Social media connections are the most obvious way to leverage technology to improve trust between buyers and sellers. Perhaps the most famous example is eBay: Its user feedback ranking system came to symbolize the early ‘00s selling experience so much that Weird Al Yankovic’s 2003 song parodying the service boasted about his “A++” comments:
I’ll buy your knick-knack
Just check my feedback
“A++!” they all say
They love me on eBay
OfferUp is taking this trust model to the next level with its user reputation score. This uses a machine learning model to predict the likelihood OfferUp would take action against the user, considering factors like community engagement and previous transactions to generate a figure between 0 and 1. The days of vague “100 percent positive” feedback are over.
“We rely on our phone for just about everything, so we should be able to buy and sell unused or unwanted items in a matter of minutes,” Natalie Angelillo, Vice President of Community at OfferUp, tells Inverse. “We’ve grown exponentially in just a few years because you can easily sell, discover, and buy what you want from your neighbors, and we’re helping you make the most of what you have — by saving money on things you want and finding new value in the things you don’t.”
Some systems focus on decluttering for specific items, which offer a faster way of scaling down. Decluttr specializes in media like CDs, DVDs, games, and books. Users can enter a barcode number, work out the total value of their items and request a box to ship their stuff for sale. Similar to Sortly, the company also offers a smartphone app to scan the barcodes. It’s ideal for sellers with a mounting pile of old movies ready for the yard sale.
This is a focus other companies have taken up for themselves. Apple’s smartphone trade-up service offers up to $315 toward a new iPhone, while Samsung offers up to $300 off a Galaxy S9 or Note8 with relevant trade-in. Third parties like Gazelle and MyPhonesUnlimited are also offering instant quotes on a variety of devices. They all follow the Decluttr route, matching the product to a database of price quotes to simplify the process.
The future is looking a lot less cluttered.