You’ve likely heard of the term “recommerce” by now; this is a business model that shows no sign of slowing down. In many fashion tech incarnations, recommerce takes the form as a social marketplace where people sell their used (but still stylish) fashions. New companies seem to launch in this space every week. Unsurprisingly, we see some trends within the trend… and even an East Coast vs. West Coast differentiation.
It’s became quite apparent that many of the social marketplaces founded in the valley seem to be going for the mass consumer takeover, while many New York City founded marketplaces are going after the fashion-forward crowd. Who will come out on top — will it be the SF marketplaces who are going after a large community, or the NY startups who want to cultivate a community of “exclusive” members? It will be interesting to watch. Here’s some startups we recommend keeping an eye on:
The West Coast Masters
- Poshmark: As evidenced by their recent raise of $12M in Series B funding, these guys seem to be at the top of the social marketplace charts as far as users and sales. With over $100 million in online inventory, and 2 million monthly interactions on the app, it’s no wonder that this company is gearing up to grow. How they’re different: They started on iPhone first, riding the Instagram wave with a similarly appealing look and feel.
- Threadflip: This social marketplace is trying to revolutionize the way women shop by converting their closets into a “dynamic, boutique-like experience.” Their user-friendly platform has been praised by plenty of publications, such as VOGUE, NYTimes, TechCrunch, and more. How they’re different: Threadflip just launched a white glove service to handle all aspects of the transaction for the busy gal-on-the-go.
- Copious: Founded in January 2011, this is a social marketplace with a cadre of celebrities to back it up. This marketplace-veteran has had the likes of the Man Repeller, Mia Moretti, Brad Goreski, Randi Zuckerberg — and even Boo the dog — grace their site. How they’re different: they have a couple of Facebook’s finest on their advisory board.
The Curated Marketplaces
- Consignd: As a marketplace filtered and curated by their team of experts, Consigned focuses on allowing a variety of new or vintage items to be sold; artists, markers, movers & shakers are all welcomed. How they’re different: we see a lot of marketplaces focused on the women’s market, but not so much on men, art, and decor. This marketplace is part Threadflip, part The Fancy.
- Bib + Tuck: Who needs cash when you can use bucks? Founded by two best friends named Sari (they share the same name, and the same love of fashion) Bib + Tuck is a first of a kind marketplace where fashionistas can sell their lightly worn items in exchange for “bucks” – their virtual currency. (Vocabulary hint: “bib” means to give and “tuck” means to take.) How they’re different: the Sari’s personally curate who is allowed to use the platform, ensuring a consistency of like-minded ladies. Also, the name allows for some fun, sassy lingo such as “go tuck yourself” and “you stylish mother-tucker.”
- Material Wrld: Move over Madonna, these ladies are taking over a “material wrld.” The ladies behind Material Wrld were a match made in Harvard. Jie Zheng and Rie Yano, both Harvard MBAs, each come from big brand fashion labels and decided to leave that world to launch the company. The concept: a place where women can shop and sell designer items and share their style inspiration. MaterialWrld also does featured closets with new themes every week such as “Social Media Gurus” and “Fashion PR Girls.” (We were included in their “NY Fashion Startup Girls” feature, shown above.) How they’re different: they encourage featured closets to have a combination of items they’re selling and items that the user adores and will never let go.
- Vaunte: A sort of ultra high-brow version of MaterialWrld, this site allows you to shop highly-coveted closets from top female execs such as Anne Vincent, Events Director at Vogue, and fashion designer Lela Rose. From a recent NYTimes article: “We want a very targeted fashion audience,” Mr. Leone said. “You must have amazing style.” The objective, Ms. Park added, is to “draw a community of fashionably like-minded peers.” How they’re different: their beautiful, user friendly platform might be one that you love to shop, but for selling, this is the most exclusive marketplace of the bunch.
The Vintage Marketplaces
- Wiseling: A vintage-lover’s playground, this marketplace caters to the girl who’s thrilled by the hunt but doesn’t always have the time to kill. Founded by Chelsey Bingham, this little slice of pre-owned heaven has some of the better hidden vintage gems we’ve seen. (Check out our interview with the founder here.) How they’re different: for New Yorkers used to being spoiled, their closet concierge service is a great one.
- Market Publique: This marketplace is a destination for vintage sellers. Similar to Etsy, this marketplace allows a curated selection of vintage aficionados to sell their beloved items. How they’re different: Founded in 2009, this company has been around long enough to really get to know their market.
Cyndi Ramirez is Third Wave Fashion’s Brand and Business Development Manager. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.
Image via MaterialWrld.