Toronto Startup: ShopLocket Easily Sell Anything INTERVIEW

Ever had something you wanted to sell on the internet? Sure you have. Maybe you thought signing up for ebay, setting up an account and then trusting Paypal was too much of a pain in the butt?  Maybe you wanted to sell your item on Craigslist but you didn’t want to deal with 100 emails telling you they would send you $10,o00 for your $400 item.  Well if you thought online selling was a pain, ShopLocket could possibly be the cure.

ShopLocket is a Toronto based startup which promises to make listing your item online as easy as embedding a YouTube video anywhere. You can embed it on your Facebook page, Tumblr, Posterous,Blogger, WordPress, other web page, blog or anywhere else that you would like. If you don’t know how to embed a YouTube video, no worries ShopLocket will teach you how to embed your item.

There are three easy steps to listing an item on ShopLocket, just create your sale, share it and sell it. You can sell whatever you want. Got some old baseball cards? Sell them. Have an old cell phone? Sell it! Want to teach guitar lessons, no problem.  Best of all there is no coding required.

As for payment, yes you can trust the overlords at PayPal but they also use the new payment service Stripe as well.

We got to talk with ShopLocket and their truly innovative service in the interview below:

What is ShopLocket?

ShopLocket lets people sell anywhere online instantly. Rather than building out a full online storefront, which can be time consuming and expensive, or listing in a marketplace, which feels too unprofessional, users are able to quickly share a link to their product or embed it right on their website. ShopLocket aims to make selling a product online as easy and as social as embedding a Youtube video.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Katherine Hague – Co-Founder, CEO
Katherine has worked as an independent digital media consultant, Shopify Theme Developer, and in a variety of Marketing positions for Toronto-based startups. Last summer Katherine was looking for a way to sell some cute t-shirts she had custom made. Despite a variety of solutions available to help sellers set up online retail stores, she couldn’t find an easy solution for those just wanting to sell a single product from their website, blog, or Facebook page. Katherine decided that hers was a problem worth solving. ShopLocket now provides a simple platform for anyone to start selling in minutes.

Andrew Louis – Co-Founder, CTO
Andrew fell in love with computers through SimCity and then programming through QBASIC. After some self-didacticism, a Computer Science degree, and an internship at a Big Corporation, he set about using his programming abilities to empower non-technical people to change the world. When Katherine—a friend and sometimes-collaborator—told Andrew about ShopLocket, he thought the idea of helping people sell stuff online was a cause to get behind. He’s now responsible for all things tech.

Where are you based?

ShopLocket is based in downtown Toronto.

What is the startup scene/culture like in Toronto? Do you have access to all the resources you need there?

The startup scene is booming in Toronto. It was recently ranked as the fourth best place in the world for tech startups (behind only The Valley, NY and London). There are a lot of talented people in the area building amazing things. In addition to the abundance of talent in the area, there are also a lot of tech incubators and accelerators in Toronto as well. ShopLocket recently came out of the Extreme Startups accelerator program ( which was put together by five of Canada’s top VCs.

How did you come up with the idea?

Like most ideas, the concept for ShopLocket really came out of a need. Katherine had some shirts that she wanted to sell for a consulting business that she was running. She just had one product to sell, but realized that there wasn’t a very good way to sell it. Building out a full online storefront would be time consuming and expensive, and listing in a marketplace wasn’t professional enough. It seemed like she had a simple problem, but there wasn’t a simple solution. From that, the idea for ShopLocket was born.

What is the problem ShopLocket solves?

When people are looking to sell online, they usually have to spend a lot of time and money to have an online store. Conversely, they could list in a marketplace, but that’s too unprofessional for most people and they feel like they get lost in these markets. If you’re a band selling your shirt on eBay, people aren’t going there to search for your band, unless you’re Coldplay. If someone wants to sell using ShopLocket, they just need to fill out our quick product creation wizard, then decide how they want to share. They can either provide a link back to their product page, or embed it right on their website. In the end, they are given a professional, social way to sell without any design or coding knowledge.

What is your secret sauce?

I think what separates us from a lot of different ways of selling online is how easy and social it is to sell. In minutes, someone can have a professional way to sell online. In addition to that, if someone likes the product that you’re selling, they’re able to either share a link to that product with their friends, or even embed it right in their own site.

What is one dilemma you face in the startup process?

I think a dilemma that everyone faces is: are you building something that people actually want? A lot of great ideas solve a personal need, but you have to make sure that you’re solving the needs of more than just yourself. Given the traction that we’ve seen and after talking to countless users, we’ve seen that we are definitely onto something.

What is one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?

I think a major challenge that we’ve had to overcome is being a young team without an established track record. With tech startups, having a young team certainly isn’t unheard of, but you still need to prove that you’ve got the skillset to build a company. Getting into the Extreme Startups program really has given us a lot of credibility. Through the program we’ve learned a lot and have had great access to industry leading mentors that have opened a lot of doors for us.

What’s next for ShopLocket?

Right now, we’ve built a great simple product that helps people sell online instantly. Going forward, we’re going to be expanding our team and expanding on our vision. You’ll be seeing a more powerful feature set, well at the same time keeping our core focused on helping people sell is the easiest way possible.


Check out ShopLocket here at

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