BoolaBooks. Scan. Sell. Save.

case-study

28 Nov 2017

If you look at BoolaBooks, our biggest competitor is definitely Facebook Marketplaces/Facebook groups. It’s really the only other e-commerce site with a strong network requirement (as compared to eBay or Craigslist etc). Facebook has the obvious advantage that a lot of people already have Facebook accounts and are familiar with the site.

An interesting case study, and one we’re following at BoolaBooks particularly, is how Facebook Marketplace will compete with LetGo and OfferUp, two startups that compete directly with Facebook Marketplace on geo-localized marketplaces. One might think that Facebook would have the headstart given the consolidation and familiarity advantages brought up earlier, but so far it does not seem that LetGo and OfferUp are slowing down.

Looking at articles and statements from the CEOs of LetGo and OfferUp, one thing is imminently clear: loyalty to a given app and a really focused & specialized product are key drivers of success. Facebook is ultimately good at so many things but when it comes to specializing at a particular problem, is it the best solution? The answer is unclear, but LetGo and OfferUp certainly don’t think so: https://aimgroup.com/2016/10/19/facebook-marketplace-letgo-and-offerup-respond/.

Looking at our model with BoolaBooks, we hold similar opinions. Our site is designed to cater to a specific problem and market: college campuses and students with expensive textbooks. For example, our ability to focus on textbooks and colleges means that students can list & find books in the way they think about them: in terms of the classes they need them for. It also means we can make the listing process a one-step process (typing an ISBN) rather than an arduous task of listing all the details about the book.