The pre-loved goods market is thriving. Here’s how Ziffit is profiting by saving unwanted items from an unsavoury fate at the rubbish dump.
Ziffit co-founder Stephen Boobyer explains how his business, which trades people’s pre-loved goods, went from zero to 7 million items, 44 staff members and expanding sales by 30% last year.
Describe your business
Ziffit is a website and app that lets you sell your unwanted books, CDs, DVDs and console games for cash.
We provide a quick, free and simple service where customers enter the barcode of the product they want to sell (or scan it on their phone with our app) and we offer them an instant price.
Customers then box up their items, send them to us free either by courier or through the Collect+ network and we deposit the money straight into their bank account, Paypal account or we send them a cheque.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
People are always looking to find a bit more balance in their lives, whether it’s through less clutter in the home or taking more control of their finances. Ziffit helps people to achieve just that, making it easy for them to sell their pre-loved possessions and make a bit of extra cash at the same time.
It’s also a business model that’s responding to the times. Despite what many people think, book sales are increasing and digital album sales are actually decreasing faster than physical sales. While we are used to hearing about living in the age of downloads, plenty of people are still buying and selling physical objects.
We also provide people with another means for recycling and re-using unwanted goods. This is an aspect of the business we are particularly proud of – paying people to sell us their used possessions and preventing huge amounts of waste from ending up in landfill.
How has your business grown in the last three years?
Ziffit has expanded rapidly since launching the website and app in 2013. In May we accepted our 7 millionth trade-in item and recruited our 44th employee. Last year was also a year of massive growth for us, with a 30% growth in turnover compared to 2014. This year looks set to be our biggest ever and we’re only halfway through.
What problems have you overcome so far?
The biggest challenge we have faced is finding enough office and warehouse space to cope with our growing operation. Our current premises already cover 7,500 square feet and to meet our current demand we need to expand in the next 12 months. Finding viable warehouse space in the South East is a huge issue for a number of business owners in the region.
How have you spread the word?
In our first two years we invested heavily in getting our marketing right, and we know that finding the right expertise in this area is essential to being able to sell your product in sufficient quantity. Our marketing mix includes TV advertising, PPC, SEO, external PR support, social media, competitions and blogger outreach.
One particularly successful campaign was our recent partnership with MoneyMagpie.com, headed up by finance expert and TV personality Jasmine Birtles, to launch the first National Clear Your Clutter Day. It was a huge success and we managed to get our message out on radio stations right across the country… Read the full article.