If you’re sick of eBay’s escalating seller fees or remain leery over its blemished security record, new start-up Locl could be worth a look. Officially launched in Melbourne three weeks ago, the app reportedly has thousands of users already.
The idea behind Locl was to make an app like Gumtree and Ebay that was “easy enough for our mums to use” (their words, not ours). Unlike most online auction sites, it has a strong social component with a chat window built directly into the app. This allows buyers and sellers to chat in real time about items for sale.
“Locl allows users to have conversations with each other and is built to handle real-time, in-app chatting that behaves just like SMS without revealing personal details such as contact numbers and emails,” the app’s co-founder Nir Davidson explained in a statement.
“Because there are no fees attached, people are actually listing their homes and cars on Locl. It has so many features that Gumtree and Ebay are missing, like key social elements.”
Much like eBay, the service allows both new and used items to be sold. Users can also set up price alerts for specific products and keep tabs on their preferred sellers. You can also restrict results to only show items within close proximity: handy if you don’t like paying postage fees.
In typical Australian style, there’s also a built in ‘haggle’ button: if you think an item is too expensive you can make a counter-offer from within the interface.
Locl is free to download and is currently available for iOS devices only. An Android version is apparently “coming soon”.
Locl [iTunes App Store]