With backing from H&M Group, Swedish online resale platform Sellpy wants to spread across Europe with its convenient set-up, taking the hassle out of selling and buying preloved items online.
Already a favorite shopping destination for a growing army of eco-minded Swedes, second hand online shop and resale platform Sellpy serves up a million products from over 10,000 brands. The circular concept – founded by Michael Arnör, Oskar Nielsen and Philip Gunnstam in 2014 – invites anyone to sell their preloved pieces, for which they'll receive Sellpy credit or payment. But the most revolutionary aspect of the service is its convenience, allowing sellers to place their preloved item in a Sellpy bag to be sent to the team who'll sort the rest.
Spreading further afield, in June 2020, the Stockholm-based concept entered the German market, followed by Austria, the Netherlands and another 20 European countries.
Here, Anna Geyer, Commercial Lead DACH, sheds light on the Sellpy story so far.
Please describe Sellpy in a nutshell.
The idea behind Sellpy – circular shopping online – is tailored to the conveniences of modern life. Customers can shop from a vast selection of quality-checked second hand items online, or effortlessly sell things they no longer use by giving it to Sellpy, who'll handle the sales process from start to finish. Our goal is to enable everyone to participate in the concept of circularity because the easiest way to reduce emissions is to make better use of what already exists. Buying and selling second hand items online saves millions of liters of water, and tons of emissions are cut by extending the lifespan of products.
In one word: simplicity. If we want people to change their consumer habits, we need to make shopping second hand as easy as possible. We also try to communicate with vivid illustrations and examples of how your actions as an individual can help reduce emissions – every little effort contributes towards a better and more sustainable fashion future.
How does Sellpy work practically and how does it differ from other platforms?
We perform rigorous quality controls on all of our products and offer the same terms and delivery experience as other online stores, with a 30-day return policy. Everything we cannot sell is donated to charity or recycled.
In terms of selling, the first Sellpy Bag is free for every new seller, and thereafter each bag is priced at €1.95. Beyond this contribution, logistics costs as well as the entire handling process is covered by Sellpy. This spans quality control, item photography and descriptions, storage of the items as well as the transaction with the buyer – including handling of potential returns.
In return, Sellpy charges a commission which is dependent on the sale price of an item. Our customers receive 40% for products sold for less than €50 and 70% of the share that exceeds €50 – minus an additional fee of €1 per item.
What are the biggest advantages of this pricing model?
The biggest advantage of our price structure is that the effort for the seller is reduced to a minimum. Based on the item’s condition, the prestige of the brand, and product category we make a pricing suggestion guided by our learnings from having sold more than 12 million items to date.
At the same time though, our pricing structure is flexible enough to allow sellers to set individual prices for pieces that are particularly attractive e.g. due to unique design, seasonality or upcoming trends. This stands out particularly in comparison to services that offer fixed commissions while ignoring the characteristics of individual items.
Finally, our Sellpy pricing scheme with continuous price reductions allows us to sell as many items as possible.
Our target audience is very inclusive. We have a loving millennial Tiktok community for which Y2K – the style revival of the 2000s – is a huge trend. In response to this, we've curated a Y2K curated offer.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have 80-year-old grandmothers who turn to Sellpy to shop for sustainable presents for their grandchildren – if needed, we help them over the phone. It's crucial to us that everyone – regardless of their age or body shape – is able to shop and sell easily, living in circularity with joy. Our efforts have paid off – over the years our customer base has become more and more diverse.
Tell us about the Sellpy assortment – and how customers relate to it.
The range we offer is huge. We aim to offer attractive second hand items for everyone – meaning that we stock everything from luxury clothes and jewelry to kids clothes and candles. Due to our Swedish core we have a particularly large selection of Scandi brands that is appreciated across all markets.
One way to steer our assortment is by teaming up with inspiring influencers with whom we create pop-up shops, allowing them to give pieces they no longer wear a second life. From time to time we also invite brands to sell samples and returns via Sellpy. Last but not least, we have ongoing joint-ventures with H&M designers and creatives that select their favorite items according to the latest trends.
Have you noticed any geographical differences in terms of how consumers shop and sell?
Very much so. Swedish customers tend to search for product categories, say, jeans or dresses, whereas Germans are rather drawn to specific brands – be it Zara and Nike or luxury names such as Gucci and Prada.
On the selling side, the Sellpy bags contain a lot of local brands which are particular for the markets from which they originate. For example, among the most common brands from Swedish sellers are Gina Tricot, Lindex, Odd Molly and Filippa K. From German sellers, we receive a lot of items from Esprit, Gerry Weber and Comma.
How will Sellpy continue to evolve – any plans in the pipeline?
Our priority right now is to strengthen our position in the countries we've entered recently, making the Sellpy concept as well-known known and appreciated as in its home market of Sweden. In 2022 we are looking to roll out our selling service in even more countries while professionalizing our international logistics processes as well as improving our technology setup. For this growth journey, we've teamed up with H&M Group, which has invested in Sellpy through its investment arm H&M CO:LAB since 2015.