SellHound is an online secondhand resale company. Cofounders Suzanne Wouk and Geoff Dillon started the company nearly a year and a half ago. There are eight staff members, six advisers and multiple contractors, according to Earle.
The current size of the resale apparel market is $20 billion, according to a statistic presented by the recommerce company Thredup. Thredup shows that 1 in 3 women shopped secondhand last year. It predicts that the resale market will reach $41 billion by 2022.
“We’re making reuse more mainstream,” said Dillon.
With the SellHound posting app, users with an eBay account can take pictures of an item they want to sell and SellHound lists it, according to Wouk. SellHound compares item prices with its top marketplaces, according to Deborah Lindsay, director of operations and sustainability. For example, a piece of clothing will be compared on eBay, Poshmark, Mercari and other places it’s commonly sold. She said SellHound is focusing on its U.S. market.
Within a business day, SellHound sends the listed item back to the user with a sale price and shipping costs and it is posted to his or her eBay account. Once it sells, SellHound takes the item down. SellHound does not have set pricing models yet and only lists to eBay, but is working toward posting in multiple marketplaces, according to Earle.
“We’re like a virtual assistant,” Wouk said. “It’s like hiring somebody to sit in your closet or sit in your garage to do all that work for you.”
Earle said an app for Android will be released in a week or two.
Some customers, however, still like buying second hand at their local brick and mortar businesses.
Chelsea Smith, owner of Aptos consignment store Jet Set Bohemian, said she has loyal clientele.
“I’m hearing that they love coming here because of the service they get and their ability to touch fabric and try things on.”
The store opened in 1991. It sells previously owned designer clothing and accessories.
Smith worked at the shop while in high school, and she said in comparison, secondhand shopping on the whole is more popular today.
“I think people are becoming more conscious of how the fashion industry impacts the environment,” she said.
Assistant Manager Andrew Frankl of Play It Again Sports in Soquel said the store hears less about an online presence of used sports gear compared to new. Play It Again Sports opened in Soquel 25 years ago.
“Used is something we pride ourselves on and is a market we have a corner on in Santa Cruz,” he said. He said people care about shopping local.
Frankl said the store’s most-sold used items are fitness and baseball gear. He said staff makes sure to stay relevant and be a store that’s worth coming to.
But a new local business is still to be celebrated.
SellHound will be honored as “Innovative Business of the Year” at the 2019 NEXTies at 6 p.m. March 22 at the Rio Theatre,1205 Soquel Ave.
For more information, visit sellhound.com or call 831-471-5089.