SparschweinCashless realization of consumer dreams: a new savings concept from Germany.
With a name like Sparschwein, it has to be good! Indeed, Munich-based Sparschwein (German for piggy bank), is a new direct seller venture encouraging Germans to go on a domestic treasure hunt, exploring their basements, attics, cabinets, and garages for valuable items, especially fashion accessories, antiques, baby products, computers, electronics, cameras, domestic and garden appliances, design furniture, and certain financial contracts. Unearthed items will then be sold by one of 1,000 Sparschwein agents who will later this year go door to door in German cities and villages to collect the items, and sell them on eBay and other auction sites on behalf of the owner. The proceeds (minus a finder’s and handling fee*) will go straight into a newly opened savings account. Sparschwein cooperates with the Deutsche Kredit Bank, a daughter of the Bavarian Landesbank, offering up to 2.35 percent interest on an account. Hence Sparschwein’s compelling claim to be world’s first financial institution that allows people to build up savings without money. The agents will also advise the owner on how to make the most of this money for specific goals (like a new car, a holiday, education, etc). Through S-broker, a German discount broker, proceeds can also be invested in securities, or be exchanged for coupons and discounts, as a host of B2C companies have teamed up with Schwarschwein to even serve consumers with an aversion to piggybanks. * If an auction raises less than EUR 200 (USD 266 / GBP 143), Sparschwein charges a EUR 10 commission plus 20 percent of the selling price, capped at EUR 20. For more substantial auctions, the maximum fee is EUR 500.