Not Your Mother’s eBay, Threadflip Launches Online Consignment Shop
Threadflip is a new marketplace coming out of private beta today that is making it insanely easy to sell used clothes, shoes, jewelry and other accessories online.
The secret to the San Francisco company is that it handles all of the hard work for you.
For example, once an item sells, Threadflip figures out the shipping costs, finds the correct box, and sends it to your door. Its “White Glove Service” goes one step further. For those willing to send their items to Threadflip, the company takes care of the rest by photographing, listing, pricing and ultimately shipping the item if it sells.
Threadflip is also announcing today that it has raised $1.6 million in a seed round led by First Round Capital and Baseline Ventures. Other participants include Dave Morin from Slow Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Greylock Discovery Fund and Andreessen Horowitz Seed Fund.
The site takes a 15 percent cut of the transaction, which includes the box and shipping costs. Threadflip’s White Glove Service is still in a limited pilot, and is experimenting with a tiered model that ranges between 40 percent and 50 percent.
So far, the site has attracted higher-end items, with an average sale price of $50 to $60. That means more Prada and less Old Navy (although there’s some of that, too).
Manik Singh, founder and CEO of Threadflip, argues that other solutions for selling used clothes online, like eBay, require some technical expertise and a lot of time. This one was designed with his wife in mind, who never bothered to resell an expensive pair of boots, even though she never wore them.
“You never have to leave the house,” Singh said. “When we launched [in beta], women loved it, because it eliminated two barriers: ease of uploading and shipping. We remove both of those barriers.”
While in beta, Singh said, a third of users visited the site every day to share an item, “like” an item, or buy something. The women who have gravitated to the site the most are between the ages of 22 and 35; they enjoy blogging and writing about fashion, including taking photos of all of their outfits and posting them on Facebook.
That behavior drove Threadflip to create a feature that allows women to post photos directly from their Facebook accounts. “They might take a photo of a dress and post it on Facebook, and then in six months, when the dress is out of style, you don’t want to take a new photo. It’s a heavily used feature,” Singh said.
Because the sellers are often amateur fashion bloggers or other like-minded people, the pages often look like a magazine, featuring images of models wearing the clothes, rather than a snapshot of a pair of pants laid out on a kitchen table.