By Andrea Chang
8:05 AM PDT, April 20, 2012
If you’ve ever lusted after unused items in a friend’s closet, here’s your chance.
Threadflip, a San Francisco start-up that launched this week, aims to give users a new way to discover, buy and sell fashion. The site's users can upload images of their belongings and set their own prices on clothing, shoes, bags and jewelry; photos can be directly imported from Facebook or Instagram.
Threadflip co-founder and Chief Executive Manik Singh said the company offered a seamless end-to-end experience.
Among the site’s features are convenient shipping: As soon as your item sells, Threadflip sends you a prepaid shipping box, a prepaid shipping label and wrapping material.
Too busy to sell your goods? Threadflip offers a “white glove service” -- just send the company your items and the start-up’s stylists will upload photos and research pricing. Once your item sells, Threadflip will send you a check.
Singh said the idea for Threadflip came to him when he noticed his wife had an expensive pair of Spanish designer boots sitting practically new in her closet. She considered selling them on EBay but thought there were too many barriers to entry; instead, she sold them to a friend.
“The model on EBay or even your neighborhood consignment store haven’t been innovated,” Singh said. “It’s the same old classified model where you have to take photos and write a description.”
Instead, the company hopes to build a tight-knit community of social shoppers.
Threadflip takes a 15% cut from the seller’s side to make money. It charges about 40% of the purchase price for its white glove service.
Threadflip appears to be geared toward fashion-forward shoppers, saying users could expect to find products from “Paul Smith to Prada, vintage to Vuitton and everything in between” at a fraction of the original price. Singh said the company guaranteed the authenticity of products sold on its site and would provide refunds if items were found to be fake.
The company also announced a $1.6-million seed round led by First Round Capital and Baseline Ventures. Additional participants in the round included Dave Morin from Slow Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Greylock Discovery Fund and Andreessen Horowitz Seed Fund.
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