An online portal in the UAE is set to disrupt the online second-hand market and extend the life-cycle of used products.
UAE is home to over 200 nationalities and in turn, gives rise to a diverse range of pre-owned products.
Sai Naveen, co-founder of YallaBargain.com, told Gulf News that the platform offers an opportunity to sell, buy or rent goods that they no longer need at more affordable prices than the new ones.
The portal is co-founded with 100 per cent bootstrap funding of Dh150,000 from Murugesh Mohan and Sai Naveen to solve the problems faced when transacting used products.
Naveen said that millions of dollars’ worth of new products are bought at malls and online shopping platforms in the region every day and the market for used items, excluding motors and properties, is estimated at over $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion) in the UAE.
With UAE being an expat driven country, he said that it is an ideal hotspot for used products as there are a continuous inflow and outflow of expats.
“We had a lot of friends from India who used to stay here and when they wanted to leave the country, they used to sell their products either on Dubizzle or Facebook groups. They used to get a lot of calls but nothing used to happen. Sometimes the seller has to take the product from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi but the buyer does not pick up the phone or switches off the device.
“We thought that we can come as a middleman and will do the delivery part. What we do is that we take the item from the seller and deliver it to the buyer and take the money from the buyer and give it to the seller,” Naveen said.
He said that it is a convenience-based option for both the buyer and the seller saves time and effort.
“We started the portal after discussing with the people to understand the problems they faced when it comes to transacting used products. We met over five thousand people in malls and food courts across the UAE for over six months. Anybody can register and list on the site. It is totally free,” he said.
The portal charges 15 per cent as a commission for every transaction and has tied up with many logistics companies in the UAE.
Mohan said that the portal gets 100 unique visitors and has more than 1,300 products listed on the site.
He said that it also acts as an online sales channel to hundreds of second-hand retail businesses and product rental companies. They can list their products and “we will take care of the delivery and payment part.”
Naveen said that with Dubai Municipality investing Dh20 million to open two new marketplaces for buying and selling used goods, the used market is going to get bigger and it will give us more “growth opportunities”.
Dubai Municipality is building the spaces in Al Warsan and Nad Al Sheba 3.
Global Village has also started a car-boot sale for second-hand goods.
When asked about what happens if the buyer is not satisfied with the product, Naveen said that if the product is not as described as on the site, the buyer has 24 hour’s time to evaluate the product and if he is not happy, he can return the product.
“We will give the money back. The money does not immediately go to the seller as the company holds the money for 24 hours. If the buyer says the product is OK, then only we deliver the money to the seller,” he said.
The portal collects a person’s Emirates ID, mobile number and email address at the time of registering.
“If a seller is selling a defect product for the first two times, we bear the delivery costs and if he does it again for the third time, he is blocked from the site,” he said.
Mohan said the company plans to spread wings into other Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, and other Asian countries.
“We are looking to raise $500,000 (Dh1.84 million) and that will give us a one-year runway to achieve 100 orders per day target,” he said.
The company has won the second place at the international pitch competition organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy at Annual Investment Meeting Startup 2018 from over 600 start-ups from 25 countries.
Sector: online second-hand marketplace
Year Founded: 2017
Founders: Murugesh Mohan and Sai Naveen