Buying and selling on marketplace websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace often leads to meeting a stranger somewhere to complete the purchase and grab the item.
With more than a billion Facebook Marketplace users per month, Nymbull founder Jackson Wegelin doesn’t think this is necessary for peer-to-peer transactions. And he estimates that between interacting with potential buyers and dealing with no-shows, each sale takes about a week.
His company, which participated in Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt, aims to eliminate much of that hassle and reduce sales in an average of two to three days through the creation of a remote selling and foreclosure website. patented that allows users to list their item on Nymbull’s website and share that link in the market of their choice. He calls it “Lock it, List it, Leave it”.
Sellers buy the padlock – similar to a bicycle lock – to lock items for sale in a location of their choosing so that potential buyers can inspect the item. If the buyer is satisfied, they make the payment through Nymbull website to get the unlock code. The company uses Stripe and offers chargeback protection for both parties.
“There have been a lot of developments in the markets,” Wegelin said. “We have pizza companies that use lockers, as well as people who drop keys for Airbnbs, as well as Amazon pickup lockers. This became more normal as COVID hit and people started to socialize and want contactless transactions. “
The idea for the business came to Wegelin in 2016 when he had a grill he wanted to sell. He lives on a busy main street in his neighborhood and thought about listing the article and locking it to a tree in front of his house so people could watch it. Searching for remote locks that would allow him to unlock it after someone bought the grill, he failed.
Inventor by nature – he holds 70 US patents as an electrical and mechanical engineer – and set out to build his own. A year later he started filing patents for the Nymbull lock and now has four issued patents.
Ohio-based Wegelin now owns 500 locks and is experimenting with sales on the Nymbull website, which he plans to launch soon. He’s still working on pricing locks and posting items. However, he said it will be a subscription model for sellers, with buyers paying a few dollars for each transaction.
Sellers will be able to reserve items for free for a certain number of hours and will have the option of offering more hold time for the buyer to decide on the purchase. For those who need more time, potential buyers can request a day or two of hold for a few dollars.
While testing the locking system, one of the most common questions he received was how to lock an item of clothing, such as a shirt. He tested methods of looping the lock through the sleeves and a hanger that he hung from a hook above the door. Other sellers got creative by punching holes in plastic containers that could be locked to a fence, Wegelin said.
Ultimately, he wants Nymbull to be the mediator between buyer and seller so that items can be bought and sold safely without either party having to interact at all if this is not necessary, Wegelin said.
“The lock keeps people honest and helps buyers see what they’re paying for it,” he added. “There are many opportunities where we can take this, such as food pickup, drug delivery, or unattended pickups. “