Swapit Update: Sell with your iPhone (second hand and new)

swapit-blog_appleAfter launching our very first version of Swapit on the Apple App Store a while ago, and numerous updates and feature launches in between, today we launched the most wanted Swapit feature on iPhone: You can now Sell your items whether they’re new or pre-loved, you decide.

GET THE SWAPIT UPDATE NOW:
http://get.swapit.la/now

We’ve been working hard to get this feature out as quickly as possible. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than expected. In this particular release it’s not just about allowing people to post items for sale. You also need to be able to edit an item, take it offline, mark it as sold, manage your buyers and so on. There are all these little bits and pieces that take user experience to the next level and we are meticulously working on making them available to you in just the best way we can imagine.

swapit-ios_screenshots_1.0.10_1_collage

In fact, this update comes with over 30 changes. Here is a quick list of some of the most important changes:

  • Added SELL and GIVE AWAY of items (incl. edit, mark sold, active/inactive)
  • Added push notification handling for
    • incoming interested buyers of your items
    • reminder for posted items you sell or give away
    • new likes on items
    • new comments on items
  • Added “Notifications” section to the Inbox
  • Resolved an issue with “Open Chat” button in item details

Furthermore, we’ve put in some important performance enhancements and resolved several other minor bugs and issues.

IMPORTANT NOTICE to iPhone Users: Do Not Kill!

Swapit uses push notifications to deliver chat messages and notifications to your device. If you force-close Swapit you will not receive any such notifications until you restart Swapit or your device. We recommend not to force-close Swapit.

84% of iPhone users we asked, are force-closing their apps. That’s a surprise to me — especially as it does NOT save any battery, like it used to many years ago. So if you’re one of those 84%, you’re not making a difference in terms of battery savings by force-closing your apps, but some of those apps might actually stop receiving push notifications then. That’s also the case for Swapit. It’s nothing we can do about, it’s a special case defined by iOS and we have to abide by that. In short, force-closing apps just makes your phone’s performance worse rather than better – generally speaking.

Read more about this topic at: Apple’s software SVP says quitting multitasking apps not necessary, won’t offer improved battery life

 

ANDROID USERS

swapit-blog_android-1Your app has been updated too, earlier this week. You can head directly to Google Play and get the latest update too. Though, our changes weren’t as significant as on the iPhone, we’re always looking out for you and you got quite some nifty little tweaks and enhancements under-the-hood with the latest update.

Get the latest Swapit today from: http://get.swapit.la/now

 

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Swapit to Pitch on Main BREAKTHROUGH Stage at RISE

Yesterday, we pitched at the BREAKTHROUGH Semi-Finals and we also launched our Swapit iOS app, by the way. From 10 absolutely great Hong Kong startup pitches, we were 1 of 4 selected ones who qualified for the finals at the big BREAKTHROUGH stage at RISE.

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On the last day of RISE, June 2nd, 2016, we will be pitching at the BREAKTHROUGH Stage. In total, 20 startups from Hong Kong were selected to pitch at BREAKTHROUGH to showcase Hong Kong’s homegrown startups. Check the schedule for June 2nd to find out the time: https://riseconf.com/schedule

Some more pictures from yesterday’s event at The Hive Studio in Kennedy Town. Beautiful place, by the way, with great staff there.

Did you try Swapit yet? You can go to http://get.swapit.la and hit download.

Swapit Premium Launched – Sell Faster!

We are excited to announce the launch of Swapit Premium. Now everyone can sell their pre-loved items even faster than before! If you join during the launch month of April, your first month will be completely free. You can cancel at any time. No questions asked. Nothing charged. Rest assured, all existing free features, remain free for everyone.

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Get the latest Swapit update on Google Play: http://get.swapit.la

 

BENEFITS OF SWAPIT PREMIUM

post-itemUnlimited Posts
Post as many items as you wish on Swapit. We invite everyone to leverage the Swapit marketplace to the fullest and you can trade as many items as you’d like to.

photos10 Photos per Post
Premium members can post up to 10 photos per item. The free account allows for 3 photos per item. Being able to share more photos has proven to increase the chances to sell an item dramatically.

highlightUnlimited Highlight
Highlight as many items as you wish when posting them. Highlighted items show up with a green bottom bar in the standard item list. Therefore, their chances to be discovered increase significantly.

featuredUnlimited Feature
Feature as many items as you wish when posting them. Featured items show up with a green ribbon at top right corner of the item’s image in the standard item list. Therefore, their chances to be discovered increase significantly.

post-item_premium-categoriesTwo Premium Category Posts per Month
You can post up to two premium items per month in any of our 4 premium categories: Cars & Motorcycles, Yachts & Boats, Property and Memberships & Debentures. There is currently no limit on the price of such items.

edit-postEdit Posts at Any Time
Premium members can edit their posts at any time. As before, the free account still allows editing an item within 15 minutes after posting.

verifiedVerified Member
The identity of each verified member has been digitally authenticated. Verified members are an integral part of our vibrant Swapit community.

 

LAUNCH OFFER: 1 MONTH FREE

During our launch month of April, the first month of Swapit Premium is free of charge. Get the latest Swapit update today to join: http://get.swapit.la

After the first free month, Swapit Premium costs HKD $88 per month.

We are absolutely convinced that Swapit Premium will help sellers sell their items even faster than before. The additional benefits, which Swapit Premium members get access to,  are carefully chosen to increase their chances to sell items much faster. By providing unlimited access to all those premium features, Swapit has now an easy and straight forward way for sellers to tap even better into the vibrant Swapit marketplace. More premium features are planned to be added over time and our subscribed Premium Members will receive access to those new features automatically.

 

FREEDOM OF CHOICE: CANCEL AT ANY TIME

We believe so much in the power of Swapit Premium that we offer cancellation of the service at any time. Even within the first free month, you could cancel at any time and you will still have access to all premium features within that month.

After the first month, when the Swapit Premium membership converts into a paid monthly subscription, you can cancel the membership at any time. You will still remain having access to all premium features for the rest of that month.

 

Have you tried Swapit yet? You can download it for free at: http://get.swapit.la

Sprinting to Swapit for iPhone and iPad

As you might remember, we’ve started our race for launching on iOS in the middle of February by hiring Vito for that very task. It took us a couple of weeks to get up to speed and build the core foundation of Swapit on the iOS platform.

As you also might remember from my blog post over a year ago about Choosing a Platform for Swapit,  we’ve been building our backend infrastructure on top of the Google Cloud Platform. The great thing about that is, we are building Swapit for massive scale from the ground-up. Our current growth rate of 100% month-over-month over the past 2 quarters, we have so far seen zero impact on the performance of our backend platform. At the same time, out Total Cost of Ownership remain very low as well. So that was an outstanding choice of platform.

Going, Running, Sprinting to iOS

swapit-blog_leapNow, one of Swapit’s major road blocks to world domination is our missing presence on the iPhone. It’s not the only road block, but it’s a major one. When we raised our funding in December and again raised in February, one of the milestones we have attached to that funding was to bring Swapit to the iPhone and iPad as quickly as possible.

Just an hour ago, I submitted the Swapit beta 1.2 for iOS to Apple’s TestFlight. That is actually our 3rd beta, which we are testing with a very small group of testers right now. With each beta, we are increasing the number of beta testers for Swapit. In fact, we are building sprints every week that are being released to our beta testers. We a somewhat much leaner version of how sprints are defined in Scrum. Our goal is, to ship a new beta release each week, which we have been doing for the past 3 weeks already.

It is very challenging for developers to be able to deliver a working product release every week. Our team is doing their best to hold the schedule. It’s hard work, but it is definitely worth it! Having a working release of the whole app at pretty much any time during the development process, offers so many upsides: launching every week keeps our beta testers happy, they know we’re progressing and moving fast forward. At any time, we can fix a serious issue might arise in a release, which was launched a couple of days ago. So in the worst case scenario, users need to wait only a very short while to get their app fixed. At the same time, these rapid release cycles force us internally, to define small enough feature tasks that are doable within a day or two or at most a week.

Sprinting Around Corners and Cutting Short to Make the Goal

At the same time, we need to always keep our weekly release goal in mind. Even though, we might define small enough features and tasks to be completed within a week, sometimes some tasks and features suddenly turn up to be much more complex than anticipated. Therefore, we adjust the set of features and tasks for the next release in a very flexible way.

THE #1 GOAL IS TO SHIP!

There can only be one most important goal for any software / product development or basically any business related team, and that is to bloody ship your product. If you have the greatest product and never ship, who cares what it is? No one will ever use it, never ever will you be able to build a business out of that product. Almost everyone can build a product, some people might be able to finally ship and even fewer might be able to build a profitable business out of that.

We at Swapit believe, with a lot of passion and a lot more of hard work, we will be able to see it through and keep growing Swapit to a revenue generating business with very attractive profit margins.

IMG_20160325_0946483

At The Swapit Office: Get A Fresh Free Coffee And Remember What Is Really Important!
The Sign Reads: “TO SHIP is the most important feature!”

Swapit on iOS so far

Our Swapit beta 1.2 release is the most feature rich release we’ve launched so far. It is now already possible to view all items nearby, view item details (incl. pictures in gallery, price, category, condition, viewing statistics, locations, title, description, likes, comments), share items, report items, search items, show featured and highlighted items. All items in the list also sport all the information you need: image, price, distance, name, seller’s photo, likes and category.

Next week’s release will definitely sport some more features in Swapit on iOS. We’re constantly increasing the number of our beta testers for iOS. For those, who have left their contact details and haven’t received a download link yet: We will get to you very soon. We’ve got quite a number of people interested and we’re on-boarding new beta testers FIFO style. So please stay tuned. You’ll hear from us very soon!

Got an iPhone and want to check out Swapit?
Put your name on the Swapit for iOS beta list!

 

swapit-team_mugshot_patrickAbout the Author
Patrick is the Co-Founder and CEO of Swapit Limited. He has over 11 years experience in mobile and business in Asia through various ventures across very different domains. You can find our more about Patrick and the Swapit team at: http://www.swapit.la/#team

Getting Ready for Swapit iOS BETA – Get Yourself on the List Today!

swapit-blog_appleIt is kind of like an open secret, but we are working on the iPhone / iPad app of Swapit. Of course, we are building a native app to ensure a superior user experience. Some of our competitors put out a “web app”, with which I mean it’s an HTML5-based app that looks like a native iOS app. We just believe a real quality app needs to have a very native feel. It must be snappy, it must be beautiful and it must be very resource efficient. All such things are rather hard to achieve with a “web app”, but to us quality is paramount and therefore, we’re going the long way.

swapit-blog_testflightAs soon as our Swapit iOS app is ready to be tested, we will launch a private beta test through Apple’s TestFlight Beta Testing. It’s a great way and actually the official way to get a beta to your iPhone or iPad. To be on the list for our iOS beta test, please enter your information at the following form:

Request Access to SWAPIT iOS BETA:

swapit-blog_requesthttp://goo.gl/forms/jmla9ITbCP

Seats are limited (by Apple, btw). So be quick to join.

Your privacy is important to us!
We only ask for your name and email address. That’s required by Apple TestFlight so we can send you a join email once our iOS beta test is ready for you to join.

 

Swapit Launches World’s First Multi-Location Sale for Pre-Loved Items

swapit-blog_beta-11We’ve been working hard to get this release out the door and to be honest, this is the largest single release Swapit has seen so far! In a nutshell, these are the main changes in our latest Swapit release:

  1. MULTI LOCATION
  2. LIKE ITEMS
  3. SELLER SNIPPETS
  4. VIEW COUNTS
  5. MULTI PICTURE SELECTION

Do you want to check out the latest release right now? You can download it at: http://get.swapit.la

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Now, for those of you’d like to know more, let’s explain all new features in detail.

MULTI-LOCATION

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.65_1_multi-location_allYou can now post an item at up to 4 different locations.

HOME. Our research has shown that most of our Swapit users do use Swapit at their home and post items which are located at their home. So this can be clarified now. At the same time, many of our Swapit users do work at a place which is further away from their home.

WORK. For several smaller items (e.g. fashion products, consumer electronics, etc.), people are willing to bring them to their work place and trade them their — say, during their lunch break. So when posting an item, it is now possible to just flip on the work location and offer your item there as well.

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.65_2_multi-location_meetupMEETUP. Many people commute from their home to work every day and usually they take the same route and the same mode of transport. So we thought, it might make a lot of sense to be able to define a certain “meetup location” which can be set freely by the user. In most cases, we believe, this will be an MTR station somewhere across town.

All three HOME, WORK and MEETUP locations are user-specific because those usually don’t change often and if they change, they should take an effect on the user’s items. This means, that they are set and remembered in the user’s account. Once either of the locations is changed, all items using that location, will be updated automatically.

OTHER. On top of the three user-specific locations HOME, WORK and MEETUP, we also introduce an item-specific location which we call “Other”. In many cases such an item-specific location makes sense. Think of properties, cars or yachts for example. If you publish such items on Swapit, you might want to actually show their location on Swapit. Let’s take a property: When you post a property for sale with the actual property’s location, Swapit will let people nearby that property know, that you are selling a property that’s nearby their location.

LOCATION-INNOVATION.
Swapit is a very location-driven service. Our core has always been to bring buyers and sellers together who are nearby each other; in real-time. Up until the last release of Swapit, each location had exactly one location and when an item was posted, everyone nearby the sellers actual location at that moment, was notified that a new item is available. Swapit is now the world’s first marketplace that introduces multi-location for items and people. This now means, that each item can be published at up to 4 different locations (see above) which means, Swapit can reach 4 times more people than before. Thus, it increases the chances for an item to be discovered by an interested buyer, by 4 times. At the same time, each user can have his own home, work and meetup location stored in his user settings. Besides that, (s)he also has a current-location which constantly changes. That makes a total of 4 more locations, Swapit can use to match buyers and sellers. So in turn, Swapit’s reach based purely on location has increased by 16 times (4×4).

In a nutshell: Our latest multi-location feature, increases the chances to close a trade by 16 times compared to our previous versions and especially compared to what our competitors are offering.

 

LIKE ITEMS

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.65_3_likesSometimes, you see an item someone posts on Swapit and you just like it. You’re not really interested in buying it right now, but you do somehow find it interesting. Or perhaps you just find it absolutely cool that someone posts this sun tanning tower. To give you a tool to show that you like an item, you can now just hit the LIKE button. It is available in the list of products that shows up at the launch of Swapit as well as in each item’s detail view.

Besides publicly showing that someone likes that item, Swapit does not publish the name of the person who liked the item. That is not shown to the seller nor to other buyers. We might actually change that in future, but as of now, this is how it is.

When liking an item, you do also subscribe to updates about that particular item. So if someone leaves a comment there or if the item is being sold, you will get a notification so you can check out any changes made there. At any time you can just unlike the item or turn off notifications for that item, in the item’s menu at the top right corner.

swapit-blog-interestsWe believe this is a very convenient way to show your interest in an item even though, you’re actually not looking to buy it, right now. Perhaps at some point in time, you might be willing to buy it and therefore, it is now very convenient to just keep track of an item’s changes.

 

SELLER SNIPPETS

In our last beta release, we introduced chat snippets. These are small pre-defined texts which you can use while chatting. Our first set of snippets was geared towards making it easier for buyers to communicate. Now, we have added another set of snippets just for sellers. It includes common phrases like “The price is fix.” or “Make me an offer.”. If you’d like find out more about seller snippets, just go to Swapit and post an item for sale. Once you are in a chat as a seller of an item, you’ll be seeing the seller snippets right next to your chat input field.

 

VIEW COUNTS

swapit_marketing-chart-growSwapit is now tracking the number of views and visitors to an item. Users need to have the latest Swapit version installed for views and visitors to be tracked. Hence, if someone with an old version views your item, Swapit doesn’t track that view. So for a short little while – until everyone has upgraded to the latest Swapit version – the view and visitor numbers might understate the actual number of views and visitors.

A view is being tracked each time any user views your item. A visitor is being tracked only the first a user views your item. Both numbers can be very important for the seller. For example, say you have 50 views, but only 2 visitors, then you know that 2 people have your item 50 times in total. If you still haven’t sold your item or no one attempted to buy it, you should know that something is wrong with your item’s presentation. Perhaps the description is not well formed, perhaps the photos are too low in quality, the price is too high, or there is something else. It is always good to check out our Tips for Making a Sale series which gives you practical tips on selling your item faster.

 

MULTI PICTURE SELECTION

swapit-blog_imagesIt is now possible to select multiple pictures from your photo gallery at once. This was one of the most-wanted features ever. We do constantly conduct surveys with our users and during those surveys we usually have a list of upcoming features we’d like people to rank in terms of importance to them. This helps us a lot in prioritizing our release roadmap to ensure, we are bringing features our users are looking for, as soon as possible. While we can’t do all at once, we try to get as much done as possible. We want to make our users and ensure we create the right product for the right people, with the right set of features that makes everyone’s life easier.

Swapit Updated: 10 Photos & Chat Snippets

A couple of days ago, we published a new update of Swapit. If you don’t have it yet, you can download it at: http://get.swapit.la

The most recent changes are:

PRESENT ITEMS BETTER WITH 10 PHOTOS

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.57_1_photos-10From the onset, it was possible to add up to 3 photos for each item you’re selling on Swapit. Using a great photo significantly improves the chances of selling your item faster. We’ve seen many people using all 3 photo slots to present their items.

While 3 photos are absolutely sufficient for most items, some other items (e.g. cars, property, etc.) require more photos to properly present the item to potential buyers. We have realized having more than 3 photos can be a very important differentiator of an item over another similar one. Therefore, Swapit now allows to upload up to 10 photos for each item as a Premium Service. Similarly to our other already existing Premium Services (premium categories, item highlight & item feature), during our beta it is absolutely free to use this premium service. All you need to do is inviting a friend to download Swapit. You can then instantly add up to 10 photos for the item you’re posting.

Give it a try now! Post an item for sale on Swapit!

CHAT SNIPPETS FOR MESSAGING EFFICIENCY

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.57_1_snippetsThe latest Swapit update also comes with a great enhancement, we have been wanting to add for a long time: chat snippets. It’s a concept that’s not new and we have been using it for many years in the customer support tracking software / service of our choice FogBugz (it’s free for a startup account, by the way). So we figured, Snippets will add a lot of value to our users and make their life a lot easier when using Swapit.

With the change in the last version of Swapit where interested buyers can directly open a chat to buy an item, we now take it to the next level by offering the buyer a convenient way to say a couple of most-used phrases to get the conversation going. These are simple things like: “I’m interested.”, “Where do you want to meet?” and so on.

Update your Swapit app to the latest version to get access to the latest Snippets: http://get.swapit.la

Furthermore, we have added many small improvements and fixed several bugs to improve the user experience for everyone. A simple example would be the easy quick-switch to select or de-select all categories in the filter panel.

There is more to come. We have some great advancements on our roadmap! Stay tuned for future updates!