Last summer, Sellegit Inc., a company that originated at our beloved UC Berkeley campus, recently launched its first auctioning app on the Apple Store: PEACH. This company was founded by five UC Berkeley Class of 2013 undergraduates in 2013. The Clog sat down for an interview with head founder Jeff Zhang to discuss the app’s origins and details.
CLOG: How did you decide to found Sellegit Incorporation?
Jeff Zhang: At the very beginning, I sensed there was a great demand on bargains. Four of my friends and I came together and created the auction website called Sellegit in 2013. After graduating from Cal, two of our co-founders left the team, and three of us remained and finally registered Sellegit as a real company soon. Sellegit, the website, only targeted on the local community, so we eventually found it unsatisfactory. In the summer of 2014, we all sat down and developed this present app called “PEACH,” which was released soon afterwards.
CLOG: How does PEACH work?
Jeff: The process is pretty simple: there are numerous luxury and light luxury goods waiting for auctions online, and each has its own “starting time.” For example, if you are very into a Kate Spade handbag, you must be aware of its starting time. Let’s say it will start 11 o’clock tomorrow morning. Then you need to wait for the exact time and enter into the auction with all other users who are also interested in purchasing it. PEACH only allows nine minutes for every auction, which means the bidding process will strictly end after nine minutes. The person that bids the highest, gets the product.
CLOG: What type of customers do you primarily focus on?
Jeff: Speaking of gender, we focus on female customers without a doubt. As for the age, it ranges from college young female students, to elder females just like my grandma, haha! No kidding, currently our most loyal customer is an old lady from Australia, who places orders every month on PEACH. I personally noticed it, and decided to write her a letter telling her thank you last Black Friday.
CLOG: It sounds a little complicated. Are customers satisfied with such structure?
Jeff: We only have a 2 percent return rate, which actively reflects the high satisfaction among our customers. Let me elaborate a bit more here: PEACH is not like any other auction websites because it actually serves fully on customers’ satisfaction. If you win a product yet eventually hesitate to pay the money, you can totally give up on it. The product will be relisted without charging you any fee. What’s more, PEACH promotes a type of auction called “pay the second price”. For instance, if you win the bag with a price of $1,000, and the second highest bidder was $700, you can, in fact, pay the second highest bidding price — $700 when you check out. As a result, PEACH really has gained a great number of loyal customers around the world.
CLOG: What’s one of your biggest challenges when managing PEACH?
Jeff: So, five of our original co-founders, three left currently, were all men. We had no idea about girls’ fashion! At first we really wanted to do computers selling, but there’s no future for price-transparent products like computers. It’s very awkward for us to deal with fashion business sometimes.
CLOG: How did your experience as a Cal undergraduate help you to develop this project?
Jeff: I was an international transfer student from Xiamen, China. The college education of the U.S. was so different from that of China. I would never imagine that I first came in and immediately found myself always being a bottom student in my economics and math classes. Such a frustration and pressure shaped my personality and patience. With the great amount of effort, I made big progress for my future at Cal. I genuinely appreciate what Cal taught and gave me. I would not succeed in my business without my undergrad experience as a UC Berkeley student, no matter how bitter, how tough it was. Thanks, Berkeley!
Contact Megan Wang at [email protected].