Deals

Dropbox buys Sold, which helped other people sell their stuff

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Sold sold to Dropbox. No, that is not a typo. Dropbox acquired a company called Sold.

Sold was a mobile app that helped people calculate how much to sell things for. It handled the selling, shipping, and payment, basically working as an e-commerce middleman. 

Sold’s algorithms knew how much to deduct for scratches and hints, like turning on an iPhone screen can boost the sale price. The startup dealt with writing listings and contacting buyers, and sent sellers a labeled, pre-paid box to ship their item in.

Its business model was to take a cut off the seller price.

The rise of the sharing economy and popularity of online resale marketplaces created an environment where people are increasingly selling stuff they already own. Companies like eBay, Threadflip, Poshmark, Gazelle, Glyde, and Amazon make it easier to sell your used stuff online, but it is still kind of a pain in the butt. Or maybe I am just lazy.

Sold took the support a step further by basically removing as much work as possible from the selling process.

“We started Sold to provide people with a service that took the burden of selling off their shoulders – by doing all the dirty work for them,” Sold said in an announcement about the acquisition.

Considering this product has nothing to do with Dropbox, which provider of cloud storage, I am going to go ahead and call this one an “acqui-hire.” Sold’s team will join Dropbox. Current users will receive instructions on how to finish up their transactions.

Boston-based Sold launched in April. It started as a study at the MIT Media Lab. It raised financing from Google Ventures, Greylock Partners, Matrix Partners, Boston Seed, and others.

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