36 Year Old Makes $62 Million Relying On Honesty of Strangers

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

36 year old e-commerce entrepreneur Yusuke Mitsumoto had an idea: “what if I pay people instantly for their used goods and then trust them to give them to me?”

Crazy, right?

Mitsumoto launched an app in June to test the idea, quickly realizing that that people – surprise – went for the money, putting him on the hook for $3.2 million (360 million yen).

“after 16 hours, he was stunned to discover he was on the hook for 360 million yen ($3.2 million) and shut the service down. A day later, truckloads of clothes and electronics gadgets started to arrive, with his startup’s employees forming a bucket line to move packages into his company’s tiny office in Tokyo.” –Bloomberg

But then, to Mitsumoto's surprise – people took the money and then brought their stuff as promised! At the end of the day, only 1 out of 10 second-hand-sellers didn’t deliver.

In August, Mitsumoto relaunched the service called Cash, as a new way to gather inventory for an online flea market. Total daily purchases are capped at 10 million yen – and must be comprised of items on a list including; smartphones, luxury apparel, watches, clothing, and other specific items on a list of several thousand.

Customers can also snap pictures of their items and shoot over a non-negotiable offer.

Via Bloomberg: 

It was a social experiment,” said Mitsumoto, who started selling goods on the web in 1996. He later launched Stores.jp, Japan’s version of Shopify, which he sold and then bought back. “Of course, I believed that good people would outnumber the bad, but the question was by how much. That’s not something you can find out without trying.”

Big business

The market for second-hand goods is strong in Japan, valued at over 1.6 trillion yen ($14 billion USD). Yahoo Japan Corp. operates the country’s largest online auction site, Mercari, which became the first Japanese startup to be valued over $1 billion.

So when Keishi Kameyama – one of Japan’s richest entrepreneurs and founder of DMM.com came along, Mitsumoto agreed to sell Cash to DMM for 7 billion yen ($62 million USD) and continue running the business.

“For people doing internet businesses in Japan, DMM is a scary presence,” Mitsumoto said. “You never know when they may launch their own business and become a tough rival. I figured it’s best to at least meet.”


Indeed, a week after the deal was announced, Mercari launched an identical offering. The move by Cash proved that there was a need for such a service, said Takeo Iyo, the vice president in charge of Mercari Now. –Bloomberg

So – what do you think, would a thrift shop app work outside of an honor-based society like Japan?

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jmack Richard Chesler Tue, 12/05/2017 - 09:17 Permalink

I am quite versed in MSM SOP.  The fact is, while the baltimore example is probably blacks. The same issue exists in many white areas that are meth or opoid ridden.  I have  a house, which i could crap on the porch and some meth head would steal the steaming pile within 24 hours.         Assigning a racial dimension to it ignores the underlying causes of why these societies become low trust communities, and only aid the people that are creating these low trust communities.

In reply to by Richard Chesler

jin187 jmack Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:56 Permalink

Straight lies. I've lived in or near a number of "meth or opoid ridden" low-class white areas. While property crime is higher than middle-class areas, the gang activity, and the violent crime numbers aren't much different.

As a matter of fact, the area I'm in now is a heavily mixed area, where whites, blacks, latinos, and Asians all have their own low-income communities right next to one another, and their own gangs for that matter. There's a murder, and multiple robberies in the black neighborhood almost every day. In the other races' "ghettos", you might hear about a domestic incident, or a break-in, or a fight involving knives, or a gun being pulled, but almost never anything worse.

It's a matter of culture, and nothing more. All you need to do is look at the statistics for African immigrants, vs Americans of African descent, to tell it has nothing to do with skin color or poverty.

In reply to by jmack

OCnStiggs Tue, 12/05/2017 - 07:41 Permalink

Those racist Japanese men. They don't rape enough and by doing so, make men in Baltimore and Detroit and Chicago look bad. That is just racism.Japan needs a government sponsored social program to encourage more raping. Pay guys to rape. As long as they vote for the PTB, no one gets any jail time, just cushy "rehab" time. I can hear the radio ads now, "If you like your rapist, you can keep your rapist!"Just sayin' 

Whatta Tue, 12/05/2017 - 09:12 Permalink

That shit will work until it becomes big enough for the Scoundrel Economy to kill it. "Nigerian Princes" will run right over honesty ever freaking time.

TheAnswerIs42 Tue, 12/05/2017 - 09:18 Permalink

It is hard to believe, but even in tribal countries like Zimbabwe, people are honest enough that street vendors leave their products outside, unguarded overnight and nobody ever touches them!  And given that the unemployment rate is over 90%, there is NO cash and families go hungry. 

jin187 stacking12321 Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:35 Permalink

Unless you're churning your own butter, sewing your own clothes, and plucking your own chickens, you depend on others. Standing there talking about how self-reliant you are because you have a 6-figure white collar job, while someone else lives in squalor and gets a gubmint check for $600 a month to supplement their burger flipping, is why people hate conservatives.

Hell, you don't even have to be rich. The average American works about 2500 hours a year, and is probably surrounded by 100000 man/hours worth of goods and services, mostly created by 3rd world slave labor, or close to it. Every time you buy something from SE Asia, or South/Central America, you've pretty much said "fuck individualism, I need moar stuff".

In reply to by stacking12321

Pandelis NAVIGATOR0832 Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:54 Permalink

Bitcoin is right - the currency of the "lumpen proletars" outside of central banking rigged system. ... everyone is able to mine it himself and become filfthy rich through hard work. Viva Bitcoin the currency of the little people - there are a few thousands other secret coding crypto currency - the trick to pick the winner ... i guess got to wait for the dick eater ... Macaffeee or one of these vloss brothers i am sure they will be lucky enough to pick the winner

In reply to by NAVIGATOR0832

jin187 TheAnswerIs42 Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

Oh, there's plenty of cash. They use trillion dollar bills as kindling there.

Also, in countries like Zimbabwe, getting caught stealing from a street vendor is a good way to end up with broken bones, not just a trip to city jail for a few hours. The street vendors are like an elite neighborhood watch. They will bust your ass if they catch you, and the cops, if any are even around, will just watch and laugh.

I actually saw a hilarious video awhile back. These two guys had pulled an armed robbery at a jewelry store in a small town, in the Philippines I think, and killed someone in the process. The whole village immediately hunted them down, tied them up, and dragged them to the outskirts of town, and stoned them to death. The best part was this one dude that had an entire armload of baseball-sized rocks. He launches one, and hits the guy in the nuts, and so the guy moves his arms to cover his nuts. Then it's head, head, head, head, head, until the guy covers his head again, and soon as he does, it's right back to the nuts with the biggest rock.

In reply to by TheAnswerIs42