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When you want to turn your unwanted clothes into cash, but you don't have time to deal with the hassle of reselling, Twice has a solution. The local secondhand startup takes most of the pain and stress out of reselling by sending you a prepaid seller kit, and paying you up front for your haul. They measure everything. They take the photos. You just sit back and spend your money. Granted, that level of service means that you may not make as much money as you would if you handled the photography and descriptions yourself, but do you really have the time to deal with those details?
Racked caught up with Twice co-founder and CEO Noah Ready-Campbell at the company's Treat Street headquarters to get the inside scoop on how he and co-founder Calvin Young are transforming the resale industry. Here are the top eight things you should know about the company.
It's different from other reselling sites.
The standard model for apparel reselling —like eBay and Poshmark— is a peer-to-peer marketplace. Twice is a hybrid marketplace. "We say that because we're kind of across between Amazon and eBay. If you want to sell with us, you don't have to photograph or list anything yourself. You just send us a bag of stuff, we pay for the shipping, and about a week later we give you cash. It saves so much time. Essentially, what we're doing is attracting a whole new audience who will never sell on eBay."
How selling works.
Sellers request a prepaid selling kit or print out a shipping label from the Twice website. Price ranges for each type of garment and brand are listed on the site. After Twice receives and examines the items, it sends the seller an offer. "They can choose to accept or reject the offer, but it's an all or nothing offer; 97% of people accept," Noah explains. There's a 25% bonus for accepting Twice credit instead of cash for items. If a seller rejects the offer, he can pay $5 to cover return shipping. If she accepts, then Twice recycles the items that it can't list on the site. Typically, around 30% of the inventory is recycled.
And by "recycled," they mean…
Twice works with a couple of different brokers that are in the secondhand clothes recycling business. They channel that inventory to a couple of different places. Either it goes to textile recyclers to be turned into rags or insulation, it's shipped to the third world, or it's recovered and sold in other thrift stores.
Many Twice shoppers are also Twice sellers.
On eBay, only about 8% of buyers are also sellers, according to Noah. At Twice, over 30% of the shoppers also sell.
Noah and Calvin are seasoned secondhand shoppers.
"I grew up wearing a lot of secondhand clothes," Noah tells Racked. "I went to boarding school, but I went on a full scholarship. I had to wear a shirt and tie and slacks everyday; in order to get that stuff and save money, I would go to Goodwill and Salvation Army. I knew there were great deals out there; you could get a shirt with tags on it —a $200 shirt— for 10 or 15 bucks. Calvin also grew up wearing a lot of secondhand clothes. We knew that there was this great market out there. People are getting rid of clothes that they don't want anymore, and people are not really finding that stuff, unfortunately. A lot of it is going to landfills."
Twice is growing rapidly.
When Noah and Calvin launched Twice out of their apartment in January 2012, Noah was in charge of pulling and shipping the orders. He had an alarm set on his phone for 4:10 every afternoon because the post office picked up packages at 4:30. "I knew that if at 4:10 I printed out the invoices, and ran to the kitchen —which is where we were storing our inventory— I could pick everything and pack it," he tells Racked. Fast forward to 2015, and Twice is processing over 5,000 items through its Mission headquarters everyday. "Now we have 20 people who work all day to ship our orders."
Noah still shops at Twice.
"I’ve made a few purchases since we’ve launched mens, and I’ve gone and picked my own orders," he admits. "It brings back some memories."
Twice has plans to expand beyond fashion.
Like most entrepreneurs, Noah and Calvin are looking to scale their business model. In the last six months, Twice has launched three new verticals—women's handbags, shoes, and menswear. This year, their goal is to launch a new vertical outside of fashion. Noah isn't ready to divulge the details on the expansion just yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we find out.