Threadflip is the newest way to sell your loved but languishing threads online. An answer to the faceless, nameless behemoth that is eBay, a handful of new apps combine social networking with consignment shopping to create a more personal and fun way to shop fashionista closets and sell from your own.
Threadflip joins the ranks of Poshmark, Copious and 99 Dresses, all of which hope to take advantage of women’s overflowing closets. And like the others, Threadflip hopes to leverage style bloggers’ ready-made networks to spread the word and build a fashion-forward community. TechCrunch superstar editor Alexia Tsosis is a spokesmodel, Jenny Lodge of Going West has signed on as brand and social media manager, and 100-plus other bloggers have uploaded their previously-loved items.
I emailed a few questions to Threadflip’s co-founder and CEO Manik Singh to find out what the company is all about. Here’s what he had to say:
1. What made you want to launch Threadflip? And how long has it been in the works?
Threadflip was inspired by my wife Tea, who was having trouble parting ways with a pricey pair of boots that she no longer wore. When I asked her why she kept them, she said because they were beautiful and unique and reminded her of a certain moment in time, and that she would only want to give them up to someone who would appreciate them as much. Existing options like eBay or a consignment store were very impersonal and not easy to use. The boots eventually found a good home with my co-founder Jeff’s girlfriend Kim, who adores them just as much as Tea does but is actually wearing them. We realized the boots represented the tremendous potential of unused items in the average woman’s closet, and an idea was born.
We have been actively working on Threadflip since October 2011.
2. How do you make money… do people who list pay a fee?
Yes, sellers pay a 15 percent fee when an item sells. The 15 percent includes all transaction fees as well as a shipping care package that we send to the seller. It includes a box, shipping label and wrapping supplies so sellers can mail things out in the comfort of their homes.
3. The white glove service sounds amazing (the whole shipping thing is why i don’t sell and list more clothes!), have many people signed up for that yet? How much does it cost?
We have been surprised (and very excited) by the strong response to the white glove service (just mail the clothes to Threadflip and they do the rest). We are not ready to disclose numbers quite yet but the response has been very promising. We charge a tiered 30 to 40 percent fee for white glove service depending on the value of the item. This is still a pilot program and we are working with our early users to streamline this process as well as the fee structure.
4. Who do you consider your competitors?
From eBay to your neighborhood consignment shop, there are a handful of options for upcycling/reselling clothing. And it’s been exciting to see a growing zeitgeist around online resale offerings. Some of the key aspects of Threadflip that we’re really excited about are our seamless end-to-end shipping solution (which means you can ship from the comfort of your home), the White-Glove Service (minimal effort/maximal value) and integration with Facebook, which brings a level of ease, transparency and authenticity to the entire buying and selling experience. Threadflip is a flexible and robust platform, specifically designed to meet the needs of a vast range of women. With these offerings, we’re confident that Threadflip is hands-down the easiest way to hit the refresh button on your wardrobe
5. How many employees do you have?
We are six full time and two interns.
6. How many bloggers have signed up to sell directly from their blogs?
We have 100+ bloggers on the platform and this is growing every day.