Sellervision: Sheridan Simove
Following a career in the TV industry and three successful books, this world record holder talks about selling via video
Name: Sheridan Simove
Company Name: Sellervision
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 1/10/15
No. of employees: 1 (plus a team of over 40 freelancers)
Tell us what your business does:
The Sellervision App is ‘eBay meets YouTube’ – you can buy or sell anything via a 30 second video that’s shot through the app.
With Sellervision, you simply use your phone to shoot a short video, fill out a few details and you’re immediately selling.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I built the app after getting frustrated with the time it takes to list anything on eBay, Amazon or Etsy. It’s such a chore, even using their mobile apps. I saw an opportunity to fix this and offer a better service to people who wanted to sell anything – be it a product or a service.
The app is also a natural amalgamation of my past.
My first career was in television for 15 years (working as a producer and commissioning editor on shows such as Big Breakfast, Space Cadets and Big Brother) and after moving into the gift market, I’ve now created and sold over 1.5 million products around the world.
So, Sellervision is the perfect mix of my expertise in both areas – entertainment and selling.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The market for selling products, and for selling services, is enormous.
I noticed how a number of ‘online sales’ sites were exceptionally successful, but they failed in two big areas – ease of listing and lack of video. Video is the medium of the moment and so I wanted to create an app that showcased it.
Through my research, I found that in the first quarter of 2015 eBay reached 157.3 million active users, Craigslist reaches 60 million in the US alone, Gumtree receives over three million visits per day and Keek has a reported 70 million users.
I also found evidence of video superiority when selling with sites such as Kickstarter. Kickstarter proves that people like to buy from real individuals they watch on video.
If a seller has a video on their Kickstarter project, it is 85% more likely to succeed. That’s because when a seller presents in person on video, they create a personal engagement with every potential buyer.
So, with Sellervision, we want to bring this engaging style to anyone, whether they’re selling their sneakers or offering a half hour yoga lesson.
What were you doing before starting up?
TV shows, books and novelty products.
I was a tv producer for 15 years. I ran The Big Breakfast and headed up 10 series of Big Brother in the UK.
I’ve written two business books Ideas Man and Success Or Your Money Back . I also self-published a book in nine days called What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex. It contains 200 blank pages and has sold over 80,000 copies landing it in the Guinness Book of Records.
I’ve also created and sold over 1.5 million novelty products worldwide.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I read The Magic Of Thinking Big when I was fifteen.
This changed my life and made me believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
How did you raise the money?
Thus far, Sellervision has been bootstrapped from the savings I’ve accrued by selling my novelty gifts and doing motivational speeches for blue chip companies around the world. We are now looking for investment and incubation.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Sellervision has a built-in revenue stream from day one.
We take 5% of each sale made (eBay takes 10%) so when a buyer buys anything, revenue is generated.
We’ve programmed our app so that as soon as a buyer purchases an item, 95% of the fee goes straight to the seller’s PayPal account and 5% goes to the Sellervision PayPal account. This happens immediately and simultaneously.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Numerous! Building an app involves a constant set of challenges, but the thought of millions of people using it keeps you pushing forward and solving problems.
One challenge was creating a good jingle for Sellervision. I decided that it might be incredibly exciting to use the famous Chucklevision theme tune for Sellervision, replacing the word ‘Chucklevision’ with ’Sellervision’.
So, I looked into the copyright and found the tune was created by a very talented guy called Dave Cooke.
When I eventually tracked Dave down, he was a really great chap and we agreed a deal where Sellervision could now use the original melody. What a result! And now I’m looking for musicians to record the new Sellervision jingle.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Landing famous journalist Garry Bushell to list one of his books on the site and having a personal trainer from LA pitching his training classes from the beach next to a bikini-clad client of his.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
All adults are winging it, so you can too. Never lie, but self-promotion is key. If you’re confident, others will be confident in you.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Replacing Hugh Hefner in the Playboy Mansion and knighted – Sir Sheridan has a good ring to it.