Today Boulder, CO-based 27Perry announced the launch of its curated consignment marketplace, which helps brick-and-mortar consignment stores sell one-of-a-kind items directly to online shoppers across the U.S. The company is partnering with consignments stores in Denver, Boulder, and New York City to feature items ranging from clothing, sports equipment, antiques and home furnishings to online shoppers, and plans to expand to other U.S. cities in the future.
From individuals who consign their goods in-store, to the consignment stores selling their items online, and the online shoppers buying those items, the platform looks to benefit all sides of the consignment equation. The consignment industry to date has primarily been offline and locally focused, and with the launch of the new platform co-founder and CEO Kelly James hopes to expand the reach of local consignment stores to online shoppers. Prior to starting 27Perry James founded ClosetGroupie, an eBay-style online resale marketplace, but shortly after pivoted her focus to consignment stores.
“We started talking to a lot of consignment stores just naturally in that process, and they were really underserved, had much better inventory, and had no need to change their behavior to go online, they were really looking for a resource,” James said in an interview. “These consignment stores are really underserved by technology, and no one’s really focusing on them, everyone’s going after the individual…they are aggregating and curating already and no one’s helping them out.”
27Perry lets consignment stores send photos of their items and an inventory list to the 27Perry team, which then curates selected items to display on the site. The company creates an online storefront for each consignment store which showcases their items, lists details about their offline locations, and features reviews from local shoppers. Online shoppers can see photos, pricing, and delivery options (the site ships exclusively through USPS for now), and shoppers will eventually be able to buy an annual membership that will include perks like free shipping and item alert notifications.
For consignment shop owners the site comes equipped with an analytics dashboard that provides them with additional insight post-sale into their customers and how they can expand their reach. As for the pricing model, James said it changes based on the store, but in many cases they purchase items outright and then resell them on 27Perry. “We’re basically operating as a retailer and treating the consignment stores as wholesalers,” James said. Store can also pay for additional services like professional photography, and they’ll be adding the option to pay for premium placement on the site.
When shoppers order an item online, stores ship the items out directly in their own packaging with a 27Perry insert, and they set their own shipping prices. “We’ve spoken with a lot of people in the industry, and a lot of people are excited to get the different packaging from different consignment stores in the country. It’s different and funky, but as time goes on, we’d like to control that experience more,” James added.
There are other players in the consignment space, but they focus largely on individuals wanting to resell items. Twice’s consignment marketplace lets users send in clothes and get paid immediately, and then they resell the items on their online marketplace, and there are plenty of resale marketplaces like Copious, HipSwap and eBay. There are also local commerce platforms like Shopcastr looking to connect shoppers with items in local boutiques, though they don’t have a focus on consignment, and currently only offer local online ordering.
James said they are currently focused on building partnerships with consignment stores in Denver, Boulder, and New York City, and plan to expand to larger U.S. cities like Miami and San Francisco next. The company, which was part of the most recent TechStars Boulder class, plans to build out the web platform before moving to mobile. While consignment stores are limited to platforms like 27Perry or a custom ecommerce solution in order to get their wares online, online shoppers have access to a wide variety of resale platforms. With a focus on quality on quantity, James is hoping the platform can both help local businesses sell online, but also convince shoppers looking for one-of-a-kind items to shop with them.
With additional reporting from Erin Bury.