Founder Chats: Tradem – Kings, Kids, Commerce, and Super Skilled Students

Today we’ve got Marcelo!

Hi, Jake. My name is Marcelo I’m building Tradem – a marketplace for teens and kids to trade second-hand goods. They get to declutter their room. They get to make some money and help the environment by doing it.

And there’s an accompanying parent app so they can exercise control. By having that access it makes the marketplace very safe for the kids and the parents. We hope that the kids and the parents will have fun doing it and learning to deal with money and helping the environment.

And why did you start Tradem?

The idea behind Tradem is just really to have kids understanding economic life. It’s basically giving kids the opportunity to do real business and to handle money. I came with the idea because I have 4 kids, two of them teenagers, and I was struggling to teach them the value of things and the value of money.

We know that pocket money can help but learning how business works and making their own money is even more important. So then that’s when we realized, it would be interesting if they had a chance to do business, to sell something and make some money.

We live in a very consumption focused world – it just makes children just want more and more things. And this is definitely not sustainable. We need to change our consumption habits, and if we teach kids to do business early on, maybe they will develop healthier consumer habits and that will help us have a more sustainable society.

Yeah, absolutely. I think that it’s two really good sort of problems to address, which is just the nature of consumption itself. But then also just the education of teaching kids, how the real world feels and behaves in terms of commerce.

There’s a few people trying to address the money management for kids area, but you’ve gone a step further with the commerce side. How did you get to that idea rather than focusing purely money management?

I live in the Netherlands where once a year they celebrate Kings Day. On this day kids are allowed to sell things on the street and that was basically the inspiration for Tradem. We realized kids just love to do this! We interviewed  them on one King’s day – we actually have footage on it – and found out they just love to make their own money by selling things.

We thought if we could build something where all kids have a chance to learn how to do business early on, they’ll become much more confident later on in life.

Pocket money is an important part of the of the financial education, but it only teaches you the financial part, which is savings, handling money and deciding where to spend on. But making your own money is what is one step further. It is how you actually learn the value of things.

And you’re two years in now, what do you wish you had known before starting?

Well, there are several things we wish we knew.

I wish I’d had more experience with marketplaces. I should have studied marketplace dynamics beforehand because it is different to other businesses. I wish I had that context and I’m still learning because I was a banker for 20 plus years and marketplaces is just not part of my skillset. So I’m still learning.

The other thing that I wish I knew, and I would advise people to do, is to spend as much time as possible with your customer. Just try to learn all that you possibly can, all their desires, issues. They might tell you what they would like to have, but there are lots of things that they want and you just need to find out by asking the right questions, trying to read between the lines.

How do you try and stay productive on a week-to-week basis? helps you work at a hundred percent?

I would say first, stay healthy with your routine, try to have a healthy lifestyle. Sports, exercise, eat healthy. It helps you to have a clear mind to make decisions. And if you are energized, you’ll be productive.

Also, don’t miss celebrating your victories, appreciate what you’ve learnt. That’s how you keep motivated and that is what will keep you going.

And when you look at your day to day work, what sort of tasks do you choose to tackle yourself and what sort of tasks do you choose to delegate?

Thinking about how I’ve used Paperound Taskers – I tend to look for Taskers that fit a particular style more than thinking about the actual task itself. So when I choose a tasker I’m thinking about them as a person, what they’re interested in? What they’ve previously worked on? And picking a great individual to nail a task. So I try to make sure they are going to be successful with the tasks that I’m giving them, and setting myself up to build relationship with great freelancers through Paperound.

And when you’ve used students to get tasks done, how has that helped in terms of results and progress?

Well, when I started using students, it was interesting because I thought they were going to be much less efficient and much less knowledgeable than they are actually, I was impressed with their expertise. Particularly with the things that I’m using, like social media, market research, content writing.

They are incredibly skilled and talented and not too far from experienced professionals. So I think you get so much more with students and much better cost benefits than you would initially think so. I think it’s definitely worthwhile to try them and use them because student Taskers can offer a lot. Their rate is very affordable, it’s incredibly cheap to use them. And you still get quality service.

And lastly, you’re an entrepreneur now. But you’ve also had 20 years building a career as well. What’s the kind of advice you’d give to someone who is a student now who’s, who’s got big dreams and aspirations for their career?

To be determined. Stick to what you think you’re going to be successful in, and just go for it. Make use of your talents and develop skills that you think will be easier for you to succeed in. Success takes time and effort so don’t give up.

Check out Tradem at