- Most local consignment and thrift shops only accept 50-100 brands.
- A typical consumer only uses 30% of the clothes.
- Consumers don´t want to deal with selling their items because the process is tedious and time-consuming.
- Many of those who have sold their second-hand wares feel they were not compensated fairly.
The $25 Billion Thrift Shop Market ($220 Billion of Retail Value)
- 93 items are in a typical closet
- 73% of these items are never worn
- 85% of clothing that gets donated ends up in landfills
- $25 billion is the estimated size of the resale market by 2025
- $150 million is Poshmark´s expected 2018 revenue
- +$500 million in TheRealReal´s expected 2018 revenue
- In 2016, ThredUp upcycled +10 million items and $19 million in revenue
*Data from ThredUp´s Resale Report
Current Customer Experience
rethinking a new customer-centric strategy for customer satisfaction
In a two-sided business, both demand and supply need to be satisfied. Our design + development process involved capturing the current “as is” state of a customer’s journey, creating a persona, predicting and analyzing behavior, and identifying pain points.
In traditional brick & mortar thrift and consignment stores, people have to physically carry their bags of clothes to have them be subjectively evaluated by a buyer. This process is time-consuming, inefficient, and tedious. Second-hand online stores are using automation processes and machine-learning algorithms to know what to buy and for how much, based on seasonal trends and historical data with millions of data points. However, regardless of it being an analog or digital supply process, sellers are still dissatisfied.
On the buyer side, consumers have a hard time selecting items because they are unsure of the fit, size, and in what state the piece is, items are not authenticated in all platforms, and most platforms have UX/UI that are not user-friendly.
I have sent my last clean-up bag. I have gotten payouts on 10 bags. I have received $961 – which is a good average pay-out – but thredUp has made more than $6000 in sales on my items – more than 500% ROI. Their policies have changed more times in the last 2 years than I can count, but the restocking fee for returned items has me opting out. I will take the $20 or so that I get for my last bag; I’ll pay the cashout fee, and I will chalk my break-up with thredUp to just an inequitable relationship where I got fed up with being taken advantage of. – Polly C, SiteJabber
Don’t waste your money. This website is a scammers heaven. I purchased a Chanel bag that the seller said it was authentic. I received a cheap vinyl knockoff. When I complained to Poshmark, they told that as long as the seller shows a proof of delivery that they cannot help..that all sales are final. -Linda Walters, TrustPilot
Takes over 30 days to get your items listed on the site, they take FOREVER to pay. They only pay on the 15th and then it takes 1-4 business days to get a direct deposit. Awful customer service. Conflicting answers, takes 2 days to hear back. I will never consign with them again. – Bianca L, Yelp
Pilot Testing with 20+ users
building trust with consumers with Transparent Pricing & Bulk Strategy
Customer satisfaction in the second-hand clothing business is a complex task; it relies on a cost-effective and efficient supply chain model, operational excellence, transparent pricing, fair compensation, ability to quickly turnover inventory, and a customer journey and UX/UI that offers a superior customer experience and builds trust.
- Flat-pricing to inform consumers beforehand on how much they will receive for their items before sending them.
- Non-luxury items: A bulk sale model: buying and selling by the pound instead of itemized pricing.
- For luxury items, we used a simple flat-pricing chart by item type (ie. shirt, bag) and wear and tear, not by brand and retail price.
- We developed persona archetypes based on style preferences for buying recommendations.
We learned that:
- There is a general mismatch in the buyer and seller customer personas, meaning that not all of those who sell will buy. However, there is a small potential subset that could be a lead user for a new business model; one that is open to receiving store credit for their items and using that credit to “buy” in our store to refresh their wardrobe.
- Those in this target segment are willing to commit to this form of “swapping” as they are unhappy with their prior experiences, they value transparent pricing, and feel that this new model offers fair compensation.
Revamping closets with quality, not quantity.
Generation Z & Millennials are Treasure-hunters
Younger generations care about sustainability, but also about having a fun and affordable way to revamp their closets efficiently with new found treasures.
According to Forbes, Gen Z has $44 billion spending power and is expected to account for 40% of all U.S. consumers by 2020. They are characterized by being savers, financially-conservative, and bargain hunters. About 40% of them say they are spending more time in consignment shops and supermarkets.
“thredUP’s CEO and co-founder, James Reinhart, asserts that millennials are among the company’s biggest buyers and donators. This makes a lot of sense–not only are millennials tech-savvy and comfortable working online, but they’re also keen on eco-friendly ways of living. Additionally, despite stereotypes, they’re quite concerned with making their money go further, as they face a tougher job market and higher debt.” – Inc
“Designers and retailers are marketing reused luxury clothes as a way to be environmentally friendly as more consumers, especially millennials and Generation Z, express interest in sustainability. Younger consumers will pay more to support brands that invest in causes they care about as long as the brands are clear about how they make and price their products, said Alexis DeSalva, a retail and apparel analyst at Mintel.” –WSJ
“The fashion industry is doing more every day to change its reputation as one of the chief sources of pollution and waste in the world. …fashion trends have been turning green, reflecting a set of shifting values that prioritize the health and well-being of laborers, clothing wearers, and of course, Mother Earth. Everlane has provided unprecedented transparency into its labor and manufacturing, and even fast-fashion giant H&M has designed a conscious collection made of recycled materials…Online consignment shop thredUP and sustainable womenswear line Reformation, which launched a new joint recycling program on October 2, 2018, and introduced UPcycling kits.” –MindBodyGreen.