Will Gently become the Kayak of secondhand apparel?
As secondhand retail draws more of a mainstream audience, the number of places online where a shopper can find gently used apparel is proliferating. Now a new startup aims to let customers search all of those clothing resellers at once.
Gently is an app that envisions itself as being to secondhand apparel what Kayak is to booking hotels, according to TechCrunch. The website, which launched last year under its former name, Wearloom, allows users to search multiple online retailers for used clothing at once. Visitors key in what they are looking for and Gently searches its partners for the product and returns results from them.
Gently’s partners include popular used product destinations like eBay, ThredUp, Vestiaire Collective, Rebag, Grailed, GOAT, StockX and TheLuxuryCloset. In its early incarnation, Gently/Wearloom customers would enter the used items they were looking for into a form and the startup founders would search websites for them manually and email the customer a list of possible selections. When this became too laborious, they pivoted to an automated search model.
The company’s user base is now in the tens of thousands. It is not, however, the only aggregator in the space. Gently points to Lyst and ShopStyle as its main competitors.
A visit to the Gently website further finds that the service promotes deals from its partners to customers via emails and populates those deals on its home page.
Once a niche segment for dedicated “thrifters” and vintage enthusiasts, used apparel has been growing in popularity and finding a place both online and in major brick-and-mortar retailers. This is in part because an inflationary economy and rising living costs have pushed shoppers to look for deep-discounted goods. Beyond the price, secondhand clothing provides a more environmentally sound alternative to buying new apparel, especially over fast fashion, which is often pointed to by critics as being resource intensive to produce and wasteful.
Secondhand customers also report enjoying the “treasure hunt” aspect of shopping used, according to a recent CNBC article.
- Gently’s shopping aggregator aims to remove friction of locating secondhand apparel – TechCrunch
- Gently – Gently.com
- Secondhand shopping is booming: Here’s how much you can save – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see shopping aggregators as a positive, negative or neutral development for sites selling secondhand apparel? How likely are such services to become the starting points for a large percentage of shoppers seeking to buy resale?