Swapit Introduces: Swapit Referral – Give Swapit Premium & Get Swapit Premium

referral_yellow_starWe just updated Swapit and you can now get Swapit Premium for free if you invite one of your friends to join Swapit too.

You can get the latest Swapit app from Google Play and the App Store, or by simply clicking here: http://get.swapit.la/now


It’s easy, quick and you can share your invite anywhere. WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat, Twitter, Email, text SMS, you name it. Both you and your friend will receive a Swapit Premium Day Pass.


In detail it works like this: As soon as one of your friends joins Swapit, a popup dialog appears and tells him or her that the Swapit Premium Day pass has been earned and is active now. At the very same moment, you will receive an instant notification about your friend joining and a new Swapit Premium Day Pass was added to the “Rewards” tab in the “Free Swapit Premium” section on Swapit.

Swapit Referral works across Android and iPhone.

So if you’re an Android user and invite a friend with an iPhone, you will receive your free Swapit Premium Day Pass as well as if you’d be inviting another Android user, or if you’d be an iPhone user and invite another iPhone or another Android user.


It’s very easy to give someone a free Swapit Premium. Just open up your menu and select “Free Swapit Premium”. Then you’ll see your unique invite code which you can share with your friends or you can click one of the invite methods below, like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger shown on these screen shots:

Once you’ve sent out your invite to your friend, just wait and let magic happen. You can also invite another friend in the meantime and you’ll end up with two Swapit Premium Day Passes if both join Swapit!


We are constantly working on making the Swapit marketplace more and more liquid. That’s absolutely essential for sustainable growth and for providing our users a place where it is guaranteed for them to sell their items in a short period of time … preferably to their neighbors. Swapit Referral has the following benefits:

  1. Our sellers will get access to Swapit Premium without having to pay for it. It will increase the visibility of their postings and allow them to sell items much faster.
  2. As a result, we will be getting more items posted on Swapit and the market becomes more and more liquid.
  3. New users will be invited, the word about Swapit will spread even faster, because people want to give Swapit Premium a try and invite their friends.
  4. Existing users who are predominantly buyers right now, will be incentivized to post items for sale on Swapit, once they earn a Swapit Premium Day Pass.
  5. New users who receive their free Swapit Premium Day Pass on signing, will be more motivated to post items for sale as quickly as possible. Their Day Pass starts running for 24 hours from the moment they’ve installed the app and created an account. So within those 24 hours, they are more motivated to post as many items as possible for sale – so they can take full advantage of the Swapit Premium Day Pass.

So generally, we believe this will increase Swapit’s adoption across the board.

Let’s see how it goes. We will blog about the results and effectiveness here. So stay tuned for upcoming blog posts!

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

Focusing on Growth

img_20161016_202644_editI recently tweeted this screen shot on the right. Being super focused on growth and accelerating that growth seems to be paying off.

We’ve done a lot of things recently to ensure more and more people are coming to Swapit and trade their stuff there. We’ve been present at public events, which come with photo ops. We made it easier to share and share to all popular social media, which spreads our Swapit item links (a.k.a. web teasers) and in turn drives more users to Swapit. We’ve brought “Make an Offer” to Swapit, which results in sales closing faster and buyers and sellers being more satisfied with our platform. We’ve made it easier for sellers to cross-post their items into many buy & sell Facebook groups reaching over 700,000 people instantly. We’ve introduced Swapit Alerts, which resulted in higher user engagement – especially on the buyer side – and therefore helps to grow our user base through word of mouth by more satisfied users. We’ve grown the total GMV posted on our platform from $1M to $30M to over $100M. To make it easier for our users to post items on Swapit, we’ve made several changes to the product, which are well received by sellers.

At the same time, we’ve been working with partners to grow our user base. We ran several promotions with happy winners, we’re constantly talking to admins of groups on social media, forums, websites to collaborate. We launched Swapit on the iPhone and its users have an even higher engagement rate. We also placed some great Swapit beach umbrellas across some beaches all over Hong Kong. I am still getting friends asking me about it, because they saw one on a beach. We’ve also gotten some great media coverage over the past months, which always takes a while to kick in.

Upcoming Growth Improvements

swapit_marketing-chart-growOf course, we don’t stop here. We are constantly improving Swapit with one single goal: Increasing our marketplace liquidity. That means making buyers and sellers happier and giving them the right tools to do their trades on our platform and not somewhere else. It also means, making it easy for them to transition to Swapit. Changes in that direction are coming in the very near future. Stay tuned for what’s to come. There will be some more great drafts towards growth.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Get it from: http://get.swapit.la/now

Swapit was Finalist at the Walk21 CityTech Awards 2016

Last week, I had the honor to receive another award for Swapit. This time it was for the Walk21HK CityTech Awards.


Walk21HK is about:

[…] Hong Kong is leading the charge to become one of Asia’s most walkable cities and what this means to both you and the society in which you live. Experience how “pedestrian-first” environments promote economic growth, social inclusion and health and wellbeing. Learn about emerging trends, build networks and have an impact on local policy agendas.

There were several finalists and a few winners who have created solutions that address walkability more directly than Swapit. However, we were still be honored with a nice award for Swapit. In fact, we believe Swapit makes our world a bit more walkable by reducing the amount of people that need to flow through the city. Swapit connects buyers and sellers nearby, through which they actually do not need to travel far to close their sale. As a result, Swapit encourages walking by connecting within walking distance. No individual, no public transport needed. Walking is just fine.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Get it for free at http://get.swapit.la/now

Swapit Introduces: Swapit Premium Day Pass, WhatsApp, Sorting (Distance vs. Date, Global vs. City)

swapit-blog_filterWe just updated Swapit with several new additions.

You can get the latest Swapit app from Google Play and the App Store or by simply clicking here: http://get.swapit.la/now

You told us you love Swapit Premium, but you’d like to pay for it on-the-go. We’ve been listening and now we have finally released our latest Swapit app update with the Swapit Premium Day Pass, which gets you access to the full range of Swapit Premium features for a full day for just $0.99 (HK$8).


We’ve added a lot more in this release as well. Let me highlight some points.


Back in April this year, we launched Swapit Premium as a monthly subscription. While some people have picked this up and were happy they could access to such additional features, we knew that a monthly subscription was more attractive power traders. Yet, Swapit was build by individuals for individuals – as a true consumer-to-consumer marketplace.

To make sure, individuals can access Swapit Premium when they need to, we’re introducing the Day Pass now. It costs the lowest price we can charge through Google Play and the Apple App Store: $0.99 (HK$8). It’s a one-off payment. You won’t get charged again and you can use all Swapit Premium features for a full day starting from the time of purchase.

Of course, at any time, you can purchase a Day Pass again and take advantage of another full day of all Swapit Premium features.

swapit-blog-whatsappWHATSAPP SHARING

With our last release we’ve introduced a much easier way to share Swapit items you like on your favorite social media. Besides supporting Facebook, Twitter, WeChat and LINE, we have now added WhatsApp to the list of 1-click shareables. It was a quick and easy change for us, but we feel that many of you will take advantage of it and enjoy telling your friends about your listings on Swapit.


You might not have noticed that, but we’ve been experimenting with different kinds of default sort settings in Swapit over the past couple of months. Initially, we’ve had our default sorting of the Swapit item list set to “Distance” – meaning, the items closest to you showed up at the top of the list. The further down you scrolled, the farther away such items were from your current location. Then we switched to the default sorting of “Date” – meaning, the items at the top of the list are the most recent ones and the further down you scroll, the older such items are.

swapit_screenshots_1-13-3-3_1_sortingNow there are limitations to such sorting settings. Swapit has been built as a globally applicable app, which connects buyers and sellers that are in very close proximity to each other – no matter where they are located at.

[start of tech talk] One of our main goals was to build a truly scalable backend. That means, we use the most modern technologies (NoSQL database, insanely scalable, easy to extend) in order to be able to have one single database for the whole world. Every Swapit item that is stored on the Swapit backend has at least one location reference to it, so we can match it with potential buyers nearby. [/end of tech talk]

So the very simple task of sorting your items by distance or by date created a bit of a challenge. If you see the closest item listings that are nearby your location first, it is very likely that those are actually relevant to you – in terms of language and currency. But if you sort by date – remember, we have one huge database for the whole world – you quickly realize that item postings in India, Philippines or the USA might show up at the top of your list. Those might be in a different language and usually have a different currency. Remember? Swapit supports 148 currencies. It was imperative to ensure that you only see items there, which make sense.

Solution. In the end, we came up with the solution of listing the whole world’s items when you sort them by Distance, but we only show you items within your city when you set the sorting to Date. That way, you will always see the most relevant items (in terms of language and currency) at the top of your list – no matter you’re sorting by Distance or Date. That’s why you now see clearly the distinction between “Distance Global” and “Date City”.


Currently, the default “sort by” setting is Distance Global, which makes the most sense for the on-boarding process of new users. Sometimes those users are located in cities where no items are available yet. So a sorting by Date City would return no items. That in turn, prompts the majority of such new users in new cities to deinstall the app – even though they might actually like the app itself. No content, no fun, right? So we would have created an artificially high churn rate ourselves. In order to prevent that, the default “sort by” setting is set to Distance Global. So you will always see the item that’s the closest to you – even if that item is in a different city, country or continent.

Should you change your “sort by” setting, Swapit now also remembers that setting and every time Swapit launches, it will use that same sorting again and again – until you change it.

A nice side-effect of all of that is: By sorting your list by Distance, you can browse all Swapit items that were listed in the whole world. The location of the item listing just gets farther and farther away, the further down you scroll. I sometimes try to challenge myself to reach the bottom of the list, which takes a lot of scrolling and could almost be considered a workout.

Besides all those changes above, we’ve done a lot of “under-the-hood” improvements and bug fixes to make the Swapit experience a lot more seamless.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Give it a try: http://get.swapit.la/now

Does Facebook Marketplace want to be like Swapit?

Facebook just introduced Marketplace. They describe it as:

[…] today we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community.

facebook-group-settingFacebook has had Facebook groups for many years. People liked to meet up there, post their stuff for sale, arrange meetups and so on. We at Swapit have been using it and the experience was horrible to finally get to the point to buy what you really wanted. Facebook must have realized that a while ago and did start to introduce “buy and sell” features into Facebook groups. When operating a Facebook group, you could then choose the type of that group and as you can see in the screen shot, facebook-sell-postthe “Buy and Sell” type adds certain functionality to that group. In particular, this adds extra fields for people to enter, like “price”, “title” and “location” (e.g. city). It looks like on the screen shot on the right.

Yet, these were all Facebook groups, which you had to manually navigate to, or you would get to their listings if you’re a member of a group and other members of the same group post items — because it would show up in your Facebook feed.

In Facebook’s recent announcement they specifically mentioned this one improvement that will change the way people on Facebook will interact:

To visit Marketplace, just tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app and start exploring.

So Facebook added a little icon at the bottom tab par of the app, so you can easily access such “marketplaces”. Of course, there are other improvements like categorization for example. Yet, it is nothing overly dramatic at this stage. Furthermore, they’re only launching in four countries at the moment (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand). More will launch soon, I am sure.

Why did Facebook introduce Marketplace?

According to Facebook the launched Marketplace because they realized that:

More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month[…]

My personal belief is, they’ve also realized the spam that was associated to those 450m people buying and sell. Let me explain.

All the traffic in those buy and sell groups, all the posts and comments, started to pile up and clog up each user’s Facebook feed. Personally, I am doing a lot of research in terms of trading on Facebook and for that purpose I am a member of 100 groups on Facebook – most of which are buy and sell groups. The sheer number of posts that are flowing through my Facebook feed daily is just way too much, and the vast majority of those are buy and sell posts. Almost all of those buy and sell posts are not relevant to me, nor are they anywhere near any location, and therefore, I personally consider them actually spam. To improve that experience and only present relevant sale posts to potential buyers, we have created the Swapit mobile app.

Facebook has been great over the years, to realize the pain points of their users and improve their product to remove friction. So I believe, by introducing “Marketplace”, Facebook wants to carve those massive amounts of buy and sell posts out of people’s ordinary Facebook feed and bundle them in a dedicated place just for trading.

As a Facebook user, I think this is a great step for Facebook to clean up my feed and make sure I only see relevant information from my friends and family, which is what I use Facebook for mainly.

What does Facebook’s Marketplace mean for the industry?

While all of that sounds very much like direct competition to Swapit, it is much more a direct competition to other players in the market. I particularly like TechInAsia’s take on this: Facebook’s Local Market could be Carousell and Tokopedia’s worst nightmare

And that might in fact become true.

Carousell, Tokopedia, Rakuten, Shopee, letgo, Shpock, OfferUp, you name it; are all traditional marketplaces operating on a traditional classified model. Their way of connecting buyers and sells with each other is rather passive and driven by buyer initiative and mostly actually by luck. Let me give you a quick example: As a buyer, you go onto Carousell and search for “Green Sofa”, but you don’t find one. Yet, you really want a green sofa! (who doesn’t want a green sofa?) So what do you need to do? You have to come back and search for it again — hoping that time you will find one. The Facebook Marketplace is not different. It’s basically, the Craigslist model brought into the mobile world with a beautiful layout and pretty pictures. For Facebook, though, it comes with very strong social connections as well.

So yes. Facebook Marketplace may be the biggest threat to our competition as there does not seem to be any key differentiator between them and Facebook Marketplace — except for the fact that Facebook has by far the largest active user base — in the world.


Central Hong Kong

How is Swapit different?

In one word: hyperlocal. From the onset, Swapit has been built with the mindset to efficiently connect buyers and sellers, who are nearby each other in real-time. Every single item posted on Swapit has a highly precise location attached to it, which can be mapped precisely on a map.

Based on that small yet important piece of information, our Swapit trading platform looks for potential buyers who are nearby the seller’s location and are interested in the item you are selling. See Swapit Alerts for more on that.

As opposed to our competition (including Facebook Marketplace now), Swapit does 3 essential things better:

  1. Timely Sensitive
    Swapit reaches out to buyers in real-time, right when an item becomes available. It’s snappy, it’s quick, it happens when it needs to happen; right now. That’s exactly what our on-demand society wants today.
  2. Location Specific
    Swapit connects only people who are nearby each other. I am not talking about “same city” like Facebook mentions. I am talking about “within 500 meters” (approx. 5 minute foot walk). It’s truly nearby and the item can be reached right now.
  3. Contextually Relevant
    By only presenting items the buyer is really interested in, all of a sudden all automated communication from the Swapit trading platform to the buyer ends up to be contextually relevant. Swapit cuts through the clutter and provides only that kind of information buyers are really looking for.
swapit-blog-immediacy     swapit-blog-location    swapit-blog_request


Why being Hyperlocal is such an Advantage

The world is changing. Today, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in an urban environment and that number is projected to increase over the decades to come (according to the World Bank). As a result, more and more people are moving to cities, which as a result become more and more densely populated.

The Swapit team is based in Hong Kong – one of the most densely populated places on planet earth. We believe, to some extend, Hong Kong is some kind of blueprint for how metropolitan cities will look like in the future. More people will take public transport, or Uber their way without an own car. More and more people will live in smaller and smaller apartments to preserve space and costs in cities that have limited space. Socially, the way of life will become more and more anonymous, to the fact where you don’t know all of your neighbors or even in years of living in the same building, you’ve never even met each of them at least once.

Swapit has been built and is continuously being improved for that very way of life. We are building a product for the future that has already started to happen. We are not stuck in the traditional classifieds model, but we embrace the connectivity and on-demand culture of our time.

Swapit is hyperlocal and no one else is.

Do you want to trade hyperlocal too? Get Swapit from http://get.swapit.la/now

Welcome to Team Swapit: Lukas

lukasWe’re happy Lukas has joined us at Team Swapit about 2 weeks ago! Lukas is actually studying IT and Communication Technology at the Technical University of Denmark, so he will do a 5 month internship at Swapit.

Without spoiling too much of what’s to come, Lukas is working on some pretty exciting topic that will demonstrate the kind of innovation Swapit is bringing to the world of C2C marketplaces. While traditionally, C2C marketplaces come with a bit of dry sort of classifieds experience, we at Swapit know, we can provide a much more engaging experience for everyone.

I won’t tell you more about it right now, but we will definitely have another blog post about his work here on our Swapit blog. So better make sure you’re signed up for our email updates (select “follow by email”)!

Stay tuned! More info to come soon!

Have you tried Swapit yet? Give it a try, it’s free: http://get.swapit.la/now



Ah right, we also had some fun with animated GIFs.🙂


Swapit Trading Trends in Hong Kong

Swapit’s user base is growing fast and our user engagement is growing even faster. While, we’re already getting users in countries like USA, UK, Philippines, Thailand and India, our main target market still remains to be Hong Kong. So for our core market, we are constantly monitoring the major districts of trading for us.

For you to get a general sense of how much is being traded where in Hong Kong, have a look at these two maps:

It is interesting that we can see clearly the most popular trading areas along the MTR (subway) lines of Hong Kong. That can have multiple reasons:

1) People like to meet up at MTR stations, because it’s the most efficient mode of transport in Hong Kong; and/or

2) Near MTR stations are usually the large scale residential buildings – condos, etc. So the majority of the Hong Kong people live near such subway routes.

If we however, zoom a bit further in, we can see some interesting patterns. Let’s take a look at these two areas:

Especially the Shek Kip Mei area (left map) shows clearly that the main indicator there is residential population density. MTR stations are nearby, but by far not as many items are posted right at the MTR stations, compared to the ones that are posted in residential areas.

swapit-blog_android_mapThe Central area on the other, shows clearly a concentration of item postings near the Central MTR station. Those are most likely either “Meetup” or “Work” location postings. Generally, population density in terms of residence, is rather low in Central.

If you’d like to check it out yourself, you can do that easily inside the Swapit on your Android phone or your iPhone. Just select the “Map” icon and browse your local map. You can also pan to other locations in the world, if you’d like to.

You’re not on Swapit yet? Get it from: http://get.swapit.la