Leaving Dubai? You probably need to sell your furniture…

After years of living in Dubai, you, like many, have probably accumulated a lot of stuff. And like many, when it’s finally time to leave, you probably can't take most of it with you. There are several options for selling your furniture in Dubai including second hand furniture dealers and "removal" services that pay you a pittance. However, if you want to get the best value for your stuff when leaving Dubai, here’s what I found to be the quickest and easiest way.

  1. Display all your items in one central place online where people can see everything at a glance.
  2. Send out a message to everyone you know (email, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter) and let them know you are liquidating your things (they already know what you have that they want!)
  3. Make sure you provide the link where they can see all your stuff at a glance.
  4. Ask them to share it with everyone they know.
  5. Organize 2 “open days” and watch your things go!

 

 

Step 1 – Where to put everything up online?

Recommended: Melltoo

• Posting each item takes less than a minute, snap a pic and upload right from your phone
• People can see everything you have in one screen just by looking at your user profile Not ideal: Facebook “yard sale” Groups
• Difficult to look at everything in one place
• Your posts get buried as soon as you put up something new
• You probably don’t want strangers looking at your Facebook profile Also not ideal: Creating a website
• It’s time consuming and you’ll have to figure out how to lay out everything so it makes sense for buyers.

Not ideal: Web-based classifieds

• Posting an item takes too long
• Nearly impossible to see everything in one place
• You will get lots of random lowball offers and late night phone calls


 

Step 2 – How to tell everyone you know

Recommended: Melltoo auto-sharing to social networks

• Share your posts from the app directly to Facebook and Twitter. Include a note telling everyone that you are leaving and liquidating and that they should check out your “catalog” on Melltoo.

Not ideal: Manually sharing to social media

• This would require you to do a separate post for every social media platform you use. Time consuming. Not recommended:

Not ideal: Email

• People don’t always read emails in a timely manner, especially personal ones that don’t seem particularly urgent. This would mean that your email might not get read until the night before you leave.
• How big is your email list? Does it compare with the friend list you have on social networks?


 

Step 3 – Tell everyone where to find your “catalog” online

Recommended: #hashtags and user profiles on Melltoo

• #Hashtags are a convenient way of grouping your items together so that friends and non-friends alike can find your stuff easily.
• Make sure to add one unifying #hashtag to all your items, (e.g. #SharonIsGoingHome)
• Tell everyone they can find you on Melltoo just by searching for #SharonIsGoingHome.
• They can also see everything you have simply by clicking on your user profile.


 

Step 4 – Ask them to share it with everyone they know.

Recommended: Ask for shares on social media

• Dealing with friends of friends usually builds trust, which means you’re likely to receive a fair price
• People usually don’t mind sharing a post on Facebook or retweeting something because it’s easy to do. All you have to do is ask.

Not ideal: Being shy about asking people to share

• You’re leaving, you gotta sell your stuff, if you don’t ask, they won’t do it.
• If you do ask, the worse that can happen is that they don’t do it.


 

Step 5 – Close the deal in 2 days.

Recommended: Organize 2 fixed “open house” days where everything has to go.

• Once everyone is aware you are leaving and selling your stuff, the offers will start rolling in through Melltoo chat. People will be “booking” items that they intend to purchase.
• Make sure everyone is aware that it’s a “first-come-first-served” basis and that you are not holding anything for anyone.
• Set 2 days where people have to come pick-up what they want and don’t hold anything for anyone. Everything must go.
• When people know that it’s now or never, they will make sure they show up and you’ll be done in 2 days.
• Alternately, if you don’t have time to deal with people coming to your house you can use Melltoo’s Pay&Ship Secure service, which handles the promotion, payment and delivery of your items to buyers on your behalf.


 

Step 6 – Take the stuff you care about with you

RECOMMENDED: Get multiple quotes from international shipping companies in the UAE through ServiceMarket.com for LCL or Groupage options

  • By selling what you don’t need anymore, you’re also saving on crazy shipping costs!
  • So instead of paying for a whole container, you can opt for two alternatives to full container shipping (FCL) – loose container load (LCL) and groupage. These options are almost always much cheaper than FCL because you only pay for the volume of your goods plus some other charges.
  • You should also compare quotes from different companies as some companies are better equipped and connected to handle LCL and groupage shipments. So you may actually get very varying rates. You just need to look for them!
  • Finally, before you hire an international mover, you should compare inclusions and exclusions of your quote. Some companies may leave out very important charges from your initial quote to make it seem more competitive, and that’s a hassle especially when you’re at your destination port trying to clear everything from customs.

What are you waiting for? Download Melltoo and start selling your furniture ASAP!

The Future of M-Commerce 3.0: The #Hashtag for Buying and Selling

The #Hashtag is to Social Networks What Search is to the Web

What would the web be like without search? You would open a web browser but wouldn’t know where to go. You would have to find out about interesting websites from offline sources (billboards!) and carefully type URLs into the address bar in order to access the website. You wouldn’t be able to find anything without knowing where it was to begin with. This is what social media would be like without #hashtags. The #hashtag, made mainstream by Twitter, is a way for users to find conversations, communities and shared interests on social media. Social media has become a crowded place and it can be very lonely if you can’t find others who want to talk about the same things.

#Conversation at parties and events

Imagine being in a crowded party and trying to find a huddle that’s having an interesting conversation. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a speech balloon above each huddle that contained “#ConversationTopic”? That would save you having to introduce yourself only to have to excuse yourself a minute later because the conversation is boring. That’s why #hashtags are useful for social media. With all the content to wade through, searching by hashtag is a quick and easy way to find topics and communities of interest. #Hashtagging your content is also an efficient way to insert yourself into a conversation or community. It makes the world of social media smaller and a lot more relevant, in the same way a neighborhood is to a city.

The #hashtag for social marketplaces

Online classifieds are huge places that people easily get lost in. Even though these are consumer-to-consumer buying and selling networks, they function as a directory service rather than a social network. At Melltoo, we have built a mobile social marketplace where the #hashtag plays an important role. At Melltoo, we know that social networks and marketplaces are big and messy places, so we use the #hashtag to organize our social marketplace. By attaching a simple #hashtag to your item name, you can identify your item as part of a store, a community, an event, and even a cause.

Hashtag Search iphone

How does it work?  

1. #m-store

If you are a small business, Melltoo offers you an opportunity to have a mobile store or mobile catalog simply with #YourStoreName. Why spend money on print brochures that are in the trash almost as soon as the customer walks out the door? What would you pay to have your catalog in your customer’s hand whenever he wants it? A catalog that updates constantly. And by the way, did you know that experts predict that by 2015, mobile will be the primary way to shop online? Here’s your opportunity to get ahead of the retail giants who are struggling to get themselves on mobile.

2. #CommunityGroup

Would you prefer to buy something used from a complete stranger or from someone in a shared community (residential community, college or school, book club, ethnic association, homeschoolers group, etc)? Imagine you are a college student and that you go to class daily (like good students do). Wouldn’t it be great to buy a used textbook from another student and pick it up on the way to class? The alternative is to buy it from a complete stranger and drive halfway across town to get it. By adding #CommunityGroup next to your item name, a quick search for this hashtag will display all items for sale in this community.

3. #LiveEvent

On any given weekend in Dubai, there are a multitude of live market events taking place in You can use #LiveEvent to identify your item for sale at a live event. the city. These events typically boast 50-100 different vendors in one place. As a visitor, you can easily get lost and miss out on items and vendors that you might otherwise be interested in. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could search for items on sale right from your mobile as you are walking past the stands at the event? This is now possible on Melltoo. By grouping items for sale under #LiveEvent, attendees can browse through items for sale before arriving, at the event, and after leaving. If you still have stuff left over, you can share your Melltoo posts with friends on social media, so they know what’s still available. If you’re friends spot something they like, they can pay for it in-app and we’ll deliver  it straight to their front door for you!

4. #SocialCause

Charity sales are a great way to raise money for a cause. However, these tend to be tied to a physical event and are therefore geographically constrained. What if you want to conduct a charity sale that has no physical boundaries? You can do this on Melltoo. Get participants to use the hashtag #SocialCause identify items they want to include in your sale. In this way, buyers who want to support the cause can search for items under this hashtag when shopping, wherever they may be. It also gives organizers an easy way to keep track of seller participation and gauge proceeds from the sale.

Conclusion

The #hashtag is a simple, yet versatile tool that users can manipulate to organize buying and selling on Melltoo. Users have probably come up with ways to use it that we don’t even know about. E-commerce 2.0 was all about bringing stores online so that shopping became easier and more convenient. However, m-commerce 3.0 is all about user experience and creating a shopping experience that is engaging and social. The #hashtag allows users to engage in buying and selling on their own terms, in ways that can only be done on a social network built on buying and selling. Welcome to m-commerce 3.0. #melltoo