Launched two years ago, the French second-hand market for children shows favorable figures: 400,000 sales, 800,000 downloads and 200,000 unique monthly visitors.
“What you have more expensive costs you less.” Meeting the needs of your offspring at a lower cost is now possible if we believe the slogan that concludes the commercial for Beebs it has been broadcast on television since March 2022. Beebs, a French start-up, finds its origins in the summer of 2019, when, one month apart, Arsène Huot and Morgan Hilmi become parents. After the birth of their children, they face the economic reality of the (high) cost of a child: “When you have children, you consume much more than before. And the needs of children, which are regularly renewed, induce the purchase of products that don’t last long, ”says Morgan Hilmi. The Ministry of Health estimates that the average annual cost of a child is 9,000 euros, a substantial sum, especially for less well-off households.
“Successive confinements have been real accelerators for the second-hand market”
In addition to this financial observation, young parents are concerned about a growing carbon footprint. Arsène Huot, a developer, and Morgan Hilmi, an e-commerce specialist, decided to quit their job to launch Beebs in early 2020. In this second-hand market, individuals can now sell items for children between the ages of 0 and 18 through a website. then in an application. The first confinement March 2020 could have marked the halt of the project, but on the contrary, it is a benefit to the company. Stranded at home, parents hand out their closets and decide to get rid of things that their children no longer use to sell them online. “Successive confinements have been real accelerators for the second-hand market,” says Morgan Hilmi. In September 2020, after 9 months of existence, 15,000 products are available for sale and 60,000 people use the app.
Interest in this young French thumb is confirmed after the Covid-19 crisis: in June 2021 Beebs raises 3 million euros Investment fund Isaiah and Citizen Capital. The goal of this round is to “expand the teams and launch a marketing strategy to become the specialist in children’s second-hand items,” says the co-founder. A year later, 15 people have joined the team, initially made up of 7 employees. Developers and vendors are now working to improve the customer experience and make the structure known. Morgan Hilmi cites an 8-fold increase in turnover over a year, but refuses to specify the amount. Since its launch, 400,000 products have been sold, 800,000 downloads have been made and 200,000 people visit the website every month. In terms of the volume of orders and the size of the catalog, Beebs has risen to the first place among the French second-hand specialists for minors, certifies the person in charge. In exchange for a 5% commission plus 0.70 euros for each purchase, buyers have access to 300 product categories and 1,500 brands. Users benefit from a reduction of between 40 and 80% compared to the price of new items. Packed clothes, new diapers and toys are the most successful.
Present in Belgium and France, Beebs is constantly innovating to try to turn new people with more or less expensive means into second-hand items. Since May 2022, the installment payment is available to “soften the financial impact of expensive purchases,” illustrates Morgan Hilmi. And to enrich his offer, Beebs does not lack imagination. For safety reasons, some childcare items need to be purchased new or … reconditioned by experts. The founders favor this second option with the presence of specialists in the application: Yoti offers Biicou toys and strollers, all certified to comply with regulations.
Beebs is also defined as a “community” platform. Consumers can discuss in a blog made available to them in the application: favorite brands, comments on articles, all product categories go there. “Behind the sales, an ecosystem has developed with the creation of Facebook groups structured around Beebs,” welcomes Morgan Hilmi, who describes her as “the first user as a seller and buyer.” This traffic around the company increases its visibility and allows it to retain customers in a lasting way. In addition to the provision of a space to share, there is a free access library that brings together nearly 200 guides and tutorials focused on the early years of the child.
The business roadmap doesn’t stop there. Latest news available in June: a quantification of the carbon footprint of its products, a novelty for aa market Second-hand French, according to the founder. Users will be able to discover the environmental impact of their basket compared to buying new items: the carbon footprint of a second-hand piece is ten times smaller than that of a new piece. At the end of the year, users will also be able to subscribe to a subscription that will allow them to highlight their products in the app and make it easier for them to search for articles. In the coming years, Morgan Hilmi hopes to deploy new monetization levers, continue to enrich the catalog with the incorporation of new categories and expand its services abroad so that “the experience of fatherhood crosses borders.”