All Posts in Trades

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

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

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