Listia started out as a way for people to swap free stuff, but now its users can actually make money. The new feature takes advantage of Listia’s existing system, where users give away their stuff in exchange for credits. Those credits, in turn, can be redeemed for other products on the marketplace, or for goods available through the Listia Rewards Program.
Want to just take cash instead? Well, now you can, because Listia is allowing users to sell credits on a new exchange. Sellers get to choose the “exchange rate” (i.e. the price for each credit), then any Listia user can buy those credits and the sellers get paid via PayPal.
At first glance, this might seem a little complicated, particularly if you just want to sell something for a set price in real dollars. However, CEO Gee Chuang told me via email that this approach “allows ALL of our members to buy from these sellers.”
“Basically, we didn’t want our members who prefer trading to not have access to all the new stuff our sellers are now listing due to this new feature,” he said. “This approach helps make sure that we can fully leverage the existing marketplace and community that we have worked so hard to build over the years.”
At the same time, Chuang acknowledged that the process could be simpler, and he said the team is “iterating … to build ways to make it very transparent to the sellers what amount of real money they can expect for their item.”
As for security, Chuang noted that only trusted sellers can sell their credits, and they can only do so after the product that they sold to get those credits has been marked as received.
Anyway, it sounds like this approach is already paying off. Listia has been testing the new dynamic since late July, and as a result, it says sellers have been listing 50 percent more items, with the average value of each item more than doubling. Sellers on Listia have already made more than $200,000 total.
The company says it has more than 8 million users.