Technology

Secondhand clothing finds new life online

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Secondhand clothing is the latest thing to go digital. And it's happening in a big way. One online marketplace is releasing new numbers showing just how big.

Lauren Smith is not lacking for clothes. She is, however, lacking for space.

"Since we live in San Francisco, I have to be really picky what my favorites are," she said. "And that's exactly why I use Poshmark."

The smartphone app is a marketplace for secondhand women's fashion.

"And I'm able to sell those things that originally would've just hung out in my closet or I would've ended up donating," Smith said. "I'm able to turn around and make a profit off of it."

Things like this top from a bachelorette party.

"It's not something that I can wear every day," she said.

And this purse she found on sale.

"It's very easy to sell things," Smith said. "Especially things that have brand names. For Coach, that tends to go pretty quickly."

In fact, Coach is the top selling brand on Poshmark, according to numbers they just released. Second is Louis Vuitton, which is also the brand that sells the fastest. The second fastest is Lululemon, with their famous yoga pants. In all, they say 1.5 million items were sold with the app last year.

"I sold my first item and it was kind of addictive after that," Smith said.

In fact, it's a market that's taking off so quickly, now there's a new player in the space with a decidedly different take. Instead of selling your clothes, this one's entirely focused on swapping them.

"One person's trash is somebody else's treasure," said Petros Georgopoulos.

Georgopoulos launched Swapdom about two months ago and watched it take off.

"It was really, you know, more than we expected," he said. "So swaps are happening much faster than we were anticipating."

You'll find lots of shoes, flowers, and polka dots. But there's one thing you won't find.

"Cash," Georgopoulos said. "You don't have to pay for the items."

Everything is strictly a trade. You find what you want and post what you'd give up to get it. The website automatically strings together a loop of up to fifteen people.

Just like Secret Santa, you send something to one person, but receive something from someone else. And like magic, "Everybody gets exactly what they want," Georgopoulos said.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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fashion, retail, websites, internet, technology, jonathan bloom
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