With A New SMS Service, Gone Turns Your Unwanted Stuff Into Cash

Gone, an app that helps you sell off unwanted stuff, has just launched an SMS service to make unloading your crap even easier.

Gone launched its concierge service in San Francisco and Austin last July, which lets you sell nearly anything with a minimum value of $100. After you enter the necessary information into the app, Gone gives you a quote and sends a team member to your house to haul the item away for you.

In March, the startup expanded nationwide with Gone Lite, a service in partnership with UPS that sends users a box, a shipping label, and packing materials, and arranges for an at-home UPS pickup.

If that wasn’t simple enough, now you can text an SMS number, and a Gone assistant will walk you through the entire process.

The startup is built on a complex pricing algorithm that scans a range of marketplaces, from Amazon and eBay to local offline sellers, to determine the best price for goods of any type. Gone operates warehouses in San Francisco and Austin where it checks each item for quality before shipping it to the end buyer.

Gone charges users a flat shipping fee of $16, and takes a 20 percent commission on each item. The company is responsible for finding a buyer and collecting payment, and the seller gets paid as soon as they hand off the item. In the past year, nearly 100,000 people have sold items through the app, with an average cash-out price of $209.

Consumer electronics make up the majority of items sold, co-founder Pablo Orlando reports, although people have tried to sell just about anything through the service — including their spouses.

“We’ve had people taking pictures of their wives or husbands and making fun,” Orlando says. “And the way our algorithm works, it will send a message back saying, ‘Sorry, we cannot get rid of people.’”

Gone graduated from Techstars Austin in 2014, and has since raised $1 million in funding from MasterCard, Silicon Valley Bank, and a handful of angels.

Orlando says the company plans to expand its concierge service to New York, Seattle and Boston within the next two months, and will also launch an Android app in the near future.