2 Entrepreneurs Disrupting the Reseller Marketplace
"Disruptive innovation" results when you've made something easier, more profitable or a combination of the two. Disruption, in fact, is a mechanism that has turned various industries into what they are today.
An example? The retail and resale sectors have seen their share of disruption, thanks to online marketplaces, where almost any entrepreneur can open an ecommerce store. Amazon, eBay and Etsy have all contributed mightily to the annals of disruption, as well.
Related: Businesses You Can Start at Home
Other areas primed for disruption? You wouldn’t think there would be another way to disrupt the selling process, but you’d be wrong: Consider the two entrepreneurs who have found a new way to disrupt the reseller marketplace, through the startups Rebagg and Trendlee.
Rebagg, founded by Charles-Albert Gorra and Erwan Delacroix, is a reseller marketplace for designer handbags. Bags are purchased from sellers, then sold to consumers on the website Trendlee.com.
Rebagg's founder, Gorra, formerly of Rent the Runway, started the concept when he began selling designer dresses and handbags on eBay. His co-founder, Delacroix, an ex-Google executive, joined the company in the early stages and helped shifted its focus, to simplify the selling process.
The idea of reselling, of course, is nothing new. EBay came on the scene early, and created a new marketplace by which people could sell products without starting a business or building a website. The industry has evolved ever since.
Reseller opportunities now pop up all the time. One of the latest crazes includes Instagram-type marketplaces like Offer Up, which allows sellers to simply take a photo and name the price of the item they are selling.
But a big factor here is the disruption that changes the scenario whereby sellers would move to a different marketplace -- to obtain payment -- and that’s exactly where Gorra and Delacroix have stepped up.
“Reselling is not a new concept,” says Gorra, who currently serves as the company CEO. “Most owners do not have the time to deal with the complexities and uncertainties of the reselling process, which means that many great products don’t even make it to the market. We created a frictionless and guaranteed service: You stay at home and get paid fair prices quickly while the Rebagg team does all the work.”
So, how does Rebagg function? In fact, the company starts, as expected, with the latest reseller technique of taking and submitting a picture of the user's item to sell.
However, Rebagg removes the middleman. Instead of a user listing his or her item for sale, Rebagg provides a quote for the item, then pays the user within a few days of the offer's being accepted. The company next turns around and sells the item on Trendless.com.
“It’s a really simple process,” says Gorra. “If a woman has a high-end designer handbag in her closet, we buy it for cash. She does not have to list the item, wait for a buyer or deal with the final sale.”
The expectation is that when the selling process becomes simple, more items will come to market. Gorra and Delacroix have removed the hassles associated with traditional marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon.com. They have not only earned the attention of resellers, but of investors as well.
“Rebagg is disrupting the traditional consignment model by offering a quasi-instant and fully guaranteed way to monetize closets,” General Catalyst managing director Adam Valkin said in a press release. “The immediacy and simplicity of the process has the potential to unlock untapped inventory and multiply the size of the resale market.”
To date, Rebagg has taken in more than $13 million in funding, led by General Catalyst. It has also garnered participation from investors such as Metamorphic Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Founder Collective and Big Sur Ventures-Necotium.
So, what can Rebagg teach us about disruption? When things seem like they cannot be improved, they can: Simply find a way to make things easier for your customers.
Make it easier for people to bring things to market, or for consumers to make a purchase, and you'll likely have funders chasing you down, too.