Question

Is there a platform for selling/sublicensing SaaS that we've purchased but no longer use?

My company has purchased multiple data analytics tools which over time we've decided no longer works for our use-case. We are looking for a way to get at least something for the remaining couple of months on our contracts.

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maguay's avatar
14d

That is a fascinating idea—though I've never seen such a marketplace. It may actually not be possible from a legal standpoint, as well, though I'm sure if you knew someone who wanted a SaaS product and you could clean out your data, change your login info to their's, update the payment info to their card, and agree on a price without involving the company, I'd imagine it'd be possible.

On the legal side in the US, the first sale doctrine lets you resell physical books and CDs, but has never been extended to digital media including music downloads from iTunes, eBooks from the Kindle store, and so on. One writeup about the first sell doctrine for eBooks says " the first-sale doctrine does not hold for digital objects because there is no transfer of a physical copy from the copyright owner to the purchaser," and presumably the same would apply to software subscriptions. As such, if there was a service specifically to resell SaaS or software licenses, they might not have legal protection to do so.

Gameflip has started something in that direction, though, for consumer digital goods. They offer a service like this for Steam games and movies—though with reselling Steam game codes and movie digital redemption codes, not ones you've already used. That's closer to, say, selling an unredeemed Evernote gift subscription or free Notion invite codes rather than actually selling an existing account. That way, it's obvious the code is only used once, and so resell is ok. Perhaps that's a start in that direction.

I guess another similar idea would be selling an entire web business on something like Flippa. Imagine you have a Shopify account and other SaaS subscriptions being used as part of that business together, and you sold the whole as a business there. I would imagine it would be normal to transfer SaaS subscriptions as part of that sell, and perhaps you could use something like to sell business tools?

Would love to know if there are any other alternatives in this space!

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @maguay )
14d

Now here's an interesting twist on this idea: Kustomer, a new customer support app, is offering to buy out existing Zendesk contracts for people who switch. That's essentially just a discount for a new account, but if more products offered something like that the whole idea of reselling SaaS would be moot:

1 point
siddxxvii's avatar

None which I know of, but amazing idea. this is a big gap which i also see especially with B2B tools. Never thought of this before coming across your post.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @siddxxvii )
7d

I wish it was more widely possible with more digital media—reselling Kindle books or iTunes movies would be amazing, and make it feel more worth putting up with the DRM. Alas, I doubt such a market will ever exist.

1 point
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