Thanks to Swapdom, fashion fiends can now trade those painful pumps they never wore for the winter coats they really need, and they won’t have to find their unicorn body twin who needs those spectator shoes and has their ideal same size jacket to do it.
“Geeks like us sometimes have cool ideas,” said CEO Petros Georgopoulos at the brand’s launch party this past Friday. It was, of course, a live clothing swap complete with cocktails and one of New York City’s most prolific personal style and beauty bloggers. Cool is one way to describe his and brother George’s new community swap site for new and gently used apparel and accessories that takes the hassle out of the classic playground trade.
“After the sub prime crisis, we realized that cashless trade was going to become more popular. Everybody knows that swapping will become more efficient in large groups. Mathematically, it is a hard problem to solve, but that is where we got lucky.”
The brothers created an algorithm that solves that equation. They chose fashion to start with because it is an affinity group that fits the bill. “Fashion people are already swapping, they are very aware of that clothing and accessories are highly circulated and cyclical. They also tend to have a social conscience about apparel and accessory waste ending up in landfills. What we are trying to do is to make Swapping as easy as possible.” They are looking to expand to more categories like children’s toys in the future, and not surprisingly, they are polling users to gauge what kind of items they’d like to swap.
How does Swapdom Work? The algorithm matches items for swapping based on an intricate system that assigns each item a valuation. Each swapper uploads an item they are looking to unload, identifies the item they want, and the site organizes a group swap behind the scenes wherein everyone gets what they want, without any haggling on the swapper’s end.
“When I first started my blog, I was on a tight budget, and I would swap with my friends,” recalled Keiko Lynn outside the East Village venue. “It’s a great way to get new clothes without having to spend any money. This site is so cool because they make it easier, plus the one in one out policy is great especially if you live in New York and don’t have have the closet space.” She is already a user who started when the site was in beta. “I just posted my first three items already, and I put in my first request for a dress from Skunkboyblog, which I love, so I wasn’t surprised that it turned out to be hers!”
Swapdom has partnered with UPS to cut shipping costs for swappers. This along with a $2 fee is the only cost to members, which serves as the swappers commitment to the trade. If you have your item shipped to a commercial address, say, your office instead of your house, you’ll get a $2.80 discount. To date, the highest shipping price for a 1lb item is $11 coast to coast. “We will eternally be looking for ways to reduce the shipping cost,” notes Georgopoulos.
Best of all? Membership is free. Says Georgopoulos, “it has to be free. It’s the internet. It has to stay free, or nobody would join.”
Wanna Swap? Join Swapdom here!