reached out for us to build them their very own campus marketplace.

Joining the party this summer were Surrey and Greenwich University from the capital as well as The Students Guild in Exeter, Devon. We also took on Solent University, who will be linking up with our existing Southampton Uni marketplace, as well as Brighton University on the south coast.

year, Paperclip, Solent
The Solent Brand Ambassador squad at Freshers' 2019

After a successful Freshers period in September, we were able to double our total number of university marketplace users in little over a month. We further expanded our fleet with Westminster, Cardiff and Leeds Trinity all joining at the tail end of the year.

Schools and more...

During 2019, Paperclip also soft-launched our School marketplaces. In response to a number of requests from parents of school-age children, we created a new platform enabling school parents to buy and sell items for themselves or their children in a safe environment. With parents on average spending £250 on uniform, classroom equipment and PE kit for each of their children, there was definitely room to make back to school shopping easier on the wallet.

Since our launch, dozens of schools marketplaces have been set up are parents across the UK are already using Paperclip to help them save money and find a home for items outgrown by their children.

This autumn we also worked with eToro to launch GoodMarket - an enterprise marketplace allowing for staff at their head office in Israel to buy, sell and swap together.

GoodDollar, year, 2010, GoodMarket
GoodMarket in action

The platform utilises GoodDollar to explore different ways we can reduce global wealth inequality using blockchain technology. GoodDollar plans to build a new open-source cryptocurrency to distribute money using the principles of UBI (universal basic income). The new marketplace lets users redeem their UBI credits (GoodDollars) in exchange for goods and services. 

New partnerships!

During the course of the year, we partnered with a number of brands to provide our student users with exclusive deals and discounts year round. Our partnership with StudentBeans has allowed us to offer students money off Pizza Express, Farah and more!

During the first term of the 2019/20 academic year, we also linked up with online fast-fashion retailer Rebellious to give our users further discount on sale items. We also provided students with a free Greedy Llama vegan box, a free tastecard and a National Express discount which allowed students to travel home for Christmas at a fraction of the normal price.

Giving a little back...

Here at Paperclip, we are always looking for new ways to reward our loyal users. Not only have we set about finding awesome deals and discounts for our student users, but we have also given away over 200 items completely free!

To top this off, Paperclip has been working closely with Keele SU and USW Students' Union to deliver lectures and seminars from our department heads and other entrepreneurs.

The team has also set up a partnership with the Swansea University Conservation and Ecology Society. Here Paperclip will help SUCES promote and grow their society and will be sponsoring a number of society memberships as part of our commitment to sustainability for 2020.

2020 and beyond...

Without giving too much away, we plan on making 2020 a big one.

We plan to build on our success in 2019 and capture a 70% market share of UK universities whilst growing our user base and adding more exciting deals and discounts for students.

We also have a number of platform enhancements planned, with a soon-to-be-released payment gateway on the horizon. 2020 will also be the year our university marketplace users will be able to access local lettings and jobs on their platforms.

Not only this, but we will shortly be announcing a number of new commercial partnerships as well as our long-awaited expansion overseas...

Make sure you follow Paperclip on Facebook for all the latest developments throughout the new year.

Published by: Laurence in News, Perspective

October 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Paperclip hit up #Freshers2019

It's that time of year again...

It seems like only yesterday that the team at HQ were packing their bags for our very first Fresher's event last year at Brunel Union.

After a busy summer of marketing meetings, presentations, design briefs and Brand Ambassador interviews; our new promo teams were assembled and Paperclip was finally ready for Freshers' 2019.

Not to break with tradition - we started this year's tour at Brunel University in Uxbridge. Armed with our new banners, t-shirts, interactive games and a whole host of new deals and discounts for students, we began Operation: Freshers.

Despite Brunel being one of the smaller universities we service, the Freshers' Fayre was bustling. Within minutes of the doors being opened, hundreds of new students signing up to their very own campus marketplace and entering our exclusive Ticketmaster competition.

Paperclip, Freshers, Brunel
Becky, Kiera and new recruit Ayesha at the Brunel Freshers' Fayre

We continued our tour with stops at Cardiff Metropolitan, Aberystwyth and Exeter Guild of Students before descending on the capital to promote our uni marketplaces to over 50,000 students!

London calling...

After attending two more busy Freshers' events at Queen Mary and Royal Holloway, our team headed to south of the river to launch the Greenwich SU marketplace!

A last minute addition to the tour, the team back at HQ worked tirelessly to ensure that the new marketplace was ready for a September launch. With students now able to claim exclusive deals and discounts at Amazon, Brushbox and more, it wasn't long until we had Greenwich students signing up in their hundreds.

This section of the tour ended with stops at old favourites UCL and King's College London - our very first university marketplaces!

The show must go on...

Despite some horse voices and a few casualties from the dreaded Freshers' flu, our team marched on to more busy Freshers' events at Keele, Surrey, Sheffield and Liverpool John Moors University.

The team also enjoyed two successful Fridays on the south coast, starting with our most recent acquisition, Solent SU. Full to capacity, the Solent Fresher's Fayre provided us with an excellent opportunity for us to launch their new marketplace and familiarise students with the new platform.

freshers, paperclip, solent
Our new Solent Brand Ambassador team (l-r): Dani, Nicola and Sarah

The team at Solent SU opted to merge their marketplace with the existing SUSU market; the Paperclip platform serving students their neighbours at Southampton University. This gives users access to items for sale at both universities whilst still giving them all the benefits they would enjoy otherwise.

Over the course of the two days, thousands of new students signed up to their respective platforms and our new users began buying, selling and swapping straight away!

Our tour hasn't stopped just yet. This week our COO Alan will be heading to the prestigious Cambridge University for the re-launch of the CUSU marketplace. Make sure you follow @PaperclipHQ on Twitter for all the updates on the big day.

We're still crowdfunding!

As you may have seen already - Paperclip is now funded! However, we are still live on Seedrs for another week so there's still time to be a part of one the UK's leading startups!

Approved by Seedrs. Capital at risk.

Published by: Laurence in News, Perspective

December 27, 2018 - No Comments!

Paperclip Year in Review: 2018

It's been another exciting year here at Paperclip HQ...

The award-winning marketplace provider

Back in the Spring, the team were delighted to hear that Paperclip, along with some other great businesses in the region, had been shortlisted for a coveted Cardiff Life Award. A few weeks later, we headed to Cardiff City Hall where, to our surprise, we took the gold!

As the awards season rolled on, we were shortlisted for a South Wales Business Award, a Wales Startup Award and nominated for two WalesOnline Digital Awards. Though we finished runner-up in the latter, we had a great time networking with local business leaders, community organisers and even some celebs too!

Nigel Owens presents Sebastiano, Ana, Rich and Laurence with the Cardiff Life Award

And it didn't stop there, earlier this month we also received confirmation from AI Global Media that we had been named this year's SME News Business Elite's Leading Digital Trading Company of the Year UK.

Stepping into Higher Education

By far our most exciting news is that we have partnered with not one, not two but twenty different UK universities. Starting with University College London, we were able to build on our success to deliver bespoke marketplace for students at Brunel, King's College and five other London universities. Over the summer, we were able to add both Oxford and Cambridge SUs to our roster before the big launch at the start of the 2018/19 academic year.

News of our unique marketplace solution spread rapidly, and before long, we were launching online student markets from across the country, from Keele SU in the north of England to Southampton SU on the south coast.

Student deals

More than just a platform for swapping old textbooks, we wanted our student marketplaces to help in day-to-day university life. We spent the summer months reaching out to a number of great brands, to offer our users a heap of exclusive deals and discounts. Not only do students get the opportunity to earn cash when they add their first item, but they also qualify for a free return coach journey from our friends at Snap.

At selected universities, we also offer students a free JustEat voucher as well as a free two month trial with tastecard.

Not only this, but  we were able to give out tickets to the X-Factor Live Final at the SSE Wembely Arena, London as prizes for new users.

Competiton winners Rhianne and Al

Brand Ambassador Rhianne and competition winner Alice at the X-Factor Live Final

Our marketplaces also champion local businesses and university societies, providing them with a space to showcase their own deals, discounts and student events.

Growing the team

With so much going on, we decided that we had to strengthen our team...

Back in August, we welcomed our Graduate Marketing Officer Justin to the team. Justin, who has a degree in Business and Marketing, joined us from nearby Swansea University, where he had been working with us to promote the Swansea School of Management marketplace throughout the previous academic year.

We quickly put the new hire to work, and over the last few months, Justin has been travelling up and down the country running student outreach and promo days at our client campuses. Focusing on growing our user base, Justin has also been spreading the good word about our student deals and collecting valuable user feedback as continue to improve our platforms.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming two interns from the European Student Placement Agency (ESPA). Our first was Jacob from Spain, who worked closely with Laurence and Ana on university marketing campaigns. He was quickly followed by Sebastiano from Italy who worked on sales, marketing and prospecting new universities for us to reach out to. Speaking eight languages between them, both interns hit the ground running and surpassed all expectations during their brief spell with us.

Working on campus

With so many universities on board and so little time to promote the marketplaces on campus, we began the mother of all recruitment campaigns...

Over the Summer months, Laurence and Justin set about building a team of Student Brand Ambassadors at every client university. Looking for fun, outgoing and enthusiastic students, we began assembling our squads in time for a chaotic Fresher's schedule.

In the end, we weren't disappointed. A combination of hard work and organisation meant we were able to onboard thousands of students to our marketplaces and get them to take advantage of our exclusive deals and discounts.

Our Ambassadors Lucy and Madiyyah at Queen Mary SU

As the term progressed, hundreds of items were being uploaded to each marketplace and we began to see real organic growth on our platforms.

Also, utilising his connections from his days at Swansea University, Justin was able to spearhead a project to take on a number of student interns. The students are all studying Business, Leadership and Marketing and their work with us will compliment their modules at uni. The interns will work on generating valuable user feedback and growing the existing SoM marketplace.

Creating Paperclip Version 3

It's been a busy year for our Design and Development teams too!

Throughout 2018, we have been quietly working on creating a third version of the marketplace. With all the same great features as versions gone by, we have been working on a faster, more responsive experience more suited to the end user. Taking note of user feedback, we were able to provide a smarter marketplace available on iOS, Android and desktop.

Read all about it...

Not only have Paperclip been featured in national newspaper the Daily Express, but we also found our way onto the WalesOnline Tech 35 companies to watch!

We have also been featured on The Wallet Moth, Savvy Dad and our founders Rich and Alan, made it onto the WalesOnline 35 under 35!

*NB: A huge thank-you to our friends Lynsey and Beth at FD Comms who have worked tirelessly to help raise our profile over the last few month and years.

Money matters

It has been another exciting year in terms of investment and adding new faces to our board.

Back in February, Paperclip completed our third round of funding. This was led by existing investor the Development Bank of Wales, with additional funding from a consortium of angels including GoCompare founder Hayley Parsons, the ex-CFO of the Financial Times John Davis, and Tim Ward, who was part of the team that sold Friends Reunited to ITV back in 2015.

In November, we launched round four. With a stronger platform and a more experienced team, we have been able to secure funding from investors based all over the globe. We expect to close the round in early 2019, stay tuned for further announcements...

2019 and beyond!

It's been a busy year at Paperclip HQ; thousands of new users, dozens of partnerships and scores of new hires. But as we well know, time stops for no app.

After a well-deserved Christmas break, the next few months will be focused on closing our current investment round and growing our user base, both on the global marketplace and on our university marketplaces.  Read more

Published by: Laurence in General musings, News, Perspective