Remember the good old days when it was fairly common to get out of bed at 5am on a Sunday morning, and drag yourself and the contents of your attic to a local car boot sale? In more recent years, technology developments have seen an increase in online sales as opposed to getting out there to haggle. Introducing Shpock: the mobile app that claims to be a boot sale on-the-go.
Shpock – a portmanteau of ‘shop’ and ‘pocket’ – is an app created by Austrian developers and first launched in Germany in 2012, based on the idea of selling, buying & donating your unwanted items locally. Since then, its popularity has rocketed across Europe, encouraged further by its launch in the UK last year, and it now boasts over 8 million users. Although it has customers over several nations, one of the main aspects of the Shpock app is the fact that you can find items close to you… and I mean really close! Upon opening the app, I was asked to sign in and was then taken to the main screen, where I was shown offers within 1 mile of me. I was incredibly surprised to see so many items in my local area! The benefit of this is that, like a car boot sale, you can sell items that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to post, such as furniture, cars and other bulky items; instead, they can be delivered or dropped off. There’s a massive range of products to browse through, from ‘Home and Garden’ to ‘Books and Music’, and even a ‘Giveaways’ section.
Of course, the big question with all selling apps: How much does it cost to sell your items on Shpock? Well – it doesn’t. Listing your items is free, selling your items is free, downloading the app is free and there are no compulsory fees. This could be a massive selling point over competition apps like eBay, Depop and Vinted, where the fees can easily stack up and leave you with not much left after your sales. They do have some optional advertising fees, though, where you can pay between 69p and £13.99 to promote your listings. However, the consequence of the lack of compulsory fees is that Shpock doesn’t get involved in any sales or disputes for you. I’d definitely recommend that you use a protected payment method like PayPal when making sales, and if you’re posting the item try to use a tracked service so you have evidence of it being delivered. Better safe than sorry!*
Here’s how Shpock compares to other popular selling apps:
*When receiving payments through PayPal Goods & Services, PayPal will take 3.4% + 20p per transaction for their own fees. This means that they protect your transaction and will resolve any disputes if necessary. These fees are not related to Shpock, and it isn’t compulsory to use PayPal as your payment method.
Another bonus to using Shpock is that visually it’s a great app to use. For me, sometimes eBay can look dated and cluttered, but this app has clearly been designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. It’s got clear shapes, an obvious colour scheme, and is really user-friendly. Shpock advertise that you should be able to list an item within 30 seconds… so I put this to the test. I didn’t quite make the 30 second cut off point, but within 2 minutes of opening the app I had taken a photo, given it a title, added a description, given a price & category, and listed it for sale. Again, compared to eBay, this seems to be a breeze.
I haven’t been using Shpock for more than a couple of weeks, but so far it is really appealing to me. The main bonus I’m seeing to using this app long-term is the lack of fees, and being able to search for great deals close to you. It certainly has the feel of a car boot sale, and I think they’ve done a good job of combining a traditional British Sunday morning with the ever-advancing technology world. Shpock is quick and easy to use, and like other selling apps, it has a review system so you can see feedback from other sales before deciding if you want to purchase something. My only concern relates to safety when paying, as Shpock don’t offer any protection over transactions, but this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you use a reliable payment method and a tracked posting service. Overall, as a free app, I’d definitely recommend you give it a try!
OS tested on: Android 5.0.2 (CyanogenMod 12.0-YNG1TAS2I3)