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Marketplace Focus: Tradesy

A simpler eBay alternative to sell your vintage and designer clothing

While eBay may be one of the top go-to sites for online commerce, many sellers are getting fed up with increasing fees and competition, spurring them to seek alternative platforms on which to sell.

One of the newest online marketplaces to offer an eBay alternative is Tradesy, a clothing hub tailored for women.

“Tradesy is a peer-to-peer marketplace for women’s fashion, and was designed primarily for women who don’t have a lot of sales or technical expertise,” says Tracy DiNunzio, the marketplace’s founder and CEO.

The site has a sleek design; it charges one flat commission fee, and it provides assistance for photos, shipping and returns.

The site has a sleek design; it charges one flat commission fee, and it provides assistance for photos, shipping and returns

“With all of those features and more, we truly believe that we’ve created the most seller-friendly marketplace around,” DiNunzio says.

Explosive launch

DiNunzio launched Tradesy out of beta on Oct. 24, following a three-year success on her RecycledBride.com platform. According to Site Analytics, Tradesy started with about 600 unique visitors during beta and grew to 2,800 unique visitors last month.

While these numbers are low compared to eBay’s 80 million visitors, the site has started strong and DiNunzio describes the launch as “explosive,” thanks to “extraordinary media coverage,” including a spot on Good Morning America.

Elyse Clark, a personal shopper and stylist in Los Angeles, was interviewed in the news segment as one of the first users of Tradesy, so we touched base with her to see how she’s been doing.

eBay had been Clark’s favorite selling site for clothing for years, until she discovered Tradesy, she says. She’s already sold “quite a few things” on Tradesy and will always be listing items because her position in the fashion industry requires she keep an updated wardrobe.

“I get so excited when I sell something, and can buy something new or even pay bills with the money I earn,” Clark adds.

First and foremost, sellers can list as many items as they like for free. That means there are no risks or regrets if your items don’t sell

Low-risk selling platform

Tradesy has a lot of advantages that make it stand out from competitors. First and foremost, sellers can list as many items as they like for free. That means there are no risks or regrets if your items don’t sell.

Tradesy takes a 9-percent commission from sales, which is less than what some consignment shops charge, and it helps fund all the benefits it offers, including photo cleanup and shipping assistance. But more on that later.

Newcomer to online selling Gina Carelli had been shopping around for her first online selling experience. She was giving heavy consideration to eBay because of its worldwide recognition when she saw the spot on Good Morning America about Tradesy.

After looking further into Tradesy, Carelli decided to give it “a dedicated try,” she says. She listed designer, classic and vintage items, and sold three pieces within four weeks.

“The vintage went first,” Carelli reports.

She must be on to something, because fashion gal Clark says she’d love to see more vintage items from high fashion labels like Prada and Miu Miu.

I’m sure there are plenty of women holding on to some designer blazers with shoulder pads from the ’80s that girls like me would love to bring back

“I’m sure there are plenty of women holding on to some designer blazers with shoulder pads from the ’80s that girls like me would love to bring back,” Clark says.

Clark could be a model seller for the eBay alternative because of her desire to trade upcoming fashion pieces for vintage ones. And Carelli points out that the Tradesy name implies just that: a place for trading clothes more than just selling them.

“When you sell an item, that money goes into your Tradesy account, and if you transfer to PayPal, they take an additional fee,” she says. “If you keep it in the Tradesy account and buy something, there are no [extra] fees.”

The extra fee Carelli talks about it probably a reimbursement to Tradesy for the fee PayPal charges it to make a sale. But compared to all the fees eBay charges, Tradesy’s cost to your pocketbook is easy to figure. Plus, on Black Friday, Tradesy covered a 10-percent discount on all listed items, which was a nice promotion for its sellers and added glee for its shoppers.

“I love shopping on Tradesy because I can buy really nice clothes for half price, and it’s so easy I can even shop from my iPhone,” Clark says.

Tools to help sellers get top dollar

That brings us to the other benefits I promised to talk more about. Tradesy already has its iPhone app running, so customers can list and buy while on the go, like Clark, who says she plans on listing her whole closet during her lunch breaks.

Once you’ve listed details about your item, Tradesy’s pricing recommendation engine scours real-time data across the Web to find a price that will likely make your item sell

But it gets much better than just an app. Tradesy has a Photoshop expert on its team who erases the background off your main photo, so your clothes’ first impressions are clean, not like you just threw your shirt on the floor and snapped a picture.

Once you’ve listed details about your item, Tradesy’s pricing recommendation engine scours real-time data across the Web to find a price that will likely make your item sell, DiNunzio says.

You don’t have to use Tradesy’s price suggestion, though. Go ahead and list it at whatever price you want. And when your item sells, you don’t have to worry one bit about shipping, because the eBay alternative has that part covered, too.

“We manage shipping from end to end, at no cost to our sellers, in a way that doesn’t even require you to leave the house,” DiNunzio says.

The shipping cost is automatically added to the list price, and Tradesy will send you a complete shipping kit with prepaid postage as soon as your item sells. All you have to do is pack it up and put it in the mailbox.

We’ve simplified photography, listing, shipping and returns, which are all areas that can be challenging and time consuming

If a customer is unhappy with their purchase, Tradesy steps in with its return policy. The seller gets to keep her money—as long as she didn’t grossly misrepresent the item—and Tradesy will, in short, accept the return and reimburse the buyer. The returned item will then be placed in the Tradesy Secret Closet to later be offered to select customers at highly discounted prices.

Finally, Tradesy provides share buttons on each listing for you to post on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Google+.

“[We also] promote our most active sellers’ items across our own social networks and those of our strategic partners,” DiNunzio adds.

Though still new, DiNunzio thinks Tradesy has an exceptional number of transactions and return visitors. She adds that the eBay alternative is getting a lot of attention from women ages 22 to 45 who haven’t previously been involved in selling online, which she attributes to her marketplace being so user friendly.

“We’ve simplified photography, listing, shipping and returns, which are all areas that can be challenging and time consuming,” DiNunzio says.


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About the author

Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown is a freelance writer who writes about e-commerce and small businesses. She recently graduated from Chico State with a journalism degree and is also a budding online entrepreneur, having launched two Web businesses and her own line of handmade products. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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