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This article was published on May 22, 2013

Boxes brings order to your belongings, with a beautiful photo-based e-commerce iPhone app [invites]

Boxes brings order to your belongings, with a beautiful photo-based e-commerce iPhone app [invites]
Paul Sawers
Story by

Paul Sawers

Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

Functionality is only part of what makes a great app – the importance of good design can’t be overstated. That’s why Boxes might just be worth your time.

A new iOS app that has just launched in private beta, Boxes promises to help you make the most of the stuff you own, through organizing everything in one place. While this concept may appeal more to the OCD among you – it will surely take a mind-bogglingly long amount of time to catalogue all your belongings – the design and usability of Boxes reveals a lot attention to detail. It’s a treat to use.

Also, it’s not just about organizing your stuff, it’s vying for the e-commerce market too, making it easy to buy and sell stuff.

How it works, how it looks

Firstly, you sign up via email, and then you can connect with Facebook, Twitter or the contact in your address book – to get the full benefits of Boxes you are of course encouraged to connect your social profiles.

To start cataloging, simply click ‘Add Item’ from the main menu, and you’re invited to take a photo, which you can apply filters to. Why not, right?


Once you’ve added a price (if you’re selling), description, location and so on, you’re good to go. You can also search for items using keywords and hashtags.

Given that Boxes is still in private beta, the checkout process is not currently enabled within the app, but when this launches properly in a couple of weeks, it will feature a full-scale marketplace with integrated checkout.

It’s worth noting here that Boxes isn’t all about buying and selling stuff, it pitches itself as something like a photo-based social network for ‘things’ – one that just happens to have e-commerce built in to the core. If that sounds confusing, well, it’s about as close as we can get to hitting the nail on the head with this app.


You can followe other users, and message them directly within the app, asking and answering questions, and over time you will build – unsurprisingly – a collection of boxes with all your things in it.


Certainly, one potential use-case could be for someone who knows they’re moving house in the near future and needs a clear-out. They can snap all the stuff they need to get shot off and, well, create a sort of virtual car-boot sale.

“People use Boxes for all sorts of things,” says Solomon Engel, Founder and CEO of Boxes. “It’s a great tool for collectors to organize their collections, artists can show off their work, brands can promote their products and increase their sales, it makes moving from place-to-place a lot easier, and what’s best, whenever they’re ready to sell something, they can list an item for sale with just a few taps.”

Boxes is a quirky and interesting idea underpinned by a genuinely well-designed app, and it will be interesting to see what kind of traction this gains when the doors open. “Boxes closes the loop for folks looking to reach a wider audience,” adds Engel. “With a community of people that share the same interests, you’re far more likely to have success promoting or selling your products as individuals, brands, or retailers.”

How you use Boxes is entirely up to you, given you can add, organize, buy, sell, and search for stuff. “Our clear goal was to create a world-class experience that would not only be fun and easy to use, but would also open up opportunities for others and help make them successful,” continues Engel.

Given this is still in private beta, you won’t be able to sign up quite yet – unless, of course, you’re quick off the mark and get one of 100 promo codes Engel is giving out to TNW readers. Simply email this address – [email protected] – and ask for a code. Then head to to get started.

Meanwhile, check out the official promo video below.


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Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock