I am a big fan of resold, used, and thrift clothing. Once every few months, I fill a backpack with barely worn garments, lug it to the nearest clothing exchange, and then lug my newly found treasures back. This is not a convenient process, which is why a slew of thrifty, style savvy entrepreneurs have launched fashion resale websites, to eliminate “lugging” from the process.
Today, Tradesy launched and announced $1.5 million in investment. Tradesy is a marketplace where women can sell their clothes online. It provides women with the chance to offload the clothes they never wear, while also earning extra money and gaining access to a closet curated by the community. Items range from designer Louis Vuitton heels to Forever 21 tee-shirts, and the inventory includes accessories, swim wear, intimates, and even maternity clothes.
Users list items for sale and once they have a buyer, Tradesy takes care of the rest and keeps 9% of the sale for itself. The site’s pricing recommendation engine helps users figure out how much to sell an item for and helps clean up image photos. Shopping, packing, and insurance are factored into the price, so sellers do not incur those costs. Sellers are only paid once they have shipped the items, and shoppers are not stuck with items they do not want. Tradesy also manages returns.
The company emphasizes customer service in addition to convenience. It has set up an accountability system where buyers and sellers can rate each other, and an internal messaging system where they can communicate. All the clothing on the site is indexed and easily searchable, and users have the ability to “follow” trends, as well as members of the community with similar profiles. The alerts system sends out notifications when an interested item is listed or reduced in price, and there is a mobile app to make buying and selling possible anytime, anywhere.
According to the site, women selling on Tradesy can make 15% more then on other online marketplaces, 50% more than in consignment stores, and 20% than through classified ads. This means they earn enough money to actually buy more clothes, or perhaps save it for a rainy day (but that’s crazy talk).
Founder Tracy DiNunzio is an expert in the “goldmines” that exist in women’s closets. She started out as a painter and grew frustrated at the challenges of maintaining a stylish wardrobe on a limited budget. After a divorce, her entrepreneurial spirit was sparked while looking for a way to trade in her wedding gown for cash. She sold off her artwork, listed her apartment on AirBnB, and used the capital to launch her first venture, Recycledbride.com. Recycled Bride became profitable in its first year and over 6 million brides have shopped on the site. Now with its sister site Tradesy, she is targeting a woman’s whole wardrobe.
“Sometimes being a woman feels like an arms race,” she said. “We’re all being advertised to, and there’s so much pressure to keep up with trends that we often find ourselves emptying our wallets to meet those expectations. But what if, instead of going to the mall, we turned to each other? America’s closets are filled with fashion, and Tradesy is the key that will unlock closet doors, making beautiful designer fashion available to every woman.”
On her second time around, DiNunzio has raised $1.5 million from Rincon Venture Partners; 500 Startups‘ Dave McClure; Dany Levy, founder of DailyCandy; Daher Capital; Bee Partners; Double M Capital and Launchpad LA. Tradesy is based in Santa Monica, CA and has 9 full time employees. Competitors include Threadflip, eBay, Copious, and Poshmark.