Joel, could you share Swapper’s short story?
In April 2016 we simply had one interesting thought: Most people own many unused items/objects which are still in a good condition.
But how can you get rid of your unusable stuff? Either you consider selling it on eBay or Shpock or you exchange any item after your own fancy, like an authentic trade-off.
After discussing this niche we came to the conclusion that there is a significant difference between a flea market and a trade-off.
Concerning flea markets, it does not matter who buys the item, you as the consumer just pay the price, as a one-sided sale. However, a simple trade-off works with similar interests. If both parties find mutual interest in each other’s products, it will come to a successful match, or rather to a trade-off.
There is one decisive problem: finding two barter-partners without investing too much time and effort in the quest. Fortunately, we can find a way to solve this issue with Swapper – our exchange platform.
How did you finance the development stage of your company?
During the first few months, we did not have any costs at all. We managed our conceptual design and development. Prior to our release, we were aware of the fact that finding investors is from now on absolutely essential. We needed an android developer, legal protection and rent larger servers and finance the commercialization. While working on our product we were still looking for investors. After a month full of presentations and negotiations we managed to find two investors. We agreed with the notary, signed the contracts and were finally registered in the commercial register in October.
Who is your target audience?
Target groups are pupil and students who are financially not independent and do not have the money to buy new products on a regular basis, but they have the same need as everyone else. Instead of acquiring new products, they can simply exchange items which are not needed anymore. We are planning several interesting marketing campaigns at the end of the month after we have released a major update.
How do you draw attention to your young business, which channels do you use?
Nowadays it is impossible to pass Social Media. On Facebook and Instagram we try to keep our user up to date concerning updates, future events, and daily swaps. Since students are part of our main target group, we focused on college recruiting. We cooperate with a large number of universities which allows us to promote our product within spitting distance. First, we keep promotion in the Rhein /Main-area but soon we will expand our radius so we can promote on almost every university in Germany.
How do you finance yourself with Swapper?
Swapper is a free application for users, they can download the app, register and upload unlimited items. However, we offer extra features that simplify the exchange and searching process. However, if the user wants to benefit from the features he or she has to pay less than a euro for the premium account.
In addition, with our next update we add the option to send products directly via Swapper: As soon as two users have decided to exchange items, you can choose: either you consider using Swapper for sending your product or you do it by yourself. If you chose the first option, you can buy discounted shipping labels. After that, a QR-code will be available to scan at the nearest post-office. After scanning that code, your personalized shipping label will be printed and your item will be sent immediately to the acceptor, of course, every user is able to track the conveyance. Fortunately, for each shipping with Swapper, we receive a commission.
Are there other plans concerning Swapper?
We direct the focus on exchanging items. The matching system only fulfills the purpose of making the exchange as simple as possible for the user. At the moment we are very pleased with our basic concept. For the future, we try to expand our options and generate with Swapper a large trading-platform.
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