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Cardiff-based Paperclip Launch First Price-Free Marketplace App in the UK


After a year of development, the localised marketplace app, Paperclip, has launched its highly anticipated version 2.0. The new iOS and Android release introduces an updated design as well as new features that allow users to buy, sell, swap and freecycle items without ever seeing a price tag.

Version 2.0 will include updated design features that allow users to add an item in under six seconds, as well as the ability to set up Paperclip groups and create their own marketplace, meaning they can trade whatever they want, with whoever they want.

Rich Woolley and Alun Small

Paperclip co-founders Rich Woolley and Alan Small, based in Cardiff, are looking to challenge the traditional marketplace format by becoming the first company in this sector to remove item prices and allow users to create their own marketplace groups.

On making the decision to remove prices, Paperclip CEO Rich said:

“Our data showed that 88% of people would always lowball buyers*, and 12% would pay the listed price straight away. What became evident is that, even though Paperclip encourages negotiation on pricing, buyers were never receiving more than their asking price.

“This is understood as pretty standard practice with buying and selling, but it occurred to us that it doesn’t need to be the case.”

Version 2.0 of the Paperclip app will allow sellers to be able to set a minimum price for their items, but this minimum price will not be shared with potential buyers.

Rich adds: “To put this into practice, if you want at least £50 for your old bike, but Joe Blogs doesn’t know this and values it at £60, everybody is happy because Joe is getting the bike for what he feels is a fair price, and you’re getting more than you expected.”

But the team at Paperclip are hoping that removing prices will serve more than one benefit for their users. The data shows that most people see a £ sign and immediately place a monetary value on an item, forgetting that they might have a dozen unwanted possessions lying around the house that could be swapped.

Co-founders Rich and Alan hope that encouraging users to exchange items rather than buying will ultimately instil a habit of saving money in the UK, particularly with their student and parent consumers.

Along with the removal of prices, Paperclip’s newest release allows users to create or join public and private marketplaces based on their interests, relationships or location, and trade as part of a trusted community. That means anyone from friends and family, university campuses, office divisions or local neighbourhoods can create groups to trade with. Users can also search for or create groups for people with similar interests, so that you can swap items based on your shared hobbies.

On designing Paperclip Groups, COO Alan comments:

“One of the biggest drawbacks to online trading is that we don’t often know the person at the other end of the transaction. The second-hand market is already a multi-billion-pound market in the UK, but still 38% of people don’t currently sell online because they don’t trust the other users. What we wanted to do was create a place where our users could buy, sell and trade in a safe community of people they trust.

“If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also request items from your groups to see if anybody has it available but hasn’t thought to list it. All of these features are working together to make Paperclip 2.0 a user-focused, money-saving app above all else.”