So Sell It: JOE speaks to Irish entrepreneur Glen Reid about new website SoSellit.com
JOE recently caught up with Glen Reid, and we spoke about all things business with one of the co-founders of the popular new buy and sell site ‘SoSellit.com’.
We saw some wonderful gadgets for sale on So Sell It last week, and this inspired us to find out more about the new website and the people behind the new start up.
SoSellit.com is a new online trading community that is completely free to use. The idea for So Sell It was developed over two years ago from an original plan of creating a site where people could get great direct offers on the resale of the latest electronic items. During the site’s development the decision was made to expand the features and create a free community site where people can do everything – buy, sell, swap and get direct offers.
JOE: Hi Glen, thanks for talking to us. Can you tell us why you set up So Sell It?
Glen: No problem JOE. Yes, we started the site back in April 2012. We recognised an opportunity where people were able to buy and sell items on a website. But we saw there was also an opportunity for us from the point of view of being able to offer a direct offer on the electronic items. That was something that we realised from our research, no global provider offered all of this functionality on one website.
We are unique in that sense and we are delighted about it. Our business model is designed so that sellers have all options available to them when selling and buying new, used and unwanted items. Over the coming months we hope to implement some new functionality to our site which will differentiate us slightly from our competitors.
JOE: So you spotted a gap in the market and you found a plug for it, fantastic. Obviously businesses are expensive to run and set up, did it cost you much to get So Sell It up and running?
Glen: At this point in time there has probably been in excess of €100,000 invested in So Sell It. The majority of spend has been allocated towards the design and implementation of the platform itself. Other important set up costs we have incurred are the design of the branding and also the hiring of a specialised team of people, who will develop So Sell It into a thriving business in the near future.
JOE: Wow! That’s a lot of money. So what did you do before setting up So Sell It?
Glen: Well So Sell It was set up by myself and two other co-founders but my background is in finance and building companies. I've worked for a couple of multinationals in mergers and acquisitions for the last 20 years. I have a background in technology and I just saw this as a really super idea that has really got a global footprint and it’s very scalable.
JOE: So you plan to expand even more?
Glen: Yes definitely! We are an Irish company, we say that we are born in Ireland and we have got a global vision. We will be in the UK within a month and we should probably be in most of the major markets by Christmas. It is just about finding the solution and keeping the solutions simple and replicating it in different countries.
JOE: Wow, a busy few months ahead of you so. Was running your own business something you always wanted to do?
Glen: I and the other two co-founders have a passion for building businesses and creating employment. I know it might seem a little corny but in the last eight years or so the Irish economy just hit the bottom and the only way that the economy is going to improve is through the likes of me and other entrepreneurs that just want to drag the economy back up. The only way forward is for small businesses to generate employment and they have got to continue to promote Ireland, because I feel there is a great pool of individuals in Ireland.
JOE: So who would model yourself on business wise? Who would be your personal hero?
Glen: I would actually go back to Lee Iacocca who turned around General Motors in the States. I read a lot of Harvard business books and because my background is finance I get what they tried to do with their companies. With our company, we obviously want to find a way to get launched lowest possible price without giving away equity and that is a very fine balance for us.
JOE: So Sell It is quite a sharp catchy name, how exactly did the name come about?
Glen: We engaged a branding agency called RichardsDee to do that process for us. We told them we wanted our name to be very simple and that it needed to be just what it says on the tin. We said look, this is a trading market place where people are going to buy and sell their stuff and we needed to create a place where it is transparent and trustworthy and they were very important to us.
JOE: We really like it. So what actually sets you apart from other buy and sell sites like DoneDeal and Buy&Sell?
Glen: It’s so simple, there are no strings, it’s free! We’ve looked at our indirect competition who don’t have a free model and we don’t believe that it’s necessary for people to sell their stuff online and be charged, there are other ways to make revenue. Over the past two years we have researched and observed our competitors and more importantly the needs and wants of buyers and sellers. We intend in the near future to implement some new innovative functions and services which will make us stand out from the crowd.
The aim is to provide the consumer with the most simple and effective process to sell their goods, there’s always room for improvement and we are working very hard towards implementing these improvements.
JOE: We understand completely; if the process is complicated, people may lose interest. So what advice would you give to a person setting up their business in Ireland?
Glen: First of all, if you have only a tech background, it is very important that you partner up or you get a mentor that knows about running businesses, so that they can help you build a credible financial model and a business plan.
Don’t do it by yourself, don’t assume that you are the only one going through the same hardship when you try to set up a business with no money. Everybody goes that way, you are not alone. There are plenty of organisations that will give you free advice, like Enterprise Ireland and the County Development Boards all have mentoring programs.
Surround yourself with more experienced people, So Sell It has 3 Co-Founders and our experience in finance, operations and business start-ups has seen us form a strong foundation to bring the business forward in the future.
To celebrate their launch, SoSellit.com are giving JOE.ie readers the chance to Win 2 Tickets to the All-Ireland Football Final. All you have to do is register on SoSellit.com to be in with a chance to win this great prize. So what are you waiting for? Click here to register now!
All entrants must register on SoSellit.com to be entered into the draw to win All-Ireland Football Final tickets. The winner will be announced on Monday 15th of September.