Amazing photos make Happy Buyers

When viewing a HappySale, photos are the first thing people look at. Therefore, it’s important that the photos you take of your item provide the best looking and most accurate condition of the item you’re selling.

First Photo: Overall Impression

The first photo you take should be a wide shot of the entire item. If an electronic device, take a full shot of the item, preferably while it’s on. If a pair of shoes or dress, take a shot of both shoes or the full front of the dress. Make sure the room is well lit. If you have a porch or yard it’s always better to take photos in full daylight.

In the following example, you see three photos of the same item: an Xbox 360 with two controllers and four games. The first photo was taken with a flash, resulting in bad lighting and overall poor view. The second photo was taken without using the flash, which immediately makes the lighting look more natural. However, the items were not placed nicely and the angle does not provide a good view of the items. The final photo looks best: natural lighting, good layout!

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Additional Photos

Once you have a great main image, add some extra photos – different angles, or, if you have multiple items you’re selling, take a separate photo of each item. For our Xbox 360 HappySale, here are some sample additional photos.

AdPhoto4  AdPhoto3  AdPhoto1  AdPhoto2

Honesty comes first

The biggest concern that people have when buying online is that the item will not turn out to be as good as it seems on the marketplace. It’s important to take specific photos of places where an item is damaged to avoid a bad experience for the buyer. This includes scratches, a broken case, parts where the item is worn or damaged in a way that could affect the experience of the buyer.

Our Xbox 360 has a broken front panel. A close up photo showing this will ensure the buyer is fully informed about it, and will add to the confidence of both the seller and buyer, that this is an honest deal.

It's fully functional, but this little spring panel is broken.

Effort Pays Off

A little effort goes a long way in selling items. If you take great photos of your items, you will surely get more attention from buyers. Remember, people can still hesitate when buying online. Great photos go a long way in contributing to a safe and transparent transaction.

Happy Selling!

HappySale tip: Share to Facebook Groups

When posting your HappySale, you have two options for sharing to Facebook. You can of course share to your own network and we recommend doing this for anything you post. But an even better idea is to share your HappySale to Groups you belong to on Facebook!

Look for neighborhood groups, reselling or swap organizations, flea and vintage groups or garage sale fans to join and share to. You can also find groups specific to your sale – gaming groups for games or sports groups for athletic equipment.

HotPot
The above post was shared to a ladies group I belong to. It’s well targeted, and gets the HappySale notice out to a network beyond Natalie’s immediate Facebook friends.

Other benefits? It’s likely to be seen by more people, because a group feed is a destination. And, group feeds generally don’t get updated as often as a home feed so it has more time to spread and be shared.

I’d just add a comment encouraging group members to share this to their friends as well – especially any chocoholics!

An amazing game and a happy sale

One of the most awesome racing games to come out on Playstation 3 is Gran Turismo 5. Friends and bloggers have posted about the gameplay and graphics.

And I was able to get it in under forty-eight hours using HappySale.

GT5-boxart-final-EU

I saw the game posted on HappySale, from a friend who works at an advertising school in the Tel Aviv port. It’s one I had not played yet but had read reviews raving about how great it is. Now was my chance to get my hands on it and try it out!

I contacted him via his cell phone and we agreed on a price for me to purchase the game within minutes. Two days later the game was waiting for me at the school, on the way to my office. I picked the game up and was playing it later that night.

gran-turismo-5-rome-3

Using HappySale meant I got the game more quickly and for less money than I would have anywhere else online. It was a great experience for everyone involved!

Friday Flea: Vintage Los Angeles

One of the best ways to find clothing with a history is by shopping flea markets and vintage sales. Where LA shines is its vintage collections and markets.

Our friends Linde Sayles and Hillary Justin run Just Say Native Vintage Studio on the side of their full time jobs. They offer a personalized shopping experience and offer amazing finds from the past.

A selection of vintage finds from Just Say Native

LA Vintage offers both a warehouse for shopping, and an online catalog, so if you aren’t in town you can still shop.

According to blogger Gala Darling, there are just three required Vintage stops in LA: Hidden Treasures, Playclothes and Shareen. Each looks amazing and unique.

Are there any other classic vintage spots in Southern California?

Photo Tips: Make the most of your HappySale

Photo by Nate Steiner

It makes sense that a good photo appeals to us, and will likely allow your beloved items to sell quickly and find their way to the best homes. To help you along in this, we compiled some tips to capture better images.

Allow the camera to properly focus: Be patient as your camera auto-focuses on your item. And remain still through the image capture so your photo can be as clear and crisp as possible.

Get good lighting: Photograph during the day when there’s good natural lighting. We like to position items close to a curtained/shaded window to cast diffused lighting – harsh direct light often makes things look too contrasted and blown-out.

Remove distractions: Take your item and place it on an empty table if it’ll fit, or if it’s larger, position it against a plain wall or background. Remove clutter from around the item to showcase it in all its glory.

Try multiple angles: Make sure to capture your item from various angles. It guarantees potential buyers can see what you are offering from each perspective.

Give these tips a try and let us know what you think!

New version, Grouping it!

Yesterday we launched the new version of HappySale to the Android app store. The most major feature added was posting to Facebook Groups. It’s the first time we approached groups and to our knowledge we’re the only consumer application that uses the FB groups API to post ANYTHING from the outside to FB Groups.

Like all good features, this one has a story behind it. Play this clip as a soundtrack while you read it…

Gil Hirsch, the incomparable former-Face.com-CEO-turned-FB-Product-Manager is a good friend of mine. He’s one of the smartest guys I know, and is extremely focused on where the value lies when it comes to consumer products. Gil heard about HappySale in its very early stages last summer, and immediately offered to join and invest. Since then we’ve been having product conversations, mostly trying to tackle where the value lies in the creation of a new type of social used-goods-eCommerce experience. In a conversation we had a couple of weeks ago I brought up an idea raised by Reem, my awesome co-founder, to post directly to Facebook Groups and even create groups specifically to serve as a HappySale marketplace on FB.

Gil was stoked. Apparently Facebook employees have a private marketplace group just for that, and he saw tremendous value in an app that posts directly to that group. Developing the integration flow was done super fast, and the main part was how to filter the groups in a way that most users find relevant. The FB groups API proved very powerful, sorting groups in the order of activity once permissions were given.

So what can you do now with HappySale that you couldn’t have done before? most importantly, if you feel conscious about posting to your Facebook wall, and not wanting to “trash” it with your HappySale, you can post directly to your favorite groups. This could be a local group created by your friends, or a group that has only people from your neighborhood, or maybe its a group/marketplace that revolves around your workplace. As always, the main idea is to help you sell your stuff on social networks easily and happily.

Keep on Sellin’

D.

Hello World. We Are HappySale

The story of HappySale started when I was fired from my previous startup. I was one of the founders, and as things happen in these cases, my partner and I had some disagreements: I disagreed with him on the direction of the company, and he disagreed that I should continue working for the company. When I was fired, I spent about two weeks at home, resting and thinking about my next steps. At some point in those two weeks my wife Shelly asked me, again, to sell some used stuff that we have around the house (She already asked me several times in the past months). These items were lying under our bed for several months, since my kids were getting too big to use them: A crib, a feeding chair, some large developmental toys that were no longer in use. This stuff was worth thousands of shekels, but the task of selling them online was too much of a hassle for me do.

My kids, Naomi and Yonatan.

My kids, Naomi and Yonatan.

Like any good entrepreneur,  instead of doing what I was told by my wife I started exploring the reasons why I feel so resistant towards this task. The answer, let’s be honest, was laziness. And like most chores, our laziness to execute them comes from a horrible user experience: In our case, in order to sell things online I need to take photos, compress them, upload them, enter all the possible details of items in that category, add a description etc. It takes about 10 minutes to create a single listing like that on most classified boards and marketplaces. After that you also should track that sale, bump it up to so people notice your item, and then remove it when you want people to stop nagging you about it.

I started asking some US friends of mine what they do when they want to sell something online. The two questions I asked were: “Do you have things in your house that you would like to sell?” and “Why don’t you sell it?”. The answers were all the same: Too much hassle.

I was right about the same time that my son fell in love with Toy Story movies. He watched them repeatedly, as kids can do. There is one scene at the end of Toy Story 3 that for me was very touching: Andy goes to college, and just before he leaves, he gives all his toys to young girl that lives down the street from his house. The scene where grown up Andy shows the girl how to play with his toys, and explains the individual personalities of each toy, was an enlighting moment for me. The realization that despite the fact we all love to buy new stuff, it can be even more powerful to buy an item that has a story behind it. A history.

The final inspiration to HappySale’s vision came from what is commonly knows as the “Delivering Happiness” philosophy. I think it was originally conceived by the founder of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. I heard about it first from a friend of mine, that told me that the reason Amazon bought Zappos was because of its corporate DNA rather than because of its spectacular sales and revenues. I started reading and watching presentations Tony Hsieh gave over the years, and fell in love with this philosophy and how it was implemented in business practices for Zappos.

So with these understanding and with the idea of a simple application for posting stuff on social networks, I approached David Kariv. David and I go way back. We worked together on Vgames back in ’99. We were both executives at MSN together and we worked again in the digital commerce division at Amdocs. When I first told him about HappySale, he lit up. “I just had the exact problem”, he said. Aparently he wanted to sell his crib on Facebook. He decided to launch a test campaign and spend 5$ to see how effective advertising was. The crib sold quickly, but for David this was proof that social ads are more effective than any listing he can post. It is, however, far beyond the reach of common users. We realized that one of the future goals of HappySale should be the integration with ad platforms that will enable every user to promote their items for no more than a dollar. Just like in-app purchases.

The next step was to build our team. Reem Sherman, who was a great programmer and product manager joined after a beer talk we had, and I shared the story of what we’re trying to build. Reem and I go way back too. When he was 15, he wrote video game reviews for me at Vgames.co.il. Apparently, he was also an amazing HR guy: Connected to people all over and knows on friendly basis some of the best programmers around. Several days later, he arranged a meeting with Tamir Shomer, who is probably the best coder I have ever met. When you hear about 10x people, this is the guy. Smart, capable, fearless and stops at nothing to achieve his goals. The founding team was in place. The plan was to build a prototype and then raise some funds based on that prototype.

So what is HappySale all about?

  1. Frictionless e-commerce:
    Buying and selling things has been a pillar of the internet industry since it existed. We are aware of that. We love shopping online and we are looking for ways to make it better, smoother, and with minimal headaches. This is the SIMPLE side of HappySale.
  2. E-Commerce 2.0:
    With HappySale, we start to deal with the friction of SELLING rather than BUYING. We want to create a platform where anyone with a mobile phone can sell their stuff online easily. We refer to this as E-Commerce 2.0. When web 2.0 was introduced, users were suddenly empowered to create the web rather than consume the web. With E-Commerce 2.0 this revolution comes to E-Commerce. User are now empowered to sell and become micro-merchants wherever they are, any time they want. This is the PERSONAL side of HappySale.
  3. Sell it with a story:
    We love to buy to buy new items, but we are even more excited when something we buy has a story behind it. Stories are emotional. Stories are viral. While HappySale reduces the friction around CREATING a listing or sale page, we are asking users to SHARE the story of their items. We want the people who buy these items to know that someone owned them, loved them and cherished them. This is the VIRAL side of HappySale.

Happy Sale: Simple, Personal and Viral.