Copious Adds Men's and Art Categories to Personalized Ecommerce Marketplace

Today San Francisco-based Copious announced that it’s adding new categories to its ecommerce marketplace, now supporting men’s clothing and art in addition to women’s clothing and accessories. The shopping platform lets people buy and sell items, from clothes to art to household items, and aims to personalize the experience by tapping into a user’s social networks. Along with today’s expanded categories, the company is announcing that celebrity stylist Brad Goreski will be supporting the men’s launch, selling items from his own closet on the platform.

Launched in January 2011, Copious closed $5 million in Series A funding this summer from investors including Google Ventures, which followed $2 million in funding in June 2011. Co-founder Jonathan Ehrlich, the former head of marketing at Facebook, said that though they already have men using the platform, today is a way to expand on products for that subset of users, as well as for women who are buying gifts.

“We have a really healthy and vibrant set of men on the platform already, we’re just elevating that to sort of the stature of the other categories, and giving that more distribution and play,” Ehrlich said in an interview. As for the new art category, users will be able to buy and sell original art, or art from users’ existing collections.

Ehrlich said the main value proposition of Copious when compared to other buy-and-sell marketplaces like eBay, Threadflip and HipSwap is its focus on personalization. Users have to sign in with Twitter or Facebook, and take a style quiz when they sign up to help define their preferences, much like other shopping sites like ShoeDazzle and JustFab. Then as buyers interact on the site, from following users to liking or buying items, the platform will serve up content based on those preferences.

“Our thinking is very different than the rest of those experiences,” Ehrlich said, because he believes other sites like HipSwap don’t change as users interact on the site. “What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to build an experience that’s literally organized around you.”

The company has worked with stylists and bloggers in the past, including Man Repeller, Oh Joy!, Nitro:licious and Because I’m Addicted, so today’s partnership with Brad Goreski is just another attempt to get users on board using star power. “He’s obviously got great distribution, great reach, and very influential, so we’re lucky to have him on board.”

When the site originally opened to the public in June 2011, it focused on showing buyers how connected they were to a seller based on their social networks. It also allowed sellers to offer incentives to buyers in exchange for things like following them on Twitter or sharing their listing. It debuted the new current version of the platform in January 2012, and while it has a focus on personalization, there is a wealth of competition in the resale marketplace space.

While the company isn’t disclosing specific numbers, they reported the platform has hundreds of thousands of users, with tens of thousands of item sold. Ehrlich said since raising funding in June, they’ve expanded their team from 12 to almost 20 people, and will be looking to expand to international markets in 2013. They will also be launching their SimpleShip product, which will let sellers print a shipping label online. In terms of what else they have on the product roadmap, Ehrlich said they’ll be looking to work on more mobile solutions, and they’ll be looking to invest in marketing to bring on board both buyers and sellers.

With Ehrlich’s background at Facebook, it’s no surprise that he says he wants the Copious experience to be similar in that every experience will be curated for the user. With no shortage of places for both women and men to buy new and used items online, the company will need to nail personalization in order to be the resale marketplace of choice for both buyers and sellers.

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin Bury is a Co-founder and CEO at Willful, an online estate planning platform. Also a former Managing Director at Eighty-Eight, a creative communications agency based in Toronto. She was formerly the Managing Editor at BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter at @erinbury.

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