- Posted July 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Women and the economy
Today’s economy is in an unpredictable state and full time jobs are constantly being replaced with part time jobs that pay much less. With my educational background being in fashion design, one that is not in high demand, I found myself in a precarious position! Who can afford Prada in the current economy, when Payless will do!
My love of all things designer and a lack of job availability in my field of expertise led me down a road I could never have predicted. I was not prepared to give up my beloved Prada, so I turned to online auction sites to replace my old designer digs with newer versions! In doing so, I found an entire market for resale designer goods and decided to open a shop front on the online auction houses I had been purchasing from. I started by cleaning out my own wardrobe, did the odd bit of consignment here and there for others, and purchased items from consignment shops to turn around and resell for a profit. Before I knew it, my business had expanded and the need to hunt for work elsewhere went out the window!
After selling through these same online auction sites for a few years, I found that the fee structure of these same sites were beyond excessive - they were outrageous!. Over 25% of my profit was lining someone else's pocket! I started researching how online auction sites were laid out. Turns out, with the introduction of the Cloud and the lower cost of server space, when a store is opened on an online auction site, the site already makes over 400% profit on the store front fee alone. The price of the store fronts have not been adjusted to reflect the actual reduced cost it takes to run them. Online auction houses are already profiting prior to the excessive commission and other fees. Online auction seller’s pay insertion/ listing fees, re-listing fees, extra picture fees, and a commission on every item sold. When my brother and I started digging around on structure and fee systems, I personally found that there were items I had listed for auction that I would end up taking a huge hit on. This was not due to lack of bids, but due to the excessive fee structure. When I tallied in how many times I had to pay to re-list an item, on top of the commission, without realizing it, I was in the red! The auction site, on the other hand, was very much in the black!
An average of 1- 3 billion dollars per quarter on clothing and accessories is made by auction sales, and the fashion/ clothing and accessories sector of online auction sites is one of the highest selling sectors with an average of 40% in online auction sales alone. This drove me to look into what it would take to build a website that not only functions as an online high- end, non- commission based fashion auction house, but also a resource that encompasses numerous other aspects of the fashion industry. A fashion magazine and information forum available for all!
Like other auction sites, sellers on Wardrobe9.com have a choice to sell using a "Buy It Now" option or put an item up for auction. Unlike other auction sites, though, there will be no hidden or gouging fees, and no commission! In venturing into such a large undertaking of the Wardrobe9.com site, I am also determined to eliminate the stigma associated with other sites. The public will have a place to sell items on a higher- end level with a more refined look than your average auction site and a fashion auction site dedicated solely to fashion.
Wardrobe9.com is not a giant jumble sale! The items have to have some name clout to them, have to be authenticated, and have to obviously be clothing, accessories, or fashion related somehow, i.e., fashion books, art work, etc. Like its’ competitors, Wardrobe9.com will have different levels of store fronts. However, Wardrobe9.com permits sellers to link their individual websites to their Wardrobe9 store front and have the ability to cross sell. I believe, as a website owner myself, that this is not detrimental in today's market and current economical state, as much as it is beneficial to permit cross selling, an option no other online auction site offers. Because Wardrobe9.com is not commission based, it acknowledges how extremely significant and beneficial such an option is to online sellers.
The idea of incorporating a fashion magazine and information forum stems from the years I spent researching behind the scenes of a very private close- knit industry, the fashion industry, for a book that I am in the process of publishing. I found that there was no central website for all of the information I had accumulated. It would literally take an individual years to gather all the information I had accumulated. So, I decided at that point to look into expanding the horizons of Wardrobe9.com and building a website for all of the information to become public knowledge. Everything from up and coming trends, fashion vocabulary, designer history, how to get into manufacturing, who owns and produces what, design schools worldwide and fashion organizations worldwide will be included. The list goes on and on.
Wardrobe9.com will be the only online, non- commission based auction house dedicated solely to the selling of higher- end fashion, fashion related items, fashion information, and a magazine site all rolled into one!
Wardrobe9.com will launch later this year!