In this eCommerce driven world we live in because of the pandemic there are a handful of places where people can sell their goods and wares. The most popular places are WhatsApp, Instagram or Facebook, be it groups or ads. The one limitation that those platforms have is that they are restrictive (especially for group capacity) and using contacts to sell products can be difficult. Ads are also not cheap especially with how difficult things are. In light of these issues, there is a software development company called Zerone that is looking to change that with a platform called Marketsquare.
Marketsquare is an Android app that allows you to advertise your products be they clothes all the way to car parts for free. It’s kind of like Craig’s List in the United States or Classifieds here in Zimbabwe for the following reasons.
Marketsquare is a middle man
The app, at present, is just a place where buyers and sellers can meet digitally to transact. Market Square was built to facilitate interactions between parties in a transaction within one application.
If you want to buy a product, for example, the app has a chat function that allows you to converse with the seller. You can then haggle or finalise the deal and you will meet with the buyer in person to complete the transaction.
What can you sell on the platform?
You can sell just about anything as far as I can see, from used electronics, furniture, property to vehicles.
It’s a job market place as well
Similar to fliers with the tear-off number that we see on public notice boards, Marketsquare allows you to advertise jobs. People coming on to the platform to seek employement also have the chat functionality similar to those who are selling goods and services.
Payments… payments… payments…
The one glaring omission in the app is the option of integrated payments like EcoCash or Paynow. At the moment all you can do is advertise a product, agree with the buyer and then receive payment in person.
On that front, the developers of the app said that there will be that option soon. There is no defined timeline yet but I was assured that by the next update there should be an option to pay for products on the platform.
The one concern is of course the other person running off with your money after you have paid. Marketsquare is after all just a facilitator, so it might be best to pay in person or using the platform (when the feature is available) once you have goods in hand.
The data issue
Data is getting pretty expensive these days. Many people reside within bundles and the one bundle almost everyone has is WhatsApp. This makes WhatsApp a convenient option for many people to buy and sell products even within the confines of groups that allow a certain number of people.
To ask people to buy a data bundle may prove difficult but the trade-off here is that you can potentially advertise to a lot more people. This might just be the caveat that Marketsquare might be able to thrive on.
It will be interesting to see how the app progresses over time and you can check out the app for yourself on Play Store with the link here.