Grabio iPhone App Review

By Jonathan Spira on 27 November 2011
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Is it possible to compete with Craigslist and eBay?  A new company, Grabio, certainly thinks so and its eponymously-named app is now in beta.

Grabio is available for iOS devices including the iPhone and iPad.  An Android version is planned.

Grabio is a location-based marketplace that is designed to locally connect a buyer with a seller.  Search results are localized and the app shows you where the seller is on a map, which also indicates the distance from your current location to the seller.

Listing an item for sale is easy.  Enter a title for the listing, typically the name of the item you are selling, some tags, the price, expiration for the listing, and an in-depth description.  You can also share your listing on Facebook or Twitter during this process.

Once your item is listed in the marketplace, prospective buyers will contact you via the Grabio messaging system by clicking on “Send Message” at the bottom of every listing.  This is the only area that I see a need for improvement in that, with listings with longer descriptions, the Send Message button isn’t visible at the bottom of the screen and the user would have to know to scroll down to it.

Unlike eBay but more like Craigslist, there is no transactional aspect to Grabio.  You can agree to meet the buyer in person or ship an item, agreeing on payment terms via the messaging system.

I listed my book, Overload! How Too Much Information Is Hazardous To Your Organization, as a signed copy, and it took me under a minute to create the listing.  There are four buttons on the very bottom of the entry screen that allow for the inclusion of images (you can either use an image already stored on your device or take a photo) although I didn’t see this option when I created my listing.

The next day, another Grabio tester messaged me about buying the book.  I received an e-mail alert telling me that there was a message in my Grabio inbox (Grabio also sends the entire text of the message via e-mail, a nice touch).

After that, it would be up to me and the buyer to message back and forth and finalize the sale.  The buyer later e-mailed me that he was ordering the book via the link I had provided.

As a location-based service, Grabio differs from other marketplaces in that it clearly displays how far a buyer or seller might be from one another.   This is important if, for example you want to purchase concert or baseball tickets and you are looking for a seller near the venue or, if you are selling a bulky snow blower (there’s one for sale in Teaneck, New Jersey right now), near your home.  Another great use would be to find or sell items in a campus-like setting, be it a university or one’s workplace.  Textbooks and used cars come to mind, but the possibilities for Grabio are endless.  Available at no charge at or the Apple App Store.

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