Billion-dollar startup Letgo is becoming the go-to app for selling your stuff -- here's how it works

Letgo FoundersLetgoLetgo founders Alec Oxenford, Enrique Linares, and Jordi Castello.

There are dozens of ways to sell your used stuff these days. But an app called Letgo wants to overtake services like Craigslist and Facebook to become the go-to destination for buying and selling used products.

In the process, Letgo has become the startup world’s newest unicorn — worth over $US1 billion, having raised more than $US375 million to date.

Letgo was founded in 2015 and is available for iPhone and Android devices. The premise is simple: Snap a photo of something you’d like to sell, post it to the app, and chat with potential buyers.

Letgo is consistently one of the top 50 free apps in the App Store, vying for dominance with a similar app, OfferUp. But Letgo is rapidly gaining ground: The company announced on Wednesday that it’s hit 75 million downloads, about 2.5 times more than it had in 2016.

Here’s what it’s like to use the Letgo app:

Letgo's focus is on local buying and selling -- the app uses your location to show you items for sale in your geographic location.

Letgo

The app's interface is simple. It looks a lot like Pinterest upon first opening the app -- images of items up for sale are listed in a vertical, image-heavy feed.

You can see everything all at once, or you can narrow it down using the colourful buttons at the top if you're looking for something like electronics or fashion. Or, you can use the search bar to look up a specific type of item. You can also filter your feed by distance, price, and how new the item is.

Letgo says it sees about 500,000 listings go up every day.

Letgo uses image recognition to help you post your items. Once you snap a photo, the app can recognise what the product is and automatically build the listing and put it in the right category so shoppers can easily find it.

Letgo

On the other end, Letgo will automatically suggest messages to send to the seller, like 'Is this item still available?' or 'Is the price negotiable?'

Buyers and sellers can chat with each other without leaving the app or handing out their phone numbers and email addresses. You can negotiate price or find a time to meet in person, but you can't use the app to send and receive money.

Letgo

Letgo says it's seen 3 billion messages sent in its first two years, which equates to about 9 million per day.

Once you've bought something on the app, you can rate your experience with the seller and leave a comment. That rating will show up in their profile on the app.

Letgo

Letgo is free to download and use, and is available on both the App Store and the Google Play Store.

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