The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
Quick Pitch: Buy and sell pre-owned clothing and accessories.
Genius Idea: More convenient and personal than selling on eBay.
Copious, 99dresses, Fashionlend, Nearly Newlywed, Poshmark: there's been a proliferation of web and mobile-based channels for selling pre-owned clothing and accessories as of late. These businesses are aiming to carve a slice out of an area long dominated by the likes of eBay, Etsy and local consignment shops.
Threadflip, a San Francisco-based company that launched with $1.6 million in seed funding last month, is among the latest of these.
Like its competitors, Threadflip lets you buy and sell secondhand fashion goods. Where it differs is in its level of service. Threadflip provides an end-to-end shipping solution that saves sellers laborious trips to the post office. The company also offers a "white glove service" for sellers who want to be less involved: simply send your items, and the company will do the photographing, listing and shipping for you.
You'll be charged a 15% transaction fee if you do your own listing. For white glove service, you'll have to fork over between 40% and 50% of the selling price.
Threadflip has done a good job of making the site feel human and personal. Buyers and sellers are identified not by anonymous usernames, but by their Facebook profiles, which creates a greater sense of transparency and trust between parties. The site also profiles various sellers many who are, seemingly, fashion bloggers inviting you to explore their wares as if you were inside a boutique of their own design. That format also encourages users to spend more time browsing and exploring rather than searching for goods, making it more likely that they'll buy something they didn't know they wanted.
What's next? Founder and CEO Manik Singh says the startup is focused on building out support for its white glove service, and preparing to release its iOS app. After iOS, Android is next on the road map.
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.