Primestox.com , a P2P lending outfit that has trappings of sanity like a nice web site. It has high annual percentage payback rates on very small short-term small investments if all goes well, and next to no references from other web pages. So I decided to invest about £100 yesterday, and write this referring page which I revise now and then. There's also a link to a P2P invoice finance company further down which might interest the same people, and a P2P business capital company which is good for secured loans on equipment. I don't know why I wrote "capital" rather than "finance" but I think it looks good for larger amounts.
The Primestox contract
primestox.com/faq/ + a brochure or ask customerservice@... or the formal version: primestox.com/terms-and-conditions
Investors have a right to a parcel of food on default
The firm finances food for investors, and, being a P2P platform, investors own the food. Other P2P systems are a bit theoretical about this, but not Primestox, where it is a point of pride and and spelt-out in some detail, with inevitable gaps. The food is financed over about three months during manufacture, sale to a shop, and payment back to the manufacturer. Each investor owns the right to an individual parcel of food, with free delivery, if the process goes wrong. A pound of flesh for example. The food is branded, upmarket, and valued at a near-retail price somewhere like Waitrose. There is no link from one lender to one physical piece of food until the parcel is made-up, but there is a good chance that a food company will have food to spare if not money, and there is a more general link between one batch of loans to the food company and one batch of food produced.
A way of funding food production - incentives for producers
primestox.com/producers/ is the new producer's page or ask producers@...
+44 (0) 207 846 0153
I'm not a producer / borrower, and wrote this before the producer's page appeared, but here is a rough impression of how it might work. After reading the new producers' page I see that you sell the stock to Primestox rather than strickly borrowing - I just slip into using the word sometimes.
Promoting the food, retail, wholesale, and the brand in the backgroundP2P finance makes your business public to people on each platform who become interested in your brand. It allows you to offer a cash back deal that encourages some lenders to think about buying your food. Some do. Some of then claim cash back This is a more targeted kind of promotion than a loan raised on Seedrs or Crowdcube, where some food firms fund production.
If lenders want food instead of repayment on a small loan, better still - Primestox encourages them to email, and will forward requests on to you.
"CrowdCube does a fantastic job of publicising SMEs. But does this always lead to sales? PrimeStox's product focus can boost revenues of our producers. " -primestox.com/comparison
"From the manufacturers perspective this will finance inventory and drive sales to consumers. A positive double whammy! ", - review in Informatia.
Lenders are called "friends". I'm a blogger; I don't know much about the human relations, but this doesn't sound quite right. Lenders have an incentive to remember the food, and maybe buy some. They might mention the food to people or at least give it away to neighbours if any of it is plonked on their doorstep. Some lenders may be bloggers or tweeters or chatterboxes or dinner hosts or potential stockists. They might offer the cash-back deal to to someone else. They also have an incentive to fund small amounts, simply because of the risk of plonking, so there are a more plonkees per batch of food than lenders per loan on other P2P sites - it's like crowd funding with extra incentives to buy food.
The link to your brand and sales pitch remains on the Primestox site for as long as they want to show their track record, which is probably a long time.
Formal way for informal contacts to lendIf a food producer has relatives, customers, or any kinds of contacts who want to take a flutter, this provides a formal way that they can do it without having to draw-up a contract. The producer just puts-up a poster for Primestox. The contact sees the url, logs-on out of curiosity, and might take a punt. It might even be a good way to lend the same way if there is ever too much money in the bank.
Promoting the food for clearance wholesaleThis is un-tested, but from a food producers' point of view it might be good to be known to a lot of foodies, just in case one of them can offer a price for specialised food near its sell-by date. Maybe one is a shopkeeper who will try selling the stuff and order some more when it runs-out. My search of twitter mentions reveals a physics teacher, a football journalist and a P2P lending enthusiast who likes bitcoin. I am a P2P enthusiast too, but one who advertises a facebook page to vegans for a vegan shoe shop, so I could help try to clear products for the vegan market. Maybe some of the other investors are foodies or will be, because each food industry borrower tends to promote the platform and I imagine that the lenders who follow will have a food interest, looking back over past loans as they lend in future.
Incentives to borrowers compared to invoice finance, banks & crowd funding
Security. The name says it. Other lenders start by asking about the business, then very quickly ask for as much security as for a personal loan. If the loan goes bad they can hardly be bothered to think about the value of stock. A personal guarentee can only be given so many times. For example at Investly invoice finance, when either side somehow messes-up - either the shop or the supplier - then the loan is backed by the supplier's personal guarantee. Called-in for payment, this could be a distraction that causes stress and legal costs all round rather than paying-back the lenders or letting the borrower get-on with earning a living, so anyone who is short of credit might use Primestox for all of a loan, while another borrower might use some combination of Primstox and Investly.
Small loans allowed. The track record says it. The smallest loan on their web site so far is £3,000, while Rebuildingsociety has a minimum loan amount of £25,000. Investly will lend from 1,000 and Marketinvoice has a calculator that starts at £5,000 with a minimum £250 fee to match.
Compared to 1.65-2.6% monthly interest for invoice finance on InvestlyInvestly is a P2P site where lenders lend the value of an invoice not yet paid. Borrowers and interest rates come-and-go: the UK part of their market is small, like Primestox. Their site says borrowers pay 1.65-2.6% a month - about 20-35% annually. If the invoice has not yet been agreed, there is no loan; it is only for a month or so between sending an invoice to the shop and getting paid. Assuming the shop doesn't want to pay before production, that leaves a lot of ingredients and work to finance, even before sending the food and the invoice. So invoice finance just competes with the last month or so of the three-month cycle that Primestox typically finances. Primstox' one press mention, in Informita New, December 2016, says that there aren't many stock or inventory finance companies - "there are some out there who have had limited success, but none have hit the market in a bit way", so the niche-within-a-niche of the "perishable" could do with a specialist P2P firm. There has also been a shortage of cheap bank loans to smaller firms, allowing P2P markets like Rebuildingsociety to fill the gap and make loans secured on equipment or buildings.
Benefit compared to a bankIt's a kind of civic duty to find alternatives to banks at the moment, but there are financial reasons to avoid them as well. Everybody knows that they have high costs. Everybody knows that banks are short of money, so there is a higher chance of refusal to lend, expensive rates, minimum sized loans, minimum lengths of loan, compulsory bundled products like life insurance, irritating behaviour like "computer says no", back-seat driven bank managers, or the notorious recovery team at RBS.
In contrast, Primestox offer a little very targeted advertising, tempting people to go into shops and buy the food. A better deal than borrowing more money to pay for advertising. Which is presumably why some firms experiment with sites like Indiegogo and Crowdcube to rase cash; Primestox pitches itself in the same market.
Primestox.com/comparison v Indiegogo, Market Invoice, Crowdcube & RatesettterA neat point-by-point comparison chart. - Indiegogo is a donation or investment platform that doesn't necessarily offer rewards to investors. - Crowdcube offers shares as a reward, which pay no dividend and can only be sold at another funding round. There is no other security like security on specific stock or a personal guarantee. - Market Invoice is an invoice finance site, that I don't know about as a lender because they have a very high minimum investment. - Ratesetter is a consumer credit and low-risk lending site.
My first two or three investments...
- £30 for 16 x ¼ litre fruit juice, cold-pressed @ £15 a litre.
- £20 for 20 x 60g fruit energy bars @ £16.66 a kilo. For comparison, ClearanceXL tries to sell 60g fruit energy bars at a quarter the price - four for a pound plus delivery. If they were buying they'd want to pay - what? - 10p a bar sale or return for some minimum amount?
- £20 for 200g of vanilla paste @ £100 a kilo
- £25 for 10 x 200g pots of fermented pickle @ £12.50 a kilo. This is usually home-made or sold in wholefood markets apparently.
- £20 for 10 x 500g packs of frozen chips, sweet potato, battered @ £4 a kilo. MySupermarket shows a few shops selling sweet potato crisps, with the smaller packs or upmarket brands around £4 a kilo while typical prices are £2.60 or less on special offer or under £2 at Aldi. Waitrose sells these battered ones at £5.60 a kilo. The same brand has some crisps at ClearanceXL (see below) but I get this wrong at first glance - they are crisps and not these chips.
Incentives for lenders
CashbackIf you buy the food in a shop, borrowers might offer a cashback deal, should you be organised enough to keep the receipt and send it in. Maybe when the payment comes, you could use it to buy a packet of food with the cashback deal. Primestox suggest you email them if you want food instead of interest,
Flutter of excitement - food is delivered to you if the borrower can't payFor investments of a few tenners, the excitement is in the flutter. A parcel of food might turn-up one day if the payment doesn't. If payment does arrive, you could use it with a cashback scheme to get a packet of food, or put it towards beer and fags and gambling debts. For investments of two or three hundred pounds, it's trickier. Nobody knows the risk of the borrower not paying - whether one in twenty or one in a hundred. If a borrower can't pay, nobody knows the chance of some compromise offer like selling at clearance prices to Approved Food at a lot less than the price you paid. The bottom of this blog post lists some firms that make offers for wholesale food near its sell-by date. If you have to take delivery of more food than you can eat, there is not much else online to say what you can do with it but you might have some use for bulk food and have all sorts of schemes. Talking of excitement, the hobby of thinking about food might encourage you to curry some over-date veg in the fridge instead of throwing it away, so you save that way as well.
InterestThere is interest of one or two pounds on the sizes of investment I've described and a three month loan, but there is a tick box you can tick to invest a lot more. One or two pounds is a lot of interest on ten or twenty pounds, for a three month loan. The annual percentage rates are near the top end of what investors can get. In comparison Investly invoice finance pays around 10-20% to lenders on an auto-lend system: the loans only last month, but your cash is re-lent automatically to the next one and it costs nothing to sign-up. Other platforms like Rebuildingsociety had high rates of interest on offer when they started, which gradually dropped in an auction system.
Leahman Brothers director
For borrowers and lenders - Default: what next?
This is a hunch. I have never dabbled in commodities trading so I might be quite ignorant about how often it comes to the crunch and commodites get delivered to lenders. And none of this has happened.
I guess that food companies want good publicity from their borrowing, and will do a lot to avoid defaulting on the loan if they can pay, but these things happen. "the situation could arise that [they] could not pay. In that case you continue to hold title to the the product until it is sold. You also have the option of requesting that the product be sent to you or a location you specify - at no additional cost. " - FAQ An online vote, run by Primestox.com, allows other investors to out-vote you on the best option, but I guess that a vote would allow some people to take the stock and others to hold-on for repayment or accept an offer if available. If the borrower is still in business and half solvent, I imagine that they want to pay later for the food that will sell, rather than return all of it. There are degrees of mess-up, from late-payment to late payment under legal threat to receivership to wind-up and non-existence, and I suppose that nobody wants to work down the list if they can stay at the first stages. "the producer may experience production issues affecting the quantity or quality they can produce. Alternatively they may have difficulty selling their product in the market. In such cases delays may occur to your payment. However in all cases you continue to hold title to the product until you're repaid in full with profit. If during this time period you wish to receive the product which you paid for, you can request its delivery to any UK address at no additional cost. " Late payment turns into the chance of no payment after a while. Sell-by dates get nearer.
With luck, the borrower might organise an option of very cheap sale and lenders might discuss whether they could do better. Takestock.com allow you to do something similar by opening an account and try to sell surplus food on a free small ad via an 18% escrow service. Takestock's details are further down the page. If 18% for an escrow service sounds high, you can see what other links I have found at the bottom of the page as well. There are loads of them under the heading "selling food from home and on classifieds sites", but none says "we pay near retail price at somewhere like Waitrose for an upmarket brand". They all look a bit clearance-ey.
Getting back to Primstox, their contract does
- not say that Primestox will use their commission money to pay for deliveries
- not say that Primestox invest in every loan so won't flog duds. I imagine that Primestox do invest in loans at this stage, just to try to balance lenders and borrowers, so they will learn from experience what works. Their low-budget way of working suggests that they don't have equity finance people pushing them to make money fast at all costs. There isn't a staff team and an office and a bunch of bills to pay in the short term; they can think in the long-term. - not say that Primestox will run an eCommerce site or help any lender who does so, selling surplus food to other investers. I imagine that other investors are a sympathetic market for the one or two who have a tonne of soup on the doorstep. So after a default, in the worst case, you have invested far too much, and more food than you want to eat is plonked on your doorstep..
- If you have anything to do with catering you might find other uses. If you need contacts in catering, you might use the app that connects restaurants and their surplus food and customers who want cheap deals, you might already have a restaurant contact who might be open to ideas or make a suggestion, but the ones near me are generally bakeries. Anyway, a caterer might offer - dish of the day - special offer by the restaurant to bargain-hunters who use the app for that restaurant.
- If you have anything to do with food sales, an idea might come to mind like... - special offer food by a shop counter. Maybe your newsagent would borrow some food, and give you a credit note for 50p per jar sold for you to spend on other newsagent stock.
- If you have nothing to do with food sales, but want to start, Takestock.com membership is free. - free small ad and escrow service that charges you 18% on any offer you accept
- If you plan to eat it the food, freezer space might help -for-sale.co.uk/freezer includes ads on sites like ebay and gumtree. Local searches are most likely and you might even find a free one on Trashnothing, or join the same site to give some food away. An app called Olio comes-up on search engine results, specifically for giving food to neighbours if they happen to have the same app. Maybe someone will offer you an apple crumble two miles away once you subscribe.
- I don't know much about those food bank collection points that you see in places like supermarkets. There are a few sites on search engines for locating organisations and collection vans that can use food. I suppose that a one-off donor of a freezer-load needs some scale between the nearest collection-point and the agency that can send a van. This list covers foodbanks, who might help. - theguardian.com/society/datablog/2012/jul/12/food-banks-uk-directory-guardian-readers
Background to the Primestox.com company
There are practically no references to the site on other sources. It looks more polished and sane than some sites that do things like bitcoin lending, or my own shoe shop that you should try, but less referenced from anywhere else. The borrowers are food businesses with web sites linked and which tend to link back.
https://www.check-business.co.uk/business/09915596/primestox-limited is the company. The check-business site would drop a couple of tiny hints from an Equifax report if there was anything to say, but there isn't - the business is too new. The Companies House entry doesn't state much more - just connections to West London from previous employers that are confirmed from the director's Facebook page and choice of software engineer, so the business looks UK-based. Linked-in profiles mention some people related. There are three shareholders and one of them seems busy employed in South Africa; only one is an "officer" on the Companies House form. The postal contact is the first floor above Starbucks in London's Oxford Street, also home to BG Partnership accountants and 23 other companies.
There is no mention on P2Pmoney yet;I added a post on P2P independent forum, and P2P money have added this site to their list of P2P lending sites, just as one or two food companies have given the site a mention.
Selfstarter.us but if there is one free open source piece of software, there will probably be others, cheap or free, and this company has used something similar-looking for the new purpose of P2P lending, which is otherwise expensive to get going, I think, for lack of free software. I don't know if this is unusual - it's good to see that it can be done. The company paid Alex Panichi, user interface web designer who answered an upmarket job ad and "worked to improved various steps in the user journeys. The user interface has been enhanced and refined. There has been lots of sketching, wire framing and hundreds of iterations to de-clutter the interface. In fact, the main challenge was to show the most relevant information to the user at each stage" So, £200 an hour for several evenings and weekends doing iterations on a general theme is a few thousand pounds, but not bad.
Written as a hobby and to promote Veganline.com for vegan shoes online - an online vegan shoe shop selling boots belts and jackets mainly made in the UK
Selling food from home and on classifieds sites
Ebay and the mainstream sites tend not to advertise food, but I have a log-on for Takestock.com that allows selling! The site doesn't have a huge amount on it, with a lot of the guide prices well over supermarket basics prices per kilo. People use it to advertise sales to new customers, I guess, rather than for regular turnover. I hope this list helps borrowers to shift surplus stock and repay their loans, but, when they default and can't make a decent offer for the food. maybe someone else among the lenders can use one of these to get something better or maybe it helps if a borrower has to take delivery of too much food to eat.
Takestock.com classifieds - allowed login
- Buy from their advertisers by signing-up and contacting them. It's a classifieds site for food. A photo and often a minimum order is available for each advert once you sign-up; guide prices are cheeky-high except for the odd overdate thing which is low.
- Delivery - postcode or place name on each advert but no map or search-by-distance. Most offer to help with delivery. Some have a place name like "London" which helps searching; a lot are in north england or Norfolk for vegetables. There is a box for questions which is a good place to ask if the seller would use your favourite cheap courier such as Parcel2go's UPS shop-to-shop service for up to something like 20kg for not much money. Parcelmonkey are good for courier quotes too.
- Sell to their readers by signing up and advertising - they take the money via their bank account and take ? 18% +VAT if there is no dispute. 8% on fresh food.. The selling page recommends a low minimum order and to offer help with delivery.
Amazon not yet sure
- Buy from them - for example https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarlett-Mustard/b/ref=bl_dp_s_web_5324604031?ie=UTF8&node=5324604031&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Scarlett+%26+Mustard
- Delivery -
- Sell to them - not yet sure if it's possible. Hermes delivery costs are a problem. I don't see a "sell" tag next to the items on Amazon Groceries either, and if the brand isn't already for sale on Amazon, you have to persuade the site to list it.
other home retail
- There are ecommerce add-ons for facebook, I think, which might be free. Maybe Paypal links or something specialised. I don't know if facebook contacts would use them, but they might see the page and offer you cash. An idea for someone with a zillion facebook contacts.
- http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5232467 mentions facebook selling groups, a gumtree-like thing that I didn't know about
- Leaflet a hundred letterboxes with an explanation and half-price offer. Someone might be intrigued enough just to say hullo to a neighbour. Cheapest paper is from Wilko or supermarket basics. Cheapest ink is a CISS system on a printer or Epson Ecotank.
- Fly pitching, pop-up stalls, honesty boxes ... all a bit unfamiliar to buyers I think, who would pass-by to avoid being bothered, or assume the goods second-rate in some way. My aunt - do you know my aunt? - anyway she used to sell potted herbs in a market for the womens' institute. They were cheaper than the garden centre but people were just programmed to buy them from the garden centre. Anyway, if you know my aunt, you are on to something. If you don't know my aunt, you might want to try door-to-door leafleting to advertise an honesty box or a fly-pitch or a ring-the-doorbell-and-ask offer. Ringing other peoples' doorbells doesn't seem worth the hassle to customers, even ignoring the stress to you.
- Pop-up restaurants. There is something in this; I am not sure what
- Buying from self-employed people like stallholders could be a good habit to get into, in case one of them can suggest something if you are caught with a lot of stock. Easier if they know your face.
Expirybuy.com classifieds - didn't send a login
- Buy from their advertisers - it's a paypal system
- Delivery - ads say things like "ships to Blackburn"
- Sell to them - I've signed up, waiting for confirmation by email. No mention of commission yet. Still waiting for confirmation a few days later.
- Buy from their ads - https://www.gumtree.com/for-sale/uk/surplus+stock https://www.gumtree.com/search?search_category=all&q=freezer
- Delivery - parcel2go or similar
- Place an ad - there is only one food ad and two non-food in this category, but it might be free
Merkandi.co.uk classifieds - want £86 sign-up fee
- Buy from them - https://merkandi.co.uk/categories/food-beverage/26
- Delivery -
- Sell to them - same
Stockondeals.com/ - mainly Denmark so crossed out - typically electrical but some food
- Buy via their site
- Delivery -
- Sell via their site - it's EU and Danish state funded, so the commission might be low
Selling to shops and wholesalers
- Buy from them - http://store.approvedfood.co.uk/
- Delivery - http://store.approvedfood.co.uk/delivery_charges £6 delivery on £17 minimum order
- Sell to them - http://store.approvedfood.co.uk/page?name=sell-to-us
- Buy from them - https://www.clearancewholesale.co.uk/contact no web shop - Grimsby cash & carry
- Delivery - apply for pallet deals
- Sell to them - https://www.clearancewholesale.co.uk/sell-my-stock
ClearanceXL including Swinco.co.uk
- Buy from them - http://www.clearancexl.co.uk/epages/es136752.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es136752/Categories/%22Food%20%26%20Drink%22
- Delivery - http://www.clearancexl.co.uk/epages/es136752.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es136752/Categories/NEW__399_DELIVERY - £5.25 most areas. Free collection by appointment in Sheffield S9
- Sell to them - https://www.epayments.co.uk/epages/es136752.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es136752/Categories/%22ABOUT%20US%22/Supply_SWINCO has the email address
- Buy from them - http://www.eatbig.co.uk/shop/
- Delivery - http://www.eatbig.co.uk/delivery/ - £3-£5 or free over £40
- Sell to them?
- Buy from them - no web shop
- Delivery - walk-in at Rotherham or Barnsley http://www.factoryfoods.uk/directions/
- Sell to them - http://www.factoryfoods.uk/sell-to-us/
Not quite sure what this one is - it once bought a supermarket's stock. Found by googling "short dated food"
- Buy from them - apply for an account or use the Derby cash and carry.
- Delivery - apply
- Sell to them - http://www.soswholesale.co.uk/residual-stock-management/
UnlikelyThis lot are listed to save looking at them again, or just because they looked interesting http://www.londonpopups.com/p/advice-resources.html
- Buy - discount shop in Newkey and Weston. Prices from 25p
- Delivery - walk in, retail
- Sell - "supermarkets get in touch"
- Sell - looking for regular producers; food is sorted by manufacturer
Grapepip.com - wine only
- Buy - postcodes not given - prices start about £100 for 12 bottles - no licence or business needed. Buyers and sellers both pay 5% + VAT
- Delivery - "Please note that the location of each lot is clearly stated; as a Buyer, it is your responsibility to take note of the location prior to bidding as any subsequent transfer/delivery costs are the liability of the Buyer." Clearly stated to people who understand "Location: Octavian: Duty status: Under bond" on the first ad I looked-at.
- Sell - wine only - 5% + VAT "As long as your wine has been professionally stored in the UK since its original sale/shipment, you can list your wine on GrapePip. Please note, however, you will be required to provide documentation to confirm original purchase and subsequent storage in a UK warehouse of every lot listed on GrapePip. To find out more about how to sell your wine on GrapePip, please go to our Private Vendor Information Page. If you are a wine merchant looking to sell your wines on GrapePip, please go to our Trade Vendor Information Page." Winebinends is another wine-only firm that works as a broker - charging 30% commission to find a buyer with only one delivery hop to pay-for. They say that other clearance companies that have warehouses charge 70% and two delivery trips.
Mackenzietrading.co.uk - frozen food clearance wholesale for trade sellers
- Buy - "Essentially we are a frozen food broker: purchasing surplus stock from frozen food manufacturers...."
- Delivery - can involve storage and repacking in Lancashire
- Sell - "... and selling this onto high street retailers and catering companies"
- Buy - https://www.dontwastethetaste.co.uk/shop aka Nifties, Good for onions just now.
- Delivery - Delivery - https://www.dontwastethetaste.co.uk/ - £6 or £2 in Dover. Possibly a walk-in grocer in Dover too.
- Sell? - probably not for specialised upmarket products by the look of them
The Peoples Supermarket
- http://thepeoplessupermarket.org/ - no web ordering - £25 annual membership to work 4 hours a month and get 20% off
- Lambs Conduit Street, North Central London
- Buy- app links you to bakeries or restaurants with closing-time bargains.
- Delivery - you need to link to a restaurant near you via the app which works on Ios or Android.
- Sell - restaurants welcome. If you know a restaurant on the system, they might use the app to try to sell for you on commission.
- buy -
- delivery -
- sell - looking for regular batch producers not surplus stock - 18% charge