Way back in the year 2000, Bart and Vincent - the founders of Used.forsale - were already getting themselves heavily involved in the internet.
Computer literate, almost before the term even existed, Bart soon got himself noticed by eBay - who subsequently hired him as part of their European deployment strategy. The internet was relatively undeveloped compared to how we see it today. As the internet grew over time, Bart too was able to evolve his own skills in the various areas of ecommerce and online marketing.
For the next 6 years - and thanks to a lot of hard work and focus - he manages to rise through the ranks at eBay. Secretly however, he is nurturing that dream of one day being independent and having a Company of his own.
Vincent’s forte is web strategy. Long before the likes of Facebook and twitter, Vincent was honing his abilities in SEO, ROI and audience acquisition. Acting as a consultant and strategist, he helps to guide a large number of companies into the age of digitalization, anticipating the developments that have shaped today's internet.
After a term of seven years in consulting, Vincent has become a true and respected expert in the world of digital strategy. With major internet based retail brands gaining shares in the European market, Vincent wishes to seize on the opportunity and utilize the knowledge he has acquired.
It is during 2010 that Bart and Vincent cross paths for the very first time – whilst working for the largest private sales site in the Benelux. For both men, this is to be a year of many fresh and exciting challenges - thanks to this new emerging system of selling that is expanding at an exponential rate.
Their vision of this market is clear: the global crisis has inevitably led to users seeking for more deals and better bargains. Whilst the volume of classified ads was already at an impressive level (500,000/day), they were quick to identify key issues that would affect the user experience. With such a plethora of ads out there, users needed an easier way to navigate through them.
With all this in mind, they formed a concept of a user-friendly “meta site” to be devoted to second-hand and vintage products. This would contain a powerful and intuitive search engine with advanced features. The true challenge now begins. Backed by their respective professional experience and vast knowledge of handling large databases – they set about creating a website that would enable individuals to locate the best deals available from among the millions of classified ads being placed online within the United States.
This is made possible through the creation of advanced algorithms and filters, which allow personalized databases to be generated according to user search profiles. Of course, you had to be a geek to think that one up!
2011 marks the launch of the beta for the first portal devoted entirely to the second-hand market.
Used.forsale begins as a start-up – helped greatly by family and friends who all have a belief in the concept. This IT success story began in a small attic with all available resources being pushed to the limit. The two partners used all their spare time to optimize the site. This involved installing new servers and dealing with any technical problems that would arise on a day-to-day basis. They would religiously monitor and analyze visitor statistics - as well as trading volumes - so that they could continue to evolve their product.
This is a concept that is growing continuously with the objective to better adhere to the needs of individuals in search of second-hand products.
With an active and loyal community of approximately 1.5 million visitors per month in the United States alone, constant innovation and optimization has proven to be essential.
Bart and Vincent have continued the strong momentum with regular additions of new services - such as the recent mobile application for Used.forsale.
The success and growing reputations of the initial sites, has catalyzed the launch of further sites around the globe. Three-musketeers.net is one of the most recent additions to be introduced in 2017. In order to further enhance the user experience, the site has been broken-down into all the major territories of Australia. The user can narrow-down their search so that they only see locally advertised second-hand products. This is especially useful if you want the option to collect the product and view it in person before you buy.
Site-annonce.be serving Belgium and for-sale.co.uk serving the UK - are two of our most established sites and have proven very popular with the second-hand market. For-sale.ie has since been released in Ireland, site-annonce.fr in France and in-vendita.it in Italy. This means we have millions of visitors to our portals every month. Across the North and South America’s, similar websites have been launched with the continuous aspiration to adjust to the needs of each specific country. In Canada we have achieved this with used.forsale/canada and in Brazil we have done it via usadobrasil.com.br. However, the story doesn’t just stop there. Europe is being continually developed, with compra-venta.es in Spain and gebraucht-kaufen.de in Germany now being added. In recent times Asia has become a new focus, but this is still in the very early stages. The platform has however already made its way to India via for-sale.in.
Three-musketeers.net was realized thanks to the knowledge and drive of two collaborating professionals at the top of their game. But much more than this, it was the result of two very special friends and the passion they shared in applying new technologies to the needs of ordinary people.
This philosophy is all about promoting the true spirit of knowledge sharing – which is in stark contrast to the practices and methods of the web industry today – and placing the user at the heart of any project.