All Posts in Perspective

August 20, 2021 - No Comments!

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: Paperclip HQ 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: Paperclip HQ in News, Perspective

July 19, 2021 - 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: Paperclip HQ in Musings, Perspective

July 18, 2021 - 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: Paperclip HQ in Musings, Perspective

July 17, 2021 - No Comments!

Paperclip’s guide to Clearing

Paperclip Student Brand Ambassador Louisa gives us an insight into the university Clearing process...

It’s been a tough few months for us all.

With so much disruption to our studies (not to mention everything else), thousands of us didn’t get the grades we wanted this summer. For those of us already at university, this has meant a summer of resits, or in many cases, having to start from the beginning again next time around.

For those moving from Sixth Form or college into university, this could mean missing out on your firm/insurance choices or even being left with no offers altogether.

For those left in this unenviable position, fear not, for all is not lost...

Truth bomb incoming…

This time last year, I was stuck with only one offer. After banking on getting into my firm choice, I ended up missing out by one grade. That meant I was stuck with my insurance option. To be honest, I hadn’t done my research and when I found out more about the course (and how difficult it would be for me to travel home and back), I knew I needed to make a change.

Full disclosure: it was a really stressful and uncertain few days. Thankfully, I had both my parents and a sister (who had also been through Clearing herself) to walk me through the process. I ended up enrolling at a great course at a fab uni, made a load of friends and honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Hopefully this blog can make the process a little less scary and help you find the course you want…

The next steps

So if you’ve checked back on your UCAS application since results were released, you may have seen an alert notifying you that either ‘you are in Clearing’ or simply ‘Clearing has started’.

The term Clearing, put simply, is the process where universities look to fill vacancies on courses which are not fully subscribed. It gives you an opportunity to take a look through available places on the UCAS website, learn more about the courses and institutions that interest you, and enquire as to whether or not they can offer you a place.

The deadline for Clearing this year is the 19th October.

My advice: research, research and research some more. Trust me, you’ll be doing a lot of it at uni so you might as well get used to it!

Each year, there are thousands of vacancies at universities up and down the country. That being said, you need to make sure the course, the syllabus and the uni itself, is the right fit for you. Rushing into a course at a university you know nothing about is a recipe for disaster.

Once you’ve written up your shortlist, and weighed up the pros and cons of each option, you need to prepare yourself for contacting the universities. Don’t worry, it isn’t as scary as it sounds…

Start off by making sure you get the contact details of the right person or department (you can usually find this on the UCAS website) and prepare a few lines about why you’re interested in the course and why you think it will be a good fit for yourself. The staff at the university won’t ask you any personal questions, or grill you as to why you didn’t get the grades you wanted, they just want to know that you are serious about the course and succeeding at the uni.

As I mentioned earlier, there are thousands of empty spaces at uni courses all over the UK. That being said, not all universities are available in Clearing – but most are. Likewise, not every course will have vacancies. It’s important to keep an open mind, but also not to rush into a course just because it’s there.

Once you’ve made your decision, head back to the UCAS portal and add your new choice. This should become an offer in the next couple of days. You can then accept it and guess what, you’re on your way to Higher Education!

Things to bear in mind…

  1. There are loads of free resources available online providing further info and tips for contacting unis (check out: TUG’s Guide to Clearing).
  • Be patient! Universities are super busy this time of year and you may have to wait on hold for a while before speaking to your uni rep.
  • Remember the deadline. Clearing is due to close on 19th October – but I really don’t recommend you leave it that late! Clearing process works on a first come, first serve basis. Don’t panic and rush into something, but make sure you don’t let this deadline pass you by.
  • Have a good think about where you are living. Quite often, the university halls are fully booked way before results are released. My advice would be to check out private accommodation like Student Roost. They have locations near most of the big unis and they have a great reputation. The buildings are safe and secure and the booking process is super easy.
  • Don’t stress. Though it’s really important to get organised and for you to do your research, don’t worry – you still have a few weeks to find the course, uni and accommodation of your dreams!

Published by: Paperclip HQ in Perspective

January 29, 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: Paperclip HQ 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: Paperclip HQ 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: Paperclip HQ 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: Paperclip HQ 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: Paperclip HQ in News, Perspective