Rewards Store Updates

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We are making some important updates to the Rewards Store today to ensure that Listia can continue to provide great new items to all members in a fair and fun way. A summary of the changes is listed below, but we encourage everyone to continue reading this entire post to fully understand the reasons for the necessary updates:

  1. Rewards Store items are being simplified into three different categories:
    • Staff Picks: Great new items shipped to you by Best Buy and Walmart (items previously found under other categories will be located here)
    • Listia Goods & Gear: Listia swag, including t-shirts, mugs, stickers and coins
    • Amazon Gift Cards: Official Amazon.com gift card codes, delivered digitally
  2. Most items, including all items sold through “Staff Picks,” will now be auctions that do not include a Get It Now (GIN)

The shift from GIN only items to regular auctions is the change that has the largest impact on Listia members. Since the Rewards Store first launched over two years ago, most of the items on the store have been available to Listia members through a fixed price (no bidding, just a GIN option). It was introduced as a nice benefit of being an active seller on Listia, and we felt that having GIN as the only option made buying from the store both quick and easy. It started off at a small scale, and the store was nearly always full of great products, and everything seemed fine.

In the span of the last several months though, we’ve noticed that items began to sell out extremely quickly (Can you imagine someone winning a 3-piece luggage set within 30 seconds of it being listed? It happens.) The Rewards Store started to look very sparse, and at times was completely sold out. An easy solution would have been to simply list more and more items, but as you can imagine, that would quickly become too costly for Listia to maintain.

There are two main reasons why the Rewards Store started to sell out:

  1. The Listia community is growing, and that means more members are using the Rewards Store as a great way to spend their credits.
  2. Items in the store were often priced much lower than what they would sell for on the rest of the site. In many situations, winning an item on the Rewards Store could be considered a steal, and who doesn’t love a great deal?

Over the last two years, we’ve steadily grown the Rewards Store. We’ve also changed the Get It Now amounts a few times to make the items priced more accurately. Those actions weren’t quite enough to keep the Rewards Store in a state where enough members could participate in a casual, stress-free way though. Hearing members’ stories about needing to refresh the Rewards Store constantly to immediately “snipe” something that gets listed is one of the things that keeps us up at night!

A few answers to some of the questions you may all have:

How long will the auctions be live for?
We are starting off with 5 day auctions, which we feel is short of enough to keep things exciting, but also long enough to make sure everyone gets a chance to see it. Items will be starting and ending daily, so keep your eyes peeled!

Will things get more expensive?
Since Listia will no longer set the price of most Rewards Store items, the bidding will behave just like any other auction on Listia. It’s hard to say if specific items will tend to sell for more or less credits, but in general you should see prices more accurately reflect their fair market value.

Our goal with today’s changes is to keep the Rewards Store as an enjoyable and rewarding place for our members to use their credits. While we are sad to see the GIN option go, we feel that it is a necessary step to make sure the store stays up-and-running for all members. Also, by having Rewards Store items as auctions with no starting bid and no GIN, everyone can place a bid early to have their opportunity at winning. As a separate measure, we will be increasing our focus on keeping the items as fresh as possible!

Thank you all for continuing to be a part of the Listia community!

Rule Updates for Shipping Payments

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As the Listia community grows, we need to continually evolve and improve our rules and policies to protect members and create as safe and enjoyable a marketplace as possible.  Today we’re introducing some more specific guidelines surrounding how shipping payments should be made between buyer and seller when auctions have fixed or flat rate shipping.

The updates can be read in their entirety on our Rules and Listia Assurance pages, but below is a summary:

  1. Shipping payments are now limited to PayPal, Google Wallet, check, money order and cash.
  2. Sellers can specify which of the above methods they support in their listing, but may not add additional payment methods not allowed by Listia, and may not specify “Cash Only” (sellers must accept at least one of the other methods as well).
  3. When sending payment through PayPal, Google Wallet, check or money order, your credits are now protected by Listia Assurance in the event there’s a problem with the shipping payment being received.

While we always encourage sellers to offer free shipping, we understand that it is not suitable for all sellers and all items.  For these situations, we hope that these updates make both paying for and receiving shipping payments as simple and worry-free as possible!

Rule Changes for Digital Items

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October has come and gone, and we’re heading into the holiday season with continued efforts to keep the Listia community safe and happy. Last month, we revised our rules surrounding photography and coupons. Today, we’re introducing additional measures to build an online marketplace full of great items (and experiences!) for sellers and buyers alike.

Digital Items

Starting today, all newly listed items with digital delivery will need to meet one of the two requirements below:

  1. The item can be used or claimed, and upon use, no longer has value and cannot be reused
  2. The item being listed is Bitcoin

Examples of things that meet the first requirement, and therefore are allowed:

  • Codes to redeem movies or games
  • Digital gift cards
  • Subscription codes for services like Xbox Live or Hulu Plus

Examples of things that do not meet the first requirement, and are no longer allowed:

  • E-books and PDFs, including instructions, recipes, how-to guides, etc
  • All other types of digital media (photos, music, text, etc) regardless of copyright ownership or resale rights

We feel that these changes surrounding digital items will help our community continue to grow in the best way possible. Today we’re lucky to have members who list things they no longer need, as well as others who create their own handmade items or buy new items to give to others. Digital items that can be reproduced indefinitely, however, don’t seem to fit as well into the type of community we’re trying to create.

The rule changes take effect immediately for all newly listed items (items existing prior to today are not affected). As always, you can visit our rules page to see the entire list of what is and isn’t allowed.

Thank you all for your support and patience as we continually work to make Listia the best that it can be!

Pinpoint the Exact Ending Price of Any Auction Before it Ends

We have some exciting news to share about a new breakthrough technology we have developed!

Check out our latest press release and discuss below:

Listia Develops Technology to Predict the Ending Price of Auctions 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA /PRNewswire/ — Listia Inc., the world’s largest online trading marketplace, today announced that it has developed a new algorithm that accurately predicts the future ending price of any online auction.

As the fastest-growing trading marketplace on mobile and web, Listia has become the go-to resource for users who want to trade-in unwanted items for spendable credits. Credits can then be applied to any item posted on Listia, allowing users to acquire items they actually need and want, from the latest gadgets to jewelry, gaming systems to baby clothes.

“Our users were tired of trying to win Listia auctions without knowing what the ending price would be, so we worked hard over the last year to develop the world’s first future-price-prediction engine,” said Gee Chuang, CEO of Listia. “The average home in America is riddled with over $7,000 in unused stuff, so we’re thrilled to help people leverage that value to get things they actually want. Now, instead of ‘sniping’ at the last second, our new feature will allow people to simply ‘know’ how much to bid without having to compete with anyone.”

The feature will be rolled out slowly to a group of beta users as a Listia Perk over the next 48 months and is expected to be fully available on April 1, 2034. Users can activate the feature for a small fee.

About Listia

Listia is a trading marketplace that helps anyone turn their unwanted clutter into things they want and need, all for free. Founded in 2009, Listia is headquartered in the heart of Mountain View, CA and is backed by General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Y Combinator and others. For more information, visit www.listia.com. Download Listia’s mobile app for both iPhone and Android devices.

 

Edit (4/2/14): Hope everyone enjoyed our April Fool’s joke :) Thanks from all of us at Listia!

 

New Badge Display

Happy 2014! One of the first new features of the year is our new badge view that we released this afternoon! Here’s a little summary of the details and reasoning behind it.

  • You can now click on your badges and a popup will open displaying the details of the badge
  • There are badges that have tiers/levels and badges that don’t. If a badge has multiple levels you will see an icon in the actual badge. In the popup you’ll also be able to see what levels you’ve reached and what criteria it took to get there. Click the “See All” link to see more details.
  • One downside is that the count of number of badges you have has probably gone down for most of you. This is a new way that we are counting badges where we no longer are counting each level as an individual badge. The main reason for this is because we’re making room for more badges.
  • Bigger badge images!
  • Oh and did I mention… more badges soon!!!

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This is where you may see a slight difference. We no longer include the number of times you have leveled up for each badge.

 

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Click the “See All” link to see how many times you’ve leveled up with a specific badge

 

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If a higher level is available you’ll see what it is and the criteria to get there. Cool huh?

 

We are still taking a close look at a couple odd things during this change (including a few reports of missing badges). We’re on top of it and any issue with this should be resolved soon!

Let’s Get Digital

Today, we’re announcing a new way to list and find digital items on Listia! In the past, items such as e-books, codes, electronic gift cards, and other digital items that can be delivered electronically (via email) have been mixed in with the physical goods that make up the majority of listings on Listia. This made digital items difficult to find and also made it hard to just browse physical items in certain categories.

To solve these problems, we’re introducing a new delivery method called “digital delivery.” All digital goods from now on should be listed with this delivery method checked to ensure that other users will be able to find your items quickly and easily. Digital goods should no longer be listed with any physical delivery options such as “free shipping” or “local pickup” etc.  This listing feature was just released, and the second part of this feature (described below) will be released next week.

On the browsing side, you will be able to filter your results and include or exclude digital goods depending on what you are looking for. So, for example if you are looking for books but don’t want to include e-books, you can simply uncheck the “digital delivery” checkbox and continue browsing.  On the other hand, if you are only looking for electronically delivered gift cards, you can check the “digital delivery” checkbox and uncheck the other shipping and local pickup checkboxes.  This part is greyed-out currently but will be released next week.

As digital goods become a larger part of our marketplace and online commerce in general, we are committed to providing easy ways to find and discover these types of items when browsing the site. Let us know what you think of the new features and whether you find them helpful in the comments below. Thanks!

New Category Select UI

Today we’re releasing a snazzy new way to select a category and subcategory when you list your item!  You can just try it out or read on for more details.

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You’ll notice that the form field looks slightly different.  When you click on it you should see something like this:

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Once you select your main category you will be prompted to select a subcategory:

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One difference is that it is now required to select a subcategory.  When your selection is incomplete you will see a “Select…” prompt in red.  If you find that a subcategory doesn’t fit for your item you can select the “Other” subcategory.  Once you’ve completed your selection it should look something like:

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Tada!

We’re gearing up for some category updates soon that will take full advantage of this new UI so stay tuned!  Enjoy!

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