Resell For Environmental Impact, What It looks Like in Real Life

The last month has not been easy. A series of hurricanes devastated many cities in the Caribbean as well as mainland America. Flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh killed nearly 1,200 people and shut down thousands of schools. Wildfires raged through deforested lands, destroying homes and people’s livelihoods on their way.

Scientists and nearly everyone in the business community recognize these events as partially caused by climate change and the impact of overproduction on our planet.

We, Melltoo, recognize that mass production drives people to consume more and burn up more gases to produce enough energy for our needs. All of this mass consumption is a primary cause of unseasonal weather, deforestation, droughts and flooding. After all, if we’re burning fuel, fracking, cutting and over-cultivating, new strange events will happen.

We launched Impacter because of our belief that selling second hand can play a powerful part in helping reduce overconsumption. We want to add a third “R” to the 3Rs, reduce, reuse, recycle and RESELL. We want to stand for responsible consumerism. We want to stand for responsible business.

Since day one, our goal has always been to give our users the best classifieds experience ever. We facilitate their buying, selling, shipping and payment all in one app. The Impacter initiative is our effort to approach a 7-star customer experience, where every member of the Melltoo community is not only a responsible consumer but ultimately an Impacter.

Impacter was launched on Android and iOS apps in October 2017. Impacter helps our community #Resell4aCause. Instead of hoarding stuff in your closet that you don’t use, simply list them for sale on Melltoo, turn them into cash that goes to support a cause you select. Impacter means that selling used items can be a force for good not only by reducing waste but also by giving back to social causes.

The idea has been cooking slowly through several iterations since last Spring and it truly reflects the ideals and values that Melltoo holds dearly. They are the same values of trust and no-waste (we’re the no-meetup classifieds after all!) that have guided our business since the beginning.

Morrad Irsane, CEO and Chief Value Officer for our brand and company: “We launched impacter to make a positive impact on society with the help of our community of buyers and sellers. The power to enact real positive change in society is up to us the people. If everyone makes the small step of reselling for a cause, the world will become a better place.”

For our users, it’s quite simple. User “Maryam” sells for a cause because it just makes sense.

Melltoo Pioneer Social Classifieds Towards A More Sustainable Economy in the UAE

Like most startups, the process of going to market is never a straightforward one. We started out with what we thought users wanted and ended up in what users actually want. Since then, we’ve built a business and a community platform whose primary offerings are trust and convenience.

We call it, the no-meetup classifieds. A community classifieds that comes to you on a technologically robust mobile app (more than just a retranscription of a few web pages) with full shipping and return management (convenience), a dedicated customer service team, curated listings and vetted users (trust).

This is our story.

When we launched Melltoo, we made a cool mobile app with listings and a chat option. We dubbed it the mobile classifieds app. Soon after, we launched our own payment guarantee and shipping features transforming our platform into a marketplace. Our community grew to hundreds of thousands of people who come to our platform to buy second hand items, backed by a money-back guarantee.

Like with every new disruptive business, we focused on user education. We doubled down on using new terms such as “marketplace” or “peer-to-peer” which have become buzzwords in other industrialized markets, but had little resonance for users who simply searched the word “classifieds” and downloaded our app.

After a short euphoric period of hypergrowth which had its own challenges, we figured out that we can only best serve our users if we remain truthful to how we envisioned our product in the first place.

This is how we do it differently:

Product value

Trust 

When you go on traditional classifieds, you usually have no idea who you’re dealing with. That’s a problem for people who prefer not to meet strangers. In fact, people on classifieds usually have concerns about putting their contact information on a public platform. And you will certainly run into problems where people lie about their items as well as a variety of other scams.

Being the modern classifieds that we are, every listing sold on our platform comes with a money-back guarantee, both parties are protected. Users have ratings from previous transactions and are verified to make sure they’re “real” and physically present in the UAE at the time of the transaction. When an item is paid for by a buyer, the funds are held in escrow until the buyer receives and the item he purchased. Once the item is accepted by the buyer, funds are automatically transferred to the seller’s account. As a buyer, this means that your money will be returned to you if you don’t receive your item. As a seller, this means that the buyer’s payment is secured prior to you shipping your item.

Convenience

Melltoo leverages a network of third party logistics companies to ship items sold in-app without the need for users to meet in person. The logistics of meeting in person to trade items like strollers, used iPhones or furniture is the biggest hurdle to selling on classifieds.

Dedicated customer service

Two years into servicing hundreds of thousands of users and tens of thousands of transactions, we’ve built a strong customer service team to push our brand forward. We push for great customer support before technology. Our primary KPI’s are speed and success in solving user problems.

When users come to us with a problem, we try our best to fix their problems as soon as it happens. In the word of our COO, Sharene Lee, “Prioritize, prioritize! First priority is to solve problems.” And she couldn’t have said it better. As the no-meetup classifieds, we handle complicated cases of shipping and returns as well as cash collections and withdrawals. The problems that may arise are numerous and we strive to always put the needs of our customers first.

Morrad Irsane, our CEO, shapes and pushes this vision to remind us of what we stand for:

“We are product and customer focused. Customers are the focal point of Melltoo’s development and vision. All goes hand to hand. Without customers there is no melltoo. Hence the online – offline experience should be delightful from the “buy it now” button to last mile delivery. We are striving to make the process so enjoyable and easy for customers that it becomes a no brainer when it comes to selling your stuff.”

Who is our customer?

Advertisers vs users

Traditional classifieds make money from advertisers and paid listings. They are typically platform hosts to other companies’ media and promotional campaigns. When you don’t pay for a product, you’re the product. Classifieds serve advertisers first and foremost and users are the product that they sell to advertisers.

At Melltoo, we do things differently. We serve our users, buyers and sellers, who use our platform for buying and selling among one  another. We don’t sell ads, we don’t have advertisers. Our focus is on providing the best user experience and ensuring that each sale goes smoothly. Since we make money off successful sales, we are partners with our users (both buyers and sellers) and they are our priority.

This is reflected in our marketing campaigns where we invest our marketing dollars right into our users’ pockets. Through a combination of a referral program and promo code campaigns, we incentivise purchases so buyers get a good deal and sellers sell fast.

Social Impact

Melltoo is a business with a mission. This mission is to contribute to a sustainable future through facilitating resale and reuse. We strive to reduce our footprint on our planet by reducing the need for overproduction through responsible consumerism (buying used!).

We go to work with the understanding that the 3 R’s “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” are the only way ahead if we intend to keep inhabiting this earth. We are introducing a fourth “R”, resell. Reselling helps us reduce and reuse and is a necessary step before recycling.