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Start-up spotlight: Sell your clothes online on Tradesy

October 24, 2012|By Andrea Chang
  • Santa Monica start-up Tradesy launched Wednesday. The site aims to help women buy and sell preowned clothing.
Santa Monica start-up Tradesy launched Wednesday. The site aims to help… (Tradesy )

Tradesy, an online marketplace where women can sell and buy preowned clothing, wants to turn your closet into cash.

The latest in a long line of resale start-ups launched Wednesday and was founded by Tracy DiNunzio, who also started the popular used wedding dress marketplace Recycled Bride in 2009.

"We've all got overflowing closets and nothing to wear," DiNunzio said. "What if we could just turn to each other and say, 'Hey, do you have something I would want, because I've got something you would want.' And it really lowers the barrier to entry for everyone."

With Tradesy, users list new and gently used clothing -- including dresses, tops, jeans, handbags and shoes -- during a quick, 60-second process that includes filling in a few description fields and uploading an image of the item for sale. Tradesy, which also has a mobile app, strips out the background noise surrounding your product so the item is set against a bare white background, similar to how merchandise is listed on retail websites.

"The idea is to take the burden off the user and make it as quick as possible for them to list," DiNunzio said during an interview at the company's headquarters (temporarily located in the dining room and spare bedroom of her Santa Monica apartment).

Sellers can set their own prices, although Tradesy recommends price points based on what the item is and what condition it's in. The fashion resale start-up doesn't charge a listing fee, but it takes a 9% cut from the sale of an item.

After an item is sold, Tradesy will send the buyer a pre-paid shipping label and package. Buyers put their items into the package and drop it off with the USPS.

Unlike EBay power sellers, clothing makers or consignment e-commerce sites that sell large quantities of goods online, Tradesy is geared toward individual sellers looking to unload clothes from their own homes through a peer-to-peer model, DiNunzio said.

There's also an emphasis on listing merchandise from high-end designers like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and well-known mall staples such as Banana Republic, Club Monaco and J.Crew.

The company faces stiff competition from other clothing swap sites including Threadflip, 99Dresses, the Real Real and Poshmark.

"The real differentiator for us is understanding how to meet the needs of the individual woman and helping her get the extra values out of her closet and the extra money into her pocket so she can get more," DiNunzio said. "And I think if you'll find if you look at any of the other sites, they're really all getting crowded with the power seller types, and we don't want to be another place just to find a bunch of stuff from a bunch of people."

DiNunzio said the company guarantees that items sold on its site are authentic; if they aren't, Tradesy will provide a full refund. And, in a noteworthy move, the company is also offering a return policy (site credit or a full refund, depending on the situation) even if the item is authentic -- typically, purchases made on resale sites are final sale.

Tradesy raised $1.5 million in its Series A from Rincon Venture Partners, 500 Startups, Daher Capital, Bee Partners and other investors. 

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