If your house is anything like mine, you too have a growing inventory of old cell phones, video games, and DVDs sitting around, gathering dust.
You could always try to sell them on eBay, or at some trade-in site. But the problem is that unless you’re already a proficient user of eBay, or similar sites, the process of auctioning off goods is not all that intuitive, and can easily turn into a time-sink. Now, there's an easier way.
Enter Glyde, which offers both buyers and sellers an alternative marketplace that is simpler to use, and better deals as well.
Let’s say you want to offload an old iPhone 4. Compare the process at eBay with that at Glyde. At eBay, you’ve got some 24 decisions to make, requiring 58 clicks, and about 11 minutes of your time, in order to put it up for auction.
At Glyde, you can list it for sale by making three decisions, 8 clicks, and about 20 seconds of your time.
“We try to pull the friction and difficulty out of buying and selling on the web,” says Glyde CEO Drew Lieberman. “There are just four questions for the seller: Is it functional? What condition is it in? Any personalization? Do you have the original power adapter? Four clicks, 20 seconds."
Under the hood, Glyde leverages tons of data to facilitate this p2p market for used media and consumer electronics goods.
“We’ve loaded the specs for millions of products -- DVDs, games, etc., and hundreds of phones and mobile devices. Every product has its own UPC code, its unique identifier, so we can manage that data.”
When you begin typing in a product, like ‘iPhone,’ the Glyde interface pops up likely candidates, helping you select your phone visually. Once you answer the four questions mentioned above, it recommends a price.
“We recommend the market price, based on our internal data, sales on other sites, and historical data, plus trends all over the web,” says Lieberman. “It’s all supply and demand.
“As companies shorten the life cycle of products, a secondary market emerges and we can offer more value than the traditional trade-in sites,” he continues. “Buyers still see very good deals also, because there is no middleman.”
Glyde doesn’t charge the buyer anything and charges the seller a commission of roughly ten percent only when the sale is completed and the buyer certifies they got the product they were expecting to get.
During this process, Glyde does something else that really speeds up the transaction, and that is handling the logistics of shipping the product.
“So we know what size the product is and can send the seller the appropriate mailer or box,” explains Lieberman. “We send it with the seller's address on the outside and the buyer's address on the inside with postage added (the buyer pays for that).
“The seller just places the device in the mailer, attached the proper label, and drops it in mailbox.”
While Glyde resembles some of the collaborative consumption outfits like Airbnb (housing) or Getaround (vehicles), in that it helps people “monetize their assets,” it also differs from them in one significant regard.
“At Glyde, buyers and sellers don't rate each other,” says Lieberman. “We manage the feedback system ourselves. We track a seller’s actual performance: Are they on time? Is their product as described? What’s their past track record? This is how we quantify a buyseller's performance. Then we display prioritized sellers to the buyers. It’s all in the background that we are managing this, and not transparent to users."
"Should there be a problem, we want the buyer to come back to us. They will be fully refunded.”
The company maintains a local customer service team to manage this and says only in a very small percentage of cases has there been any sort of problem.
“We manage thousands of transactions every day,” says Lieberman. “And we will quickly disqualify people with a bad track record.”
The company, which is based in Palo Alto and employs just over 30 people at present, is restricted to U.S.-based transactions for now, due to the logistics of handling the shipping process and customer support.
It will probably expand into international markets in the future, especially for buyers, and is also focused on improving how it works across mobile platforms this spring.
It's backed with $25 million in institutional funding.