It’s something most, if not all of us have been through – buying or selling a second-hand item online. From start to end, the process is fraught with admin, from fielding interested parties, to the security risks of arranging to view the item. The process needed to change – and FlipSell are the ones doing it.
The best ideas are always the ones that find a simple, elegant solution to a problem. FlipSell’s platform helps buyers and sellers towards a transaction that’s hassle free for both parties, by arranging scheduled pickups and deliveries, and placing payments in escrow until both parties are satisfied. Currently active in the Western Cape, they aim to expand to the rest of the country as demand grows.
Founded by three friends who were interested in SA’s burgeoning ecommerce landscape, FlipSell originally struggled to gain traction. A chance meeting with Vinny Lingham led to a pivot, and eventually to first-round funding from Platinum Seed.
After working from bedrooms and coffee shops, they heard about Workshop 17, and became one of our first tenants! We nabbedAnree Malherbe, co-founder and COO, and asked him a few questions.
What drives you and your team, and what does ‘success’ mean for FlipSell? None of the founders were corporate-orientated – we all had an entrepreneurial outlook on our careers. We’d often bounce ideas off each other, and one day we stumbled upon the idea of easing the process around buying and selling online in a safe and convenient way. We’re not really second-hand-goods enthusiasts – that came about during an exchange of ideas, and we realised that it made sense, and could work.For us, success is receiving positive feedback from clients – knowing that people think it’s cool, and will use it again.
What problems are you solving, and what are your solutions? We’re offering a simple, safe, and easy way to buy and sell goods online.
What would you say the biggest challenges are for FlipSell? Communicating with people at the right time. We understand that people dn’t constantly buy and sell stuff online, and need to make sure our brand is always visible, so that we’re top of mind at the right time and place. Talking to enough people is also a challenge, as the business model is based on volume – how do you get buyers if you don’t have sellers, and vice versa. And what does your team consider its biggest achievement to date? Raising money for the business. When people start investing in your ideas you know you are on the right track!
Why Workshop 17? We were attracted by the crowd and the fact that there was a lot going on in the space. Town is nice, but we wanted to move away from corporate. Workshop 17 is centrally located, the facilities are world-class, and the coffee is great! When people see the space they often go oh wow, that’s really cool. I’m looking forward to more events in future, and seeing what they make of the creative space upstairs.