This social media platform unites buyers and sellers
Your phone’s buzzing… 15 notifications, four friend requests, 796 tweets, 112 WhatsApp messages… Whew! The social media buzz has taken over the lives of most smartphone users. While everything is happening too fast and too soon online, the offline social circuit is trying to catch up too… with social dos galore, like DJ nights, sundowners, brunches, gigs and flea markets… Yes, flea markets — that’s the buzz word offline. Everyone seems to be trooping off to a flea market — at the local park, in the apartment complex, at the pub, at a resort… the list is endless. “That’s why we started Yappily,” says Kamonashish Aayush Mazumdar, one of the co-founders, adding, “Yappily is a social networking platform for those who set up stalls at flea markets, and their buyers. Active social media users seek products that are offbeat, and there are many entrepreneurs who sell unique products. Yappily connects them on one platform.
Available as an app, Yappily, with the tagline ‘Good People, Great Products,’ is different from the regular shopping and social media sites. Essentially, it combines the online shopping experience with offline flea markets. “We’ve organised five flea markets since we started in January this year. Nearly 90 per cent of people who choose products online like to see them offline before making a purchase. That’s why most e-stores seem to be setting up brick-and-mortar stores and kiosks.”
With a 4.3 rating on Google Play Store, Yappily has been downloaded by 10,000 users. An added feature is the option to sell second hand goods on the platform. Clothes, shoes, accessories, bags, and all other articles for personal use can be posted for reselling. While similar platforms, like OLX and Quikr focus on electronic gadgets and household goods, Yappily only stocks products that are for personal use. “We aren’t a platform for big value products and gadgets. We are emulating an offline flea market, so even the used products we feature must be in tune with what we stand for,” says Mazumdar. But before being added to their inventory, used products undergo strict scrutiny. And those who try to post faulty, damaged or unclean articles are banned after three warnings.
This is just the beginning for the founding team, which includes Rashmi Ranjan Padi who takes care of the product (the app) and Rohit Kumar who oversees the technology involved, apart from Mazumdar who is in-charge of marketing. They say the idea is to create socially-aided commerce through Yappily, not just by boosting new product sales, but also by supporting the values of reusing and recycling. In fact, many of their platform users are repeat sellers and buyers of used items.
In addition, Bengaluru with its tech-savvy, flea market regulars has given them the perfect ecosystem to start up. “Highly educated people, high per capita income, high Internet penetration and a highly competitive startup environment has worked for us,” concludes Mazumdar. Their next step is to make Yappily a vernacular platform.
— Ayesha Tabassum