Tradesy, an e-commerce mobile app and website that launches today, is attempting to take the hassle out of selling online by making it easy for you to cash in on all those unwanted clothes in your closet.
CEO Tracy Dinunzio says she founded Tradesy to make the online selling experience as easy for the average woman as walking into her own closet and uploading photos of her unworn clothing to the site to start selling immediately, without having to worry about logistics, or what the site refers to as "the messy bits."
"How do I package it? What’s it going to cost? Who should pay for it? These are all things the individual woman isn't going to know how to manage," Dinunzio says.
So Dinunzio, convinced more women weren't selling online because there were too many steps involved to list items on sites such as eBay, designed Tradesy to tackle each of the three big pain points of online sellers: listing, shipping, and returns.
To create a free listing, for example, you simply take a photo of the item you want to sell, either with your smartphone via the mobile app or with a regular camera. When you upload your photo, Tradesy's image-cleaning technology clears up the background image, leaving only your selling item in the frame. Then, you're prompted to list at least four to six basic item details, such as size, designer, and condition. Finally, you can price your item using Tradesy's pricing recommendation algorithm, which considers what's currently selling and trending on Tradesy, as well as the item's brand value, to suggest the best value.
Once you sell an item, Tradesy will send you a prepaid shipping kit with packaging materials, already addressed to the buyer. Tradesy has partnered with the United States Postal Service so a seller can simply drop their package off with her local postman.
And for buyers who are wary of purchasing damaged or counterfeit goods within a peer-to-peer resale market, Tradesy accepts returns and guarantees refunds if you ever end up with a knockoff. An internal messaging system on the site lets buyers and sellers communicate with each other directly, and Dinunzio says soon Tradesy will also offer a seller ratings and review system so you'll be able to see feedback from other members.
The startup is in many ways an extension of Dinunzio's first startup, the online resale marketplace RecycledBride, where more than 6 million brides-to-be have shopped for their something-borroweds, from dresses to save-the-date cards, from newlyweds looking to resell.
The big difference, Dinunzio says, is women aren't as invested in putting the effort into selling, shipping, and dealing with potential returns for a $20 top as they would a $2,000 wedding dress.
"We learned on RecycledBride that customers were able to get over the pain points of shipping and returns without any help from us because they were dealing with such high-priced items," she says. "But we knew getting into Tradesy we were going to have to solve for those things in order to make this as attractive an experience for the women who are selling lower-priced items."
Tradesy, which doesn't charge for listings, takes a 9% cut of each sale made. Dinunzio recently closed a $1.5 million seed funding round from a high-profile roster of investors including 500 Startups founder Dave McClure and DailyCandy founder Dany Levy. The competition is certainly crowded, with Threadflip and Twice coming to mind as hot competitors. But Dinunzio says the problem with other secondhand marketplaces is their tendency to cater to the "power sellers" who list hundreds of items and provide more upfront value for the site than the average woman who may only list five to 10 items.
"That’s a great way to grow the number of listings on your site very quickly, but a lot of these other sites are still not succeeding at getting those items out of women's closets and monetizing them," she says.
And although Dinunzio's plan is to eventually allow "power sellers" onto the Tradesy platform, for now she says she's focusing on building out a strong community foundation, woman by woman.
"We’re focusing on meeting the needs of the individual woman, not the professional or power or Etsy seller," she says.
[Image: Flickr user M Car]