Interview With Keepio CEO Dave Durand
BloggingPro recently had the chance to chat with Dave Durand, the CEO of social commerce site Keepio.
Give our readers the Keepio elevator pitch.Â What is it and what sets it apart?
Keepio enables social commerce among established networks of trust and privacy and was built in response to the shortcomings of eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. Friends seek to buy or sell second-hand goods among friends because of the implicit trust, transparency, and reduced friction. (On Keepio, there are no fees for listings or transactions).
Unlike eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace,Â we believe social commerce should focus more onÂ established networks of trust and privacy and lessÂ on transaction fees and interactions with strangers.
We know that friends look to each other for recommendations and insights for productsÂ in today’s consumer marketplaces. Keepio provides an outlet for product discussion, advocacy and purchase, but these activities are amplified with the social validation and feedback from your friends. With Keepio, your products define you, so we will soon make it easy for products to find you too.
How’d you come up with the name?
There is no doubt we went through a number of names before settling on Keepio. The competition for dot coms is fierce, and everything we had originally thought of was of course unavailable. However, the word “keep” always made sense to us since many of our target audiences are collectors. KEEP track of what you own, and share it and sell it among your friends. We found that Keepio.com was an option, so we thought that would match up with our overall mission of prioritizing the value of ownership.
Why not just try to sell your stuff by pinging your Facebook friends or Twitter followers
Status updates are nice for getting the word out, but they do not allow for transactions to take place. More importantly, the “for sale” posts often get lost in the clutter of everyone else’s updates from FarmVille or Foursquare.Â Other social networks or classified sites do not allow for targeting to individuals or groups, and do not provide tools for real-time commerce.
Keepio allows you to maintain a personal marketplace with multiple items, pictures, and related product information. Why waste time bantering back and forth about tech specs, colors or sizes? All of that information can be provided effortlessly to the visitors you invite to peruse your personal marketplace. Once inside Keepio you can quickly bid, buy or barter for items without leaving the site, and see what else your friends or others may have available.
You recently launched Keepio Groups…Do the majority of users make their inventory lists public or private?
Most members decide to list their items publicly because – let’s face it – we’re usually proud of what we own, as our possessions in some ways define ourselves. Some members are looking to sell items to trusted friends or other collectors, but in many cases, the many interesting items have a ‘show and tell’ draw that inspire discussion and ‘I want that too!’ commerce. Â About 20% of the items on the site are marked as “Private”, so we know that there’s value in providing some safekeeping for items you don’t need everyone to see.
Groups are great because collectors can share what they have in an environment that is more pleasant and useful than where most collectors currently spend their time: outdated forum sites. In addition, a Keepio Group might be a great way for communities with implicit trust – like a school, a workplace, a local YMCA or even a church – to have a place to share and swap goods among a close-knit group of people. We’re just starting to explore the possibilities of Groups for public and private marketplaces.
hat has been the oddest item that has been swapped/sold on Keepio
While we only know which items have been bought and sold from the “Public” and “Keepio friends only” marketplaces, I’d have to say that the oddest one was from a gentleman in France selling his garden-fresh truffles. Other than that, I’m sure there have been some interesting trades behind the metaphorical closed doors of Keepio’s private marketplaces, but we respect the privacy of those members and will only leave it up to your imagination.
Is there a Keepio App available for the iPhone or Android?
Mobile applications for both iPhone and Android are currently being developed. By the end of this year, we believe Keepio will certainly be a “mobile first, web second” experience since mobile devices make it easier to snap photos and barcodes as well as find products from friends orÂ nearbyÂ retail establishments.
What is your “dream vision” for Keepio?
Keepio will become an essential utility for anyone who turns first to the second-hand marketplace when researching and purchasing merchandise. Â Why spend $500 on a new crib when someone you trust has one they no longer need? Why buy merchandise from some wholesaler in a New Jersey warehouse when I can find a more trustworthy bargain in my immediate vicinity? Keepio will unlock value from otherwise idle assets and we welcome anyone who wants to share, buy and sell among friends. We really want to create an ecosystem where it becomes effortless for the products that interest you to find you. Keepio’s technology should eliminate the hassle of spending countless hours finding the right deal or products that you have expressed an interest in owning.
Dave DurandÂ has owned and operated a digital agency for the last 7 years, ForestGiant.com, that has done work for clients such as GE, Lexmark, Humana and YUM Brands. The team has grown from a service based operation, to one that can now pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, leveraging the talent of their diverse and talented team.