How does Shpock work?

First things first – what is Shpock?

Shpock is an online selling app based on a local marketplace.

It is not a dissimilar concept to other trading websites such as eBay, eBid or Gumtree but instead of a web-based payment system or an auction facility, the buyer has the choice of arranging to pay the seller face-to-face when collecting their chosen item in person.

Shpock, or the ‘shop in your pocket’ has branded itself ‘the bootsale app’ selling itself as the online equivalent to a local car boot sale. It’s an app and website where you can offload unwanted items or acquire new to you clothing, devices, sports equipment, cars, toys and more, and all in the area close to where you live.

You’re going to need an account

Whether buying or selling the first thing you’ll need is an account – so login using Facebook, Google or create a Shpock specific account using a valid email address and password.

You’ll be expected to provide a username and telephone number, they can’t be changed once you’ve confirmed them but your email address and profile picture can be updated any time you like.

Buying

It’s simple to use if you’re a buyer; you choose from pre-selected categories, of which there are nine to cover most eventualities; Fashion and Accessories; Home and Garden; Electronics; Movies, Books and Music; Baby and Child; Sport, Leisure and Games; ServicesCars and Motor; and ‘Other‘ – or you can enter exactly what you’re looking for in the search bar. There is an additional filter option to tweak your search further if you need to.

If you’re using the app then your search results will automatically correspond to items in your area using the location services built into your phone or device but if you’re using a web browser then you’ll have to enter your location or postcode manually.

All the items relating to your search will appear on your screen. When browsing the many items shown for each of which you’re interested in you can click through for further details. At this point you’re given two choices; you can message the seller or you can make a private offer. If the buyer likes your offer it gets accepted and all you have to do is arrange to meet and make the transaction. Alternately you will have agreed on a payment method and delivery costs if you’ve searched further out of your area than you can realistically travel to.

If you choose to message the seller you can enter into a debate about the item, its price, striking a deal and any haggling that may be involved in making your decision whether to buy or not.

Selling

Selling is easy. And why wouldn’t it be? Shpock want as many of us to use their apps and website in order to maximise their earning capacity so they’ve created an interface to make everything as easy as possible for its users.

To create a post in order to sell your item you simply hit the sell button. You’re prompted to upload a photo or a selection of photos of the item that you’ve taken yourself, not images you’ve downloaded from the Internet or another shopping site, and then complete the dialogue boxes for its title, description and choose the nearest of the nine categories that your item relates to (don’t worry if you can’t see one that fits, there’s an option for ‘other’ for those items). Once that’s taken care of hit the ‘sell it’ button and wait for the offers to come rolling in.

If you decide you need to change your product information you can enter the selling section of the app at any time, select which item it is you need to change and click the ‘edit’ option to access the information fields.

What can and can’t you sell?

This should be common sense really so obviously you can’t sell illegal items, counterfeit products, weapons, alcohol and tobacco products, animals or food. However, there is an option to sell pets in a small handful of European countries but you must abide by Shpock’s specific rules for them.

You also can’t sell social network pages, likes or followers, sexual services, lotteries and gambling systems and nor can you advertise job offers.

Are the sellers trustworthy?

As with any service dealing in pre-used goods you’re taking a risk so be careful – but after every transaction you get the chance to review the seller and the product you’ve bought.

This works on a 5 star rating system where 5 is high and 1 is low, you can enter a few words describing your experience which is available for any other user to review when they are considering making a purchase from the same seller.

You should always wait until the deal is complete; that you have taken ownership of your item and you are happy it is in good working order.

If you mistakenly give a rating you didn’t mean to you can contact Shpock and they’ll look into it and correct it for you if they think it appropriate. In the same way if you feel you’ve been unfairly reviewed then again, contact Shpock and let them know. They’ll investigate it and make a decision on a befitting way to resolve the situation.

If you have a particularly bad experience with a seller or any user then you can report the incident to the support team and they’ll look into it. You can report items that never got paid for, nor delivered, items that didn’t match the representation of them on the app or website, or if the seller unbefittingly disengages with you or uses inappropriate behaviour or language.

What does it cost?

It’s absolutely free.

There are a handful of paid features that can help promote your item if you choose to engage with them and these range from 69p to £13.99. There are also a few areas that feature ads but the Premium Membership running from £4.58 to £9.99 per month will remove them as well as allowing you to post up to ten photographs of your item instead of only five. With the Premium Membership you also get to utilise the Shpock Super Boost to further enhance your products chance of selling.

And if you fall out of love with Shpock…?

If you decide you really don’t want to be part of the community anymore you can email Shpock’s support team with your account details and the reason you wish to close your account and they’ll take care of the rest.

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