Maybe it is visible from some older posts of mine that I share a great passion against the modern absolute consumerism. It has converted into a regular lifestyle, constantly promoted and encouraged by all the media. What I despise is the message that one cannot live without this and that, that the only way of reaching comfort is by having more, buying more. Recently ZARA’s owner Amancio Ortega was declared the richest man in the world. What the publicity also knows him for are the scandals around his factories in Bangladesh. Smart response – the brand is launching its first “sustainable” line this fall.
We actually need so little for meeting our needs and the worst is when we start to create new needs on our own under the influence of mass media and peers. My response, at least in terms of clothes, is the Second Hand. It is far cheaper, it doesn’t encourage the over production and satisfies the consumer hunger in a challenging and positive way.
Recently on the Bulgarian app market appeared Shedd. Shedd is trying to keep up with the dynamics of the customers demands. And right now the customer likes to watch/write/chat/shop through its phone, just by a slight touch with the top of their finger. I am using the app for about a month now and I decided to share my general impressions of it.
- The app is for fashion only! This means no accidentally clicks on the wrong category and seeing interior-cleaning-car-kit when all you are looking for is shoes.
- Modern search engine based on the #hashtags. Now, this leads to some confusions because there always will be people #who #write #all #the #words #in #a #sentence #with #hashtags, but miss the real point. My personal experience with the search though, is quite positive. Using a bit general tags instead of super concrete usually shows options which wouldn’t appear the other way. For instance, if I am looking for big black bag, I would try to search with #bag and #black. But lets go back on the shoes. If you one wears size 36, there two possibilities: #size36 and #36size. The search in this case should happen separately for each version, because the hashtags are additional. If you type both, you will not receive separate results, you will receive results for ads which contain #size36+#36size.
- In addition, something useful would be a search option for users – I felt the lack of it couple of times.
- Shedd doesn’t offer any type of user rating or feedback at the moment. Also, if you make a deal with another user, it is not reflected in any way. This is absolutely raising the risk for both sides – the seller and the buyer – and in some cases for the platform itself. I rather expect that this is going to be changed soon, even more because the responsibility in case of fraud is not to be taken from anyone in the current circumstances.
- At the moment a published ad contains only one photo! Even though this can be seen as disadvantage as well, I rather consider it a great plus and hope the developers are not going to change it. This stimulates the creativity of the users (you have only one shot to show your item is the best!) and encourage messaging, which on the other hand encourages the sell-buy process.
- Only one ad per item is allowed. Technically, there is an algorithm which detects if a user tries to upload the same photo of the same product second time. Practically, people just make different photo and upload the same item multiple times.
- Encouraging small businesses to use the platform is something I really like. What I don’t like is that at the same time emphasis is putted on the big brands using it as a synonym of quality. For instance I received a tech message telling me that users are looking for #calvinklein, #zara, etc. and I should sell this kind of item. I find this controversial in marketing sense as well.
- Naturally, the space in Shedd is largely predominated by women. However, men fashion can be found with some dedicated search.
- Not new for the field of second hand platforms – the location services are added so one can have an idea for the distances. (Still for full utilization of this feature a search option is needed.)
- The application is still under development and few bugs occasionally appear. Some private text messages are not visible/not received, as well as the algorithms fail from time to time. I received a message with offer to upload items when I already had few listed in my profile.
- The support is absolutely marvelous! A couple of times I exchanged few words with them and the communication was smart (!), on time and very kind. 🙂
In conclusion I will share some of the application background. My internet investigation unraveled to me that Shedd was firstly developed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The project is closely associated with Dubizzle, largely known in Middle East and Eastern Europe as OLX. You can read more about this here. This also helped me to understand the brand promotion – the application was originally created with this idea.
Except for UAE, I managed to discover one more country where Shedd is active and goes in direct competition with the giant eBay – Australia. Some characteristics there are that deal is possible only through Pay Pal, or face-to-face. In comparison we have far more options as the negotiation is absolutely private and not any payment is managed or canalized through the app. More about the Australian version you can read here.
I believe in the great potential of this application which already started to demonstrate itself. The future is in sharing, ladies and gentlemen, so go on, re-use, re-sell and help humanity to safe itself with your own everyday choices.