Vancouver truly is becoming a hub for innovative start-ups of all kinds. Tech, manufacturing, social media, you name it – someone in Vancouver has started it. Bonafide entrepreneurs know it’s one thing to start something but to actually follow through and deliver a viable, successful venture is quite another.
We recently attended the launch of Closet Relay, one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-it apps. Founder and President Ria Mizera put together a hands-on information session at our favourite coffee shop, Matchstick Coffee Roasters, for a handful of bloggers and social media heads.
So what’s it all about? “Closet Relay is designed to help users make money from their once loved clothes,” says Mizera. “It also diverts items from the landfills by finding them a second home.”
We were asked to bring some gently used items so we could get a hands-on feel for how the app functions. We also learned a lot about what inspired Ria to enter this highly competitive market with an app that loosely follows the business model of Uber or AirBnb – build a platform that creates a community of users who can then sidestep the traditional brick-and-mortar operations.”I was strongly inspired by my two years as an Airbnb host and hope that others get to experience the same sense of empowerment that Airbnb gave me by being a micro-entrepreneur.”
We learned this is how you can get started with this cool new app:
Step 1: Download the app from iTunes and create your profile through Facebook or email.
Step 2: Dig through your closet for items that are in good shape but aren’t your jam any more, feel good that you are finally purging and getting more organized.
Step 3: Follow the easy, breezy steps on how to properly photograph your item. You can’t post your item until you taken at least a front, side and back shot. You may want some help from a friend to snap pics of you wearing the item (or use a mirror).
Step 4: Fill out the description fields and choose your price.
Step 5: Post
Once you’ve posted items, other people with the app can make an offer. Once you agree on a price Closet Relay gets $1.19 out of the deal which is charged to your iTunes account. It is then up to you and the person you made the deal with to arrange a time and place to exchange the item(s). The app makes it so that you can see the profile of the person selling the item so you can spot them easily when you meet up. Ria mentioned that a review system is in the works so that sellers and buyers can read about how well the transactions unfold, similar to Ebay where sellers get a rating based on feedback reviews. But for now, the app functions well without it.