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Featured Startup – Giggil.com

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Featured Startup – Giggil.com

Today’s featured startup is Giggil.com, a startup with a simple yet brilliant business model – they take your used stuff and sell it online for you (right now just books, CDs, DVDs and video games – but I am guessing they won’t stop there).  Despite how prevalent selling used goods online has become, there are lots of people and organizations out there that either don’t have the time, the inclination, or the know-how to sell their stuff online.  Others just are no good at (me for one).  Plus there is more to selling books online than posting an ad on craigslist – at least if you want to be successful doing it.  The price needs to be right, the proper online marketplace needs to be identified, the books needs to be properly described…etc.  Giggil does this and more – streamlining the whole process.  Giggil is yet another example of innovative central Indiana entrepreneurs identifying a niche (a HUGE niche, right in plain site, that everyone else seems to have missed), and figuring out a way to commercialize it. I can’t wait to see where they take it next.

Tell us about your startup…your words…whatever you want to say.

Selling used goods online is broken. It is complex and convoluted, and it has left many people feeling confused and discouraged. Giggil decided we were going to do more than just simplify the process, we were going to improve it. In May 2009, Giggil took our first strides towards improvement by creating an easy, environmentally conscious alternative to selling online. Right now, Giggil is an online consignment shop for books, CDs, DVDs, and video games. We help individuals and organizations make more money with almost no effort by marketing and selling their books and media online for them

How did you come up with concept for your business, and how/when did the business model for that concept become clear?

The founders of Giggil wanted a business that could be profitable, and ultimately become national or global in scope. The founders also wanted to start small and without a lot of fundraising. Most importantly, the founders wanted a business that could change the world in a positive way. The trick was finding a big idea on which the business could grow once it had become cash flow positive. To determine which business met all those requirements, the founders debated hundreds of ideas, and the idea for Giggil came out on top

What made you first believe that starting a business is right for you (i.e. as opposed to working for someone else)

Giggil’s CEO likes to joke that brain damage in his childhood made him want to start businesses, but really I think it’s his ability to recognize opportunities for change in the world, and develop businesses that take advantage of those opportunities. When someone has the ability to recognize opportunities like that, the decision to start and grow a business probably comes naturally.

What challenges have you encountered?

We wanted to begin by selling all types of used goods online, but we had to sacrifice that desire in order to perfect our model and build a foundation for rapid future growth. So, we decided to start by selling just books and media. We’re glad we decided to start that way, but we’re excited to ultimately move into all types of used goods.

We’ve also had to sacrifice time and energy. Building a business is thrilling, especially for a great company like Giggil, but it requires a lot of dedication. Most of us work 60-80 hours a week, if not more than that, just to grow the business as quickly as possible.

In your opinion, what makes Indiana a great place to start your business?

The people in Indiana—especially central Indiana—are wonderful. They are intelligent, hard-working, and proud of their state. They want to turn central Indiana into a hot spot of entrepreneurial activity, and they’re passionate about that goal. These people are the reason why the entrepreneurial community here is growing so rapidly. Another thing that makes Indiana a great place to start a business is the limited amount of government interference. Bigger governments in other areas can make starting and growing a business more difficult than it has to be.

If you could give an entrepreneur looking to start a business one piece of advice…what would it be?

Value each and every customer very deeply. Your customers will be the lifeblood of your business; without them, your business will wither and die. So, it’s not enough to simply act like you care about your customers; you must really care about them and their success, because when they succeed, you will too. At the same time, monitor your customer acquisition costs and try to keep them as low as possible.


Stat Sheet:  Giggil.com


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