A used clothes e-commerce website built with my wife
My wife wanted to get his own business and we were looking for some idea, from my side I wanted since a long time to try to create an e-commerce website. We have been searching for an idea for while before figuring out. As we had 3 kids we had a lot of clothes, so some day we where making room in the basement and we tought that difficult to get rid of clothes in good condition, you can’t just put them in the trash, because you know kid clothes are really expensive and they may be valuable to someone. So we tough that maybe somewhere parents would like to buy affordable clothes in good condition and maybe some other wanted to make room in their basement and make money of it.
Back in 2010 some solutions where allready existing in France (ebay, le bon coin) and people where using those website to sell and buy used kids clothes. We tried them all but at the end the experience was pretty bad, at this point we knew that something interesting can be done.
Our main partis pris were :
- Simple to sell and buy
- Cheap to buy
- Valuable to sell
We choosed to buy clothes before selling them, the other option were to make a market place but it feel to complexe to us.
We “simply” had to build an e-commerce website, at the begining we were focused on the website itself, UX, desgin, features, etc. It take us 1 year to launch the first version. That where we have started trying to generate traffic, that’s apparently something that people often forget :)…. you need to get traffic to sell stuf. We have made a lot of differents things like addwork, facebook add, sponsorised blog post, contest with blogers, PR releasse, blogers event and so on. Everything was iteresting but at the end that’s the SEO work that were the most valuable and really start our business.
We have tow differents approch to buy clothes, if the seller is close from our home town we take an appointment and go to their home to buy clothes. If they are far we send them a RoseIndigo bag where they can put their clothes.
We have been overload by bag demand it feel like a lot of people want to sell used clothes but unfortunatly we can't buy every used clothes of our market (France)
BIG AMOUNT OF CLOTHES
To make this business interesting we needed to handle a big volume of clothes because margin are tight. We are generally putting online aroung 300 clothes per week. Each clothes require a lot of work, from putting it in the rigth categorie, write a description, take 2 or 3 pictures and push all this online.
SHOOTING & AUTOMATION
For both contributing the pictures we needed some automation.
- I have build a photo shoot studio that make the process easy. Depending of the color of the clothe we change the background from purple, pink. I also have created a backligth ligthing for certain kind of clothes. Every picture drop in folder where they are automaticaly resized, oriented, compressed and pushed on our web plateform.
- For the contribution we are not using the PrestaShop CMS because it was to slow, we are contributing everything in Excel. Product are pushed live by using the Prestashop import feature.