The reviews have been positive beyond measure. Some describe it as a tool without too much fuss about addresses and bank accounts; others describe it as Tikkie for Martkplaats (a Dutch advertising site). Pakkie started at the beginning of 2018 and is currently in use at Marktplaats, Koopplein, Tweedehands.net, Facebook, Instagram and several auction sites.
Co-founder Boris Schellekens: “We combine paying through a third-party account with shipments from 5,500 connected parcel service points directly through the app, with just one link. Secure and easy.”
What is Pakkie – what can it do?
“A simple payment and delivery service for second–hand goods that offers sufficient assurance to buyers as well as sellers on platforms like Marktplaats. It is inconvenient to transfer money to a stranger and wait and see whether you receive your package. Which is quite reasonable: annually around half a million people are defrauded in the online second-hand market.”
Where does the assurance come from?
“With Pakkie, sellers can ship their package without any concern as you receive your shipping label directly after the buyer has paid with Pakkie. This is how you know for certain that the buyer is valid. Only after the delivery of the package, the seller is paid out. Besides, after the moment of delivery, the buyer has two days to indicate whether the shipment ran smoothly or not.”
Why did you start? And how did the idea arise?
“From the frustration that in the year 2018, one is unable to have second-hand bought goods delivered in a fast or smooth, standardized way. Buyers of second-hand goods travel on average seventy kilometers to pick up their purchases, while shipping is a much easier, cheaper and mostly a more sustainable solution.”
When did you realize that Pakkie was viable?
“When it became clear that the retention was extremely good. This confirmed that we are working on a service that people really want to use. 80 percent of our users buy or sell something through Pakkie within two months. In my opinion, that determines success. Especially in the beginning, you’ll have to continually engage with your users and ambassadors.”
What is your perspective on ‘Simultaneous exchange’, the service that Marktplaats is currently offering?
“It is a service that is partially comparable to Pakkie. Next to a safe payment, we also enable the shipping process through a direct link with DHL and PostNL. Consequently, we only charge the price of the shipping label, while they request a percentage of the purchase amount. This amount can increase quite a bit for a purchase of several hundred euros.”
What is your revenue model?
“We receive a little margin of the courier. As a result, the consumer pays the same price for a Pakkie as in the courier’s store. For example, at DHL you pay € 5.75 for a shipment from coming week onwards. Also, we do not charge service costs.”
What do you expect of your participation in the AIA18? Why did you decide to sign up?
“Mostly brand awareness and media attention. It is our goal to be a secure and reliable brand, purely for paying and delivering second-hand goods. In an earlier stage, we wanted to change everything in the second-hand market and Pakkie was just a part of it. Since we are specialized now, we think that this is the time to participate in the AIA.”
What challenges are you facing now, what problems do you run into?
“Pakkie is live since the end of January. We have dozens of Pakkies sent out every day and this number is still growing. Besides, we assess why people eventually decide to not use Pakkie links. It is a challenge to decide on the correct growth strategy from the many options we have: a social media campaign, retargeting and our Instagram-influencers.”
What trends do you recognize in Pakkie’s market in the coming years?
”The increasing popularity of Instagram, in general use as well as the use as a commercial channel. One out of five young adults in the Netherlands already acquired something through Instagram, which often is an impulse purchase. I notice that it is often not large webshops such as Zara and Coolblue that have a successful channel, but the more than forty thousand single-person ones that sell their own clothes, or vintage- and self-made goods. Therefore, Pakkie has a direct plug-in through Instagram through its messenger, comparable to what we do with Facebook.”
What is your golden tip for entrepreneurs?
“Listen to your users and challenge yourself to be in contact with your users on a weekly basis. Carry out the customer service yourself. If it starts to become too much, mainly during the first stage, keep on doing it one day a week to draw inspiration from the ideas of your users.”