Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Swapping your kids (clothing) online

April 7, 2010

Kids boxLuxury goods, shoes, bags and women’s clothing — they’re all represented in spades in the secondary market online.

But finding gently used clothing for kids — constantly-growing kids — is harder online, says James Reinhart, co-founder and chief executive of thredUP, a new clothing swap site designed just for busy moms.

The site, slated for a soft launch this week, targets middle-income moms who are big on convenience and the idea of recycling perfectly good garb, while looking to “extract some value” in the bargain, Reinhart told Reuters.

Users choose a box that’s right for their needs, based on sex of child, age, and season and pay $13 to have it shipped to you (cost includes a small fee for thredUP). Then you pack your own box for someone else to choose, with no need for uploading photos eBay-style, or writing long descriptions (a short form to fill out takes care of that).

This tit for tat, Internet-style, has already attracted over 1100 curious clothing swappers in thredUP’s pre-launch phase. Reinhart believes the viral component of the business plan — moms will want to trade clothing with their friends, even across the country — is a winner that will rapidly expand the company’s user base.

A second tier of service costing $29.99 annually that includes perks like promotions and recommendations is where thredUp plans to make its money.

Swap ’till you drop.

(Photo courtesy of thredUP)

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