We’re seeing a trend in the ecommerce fashion scene, 2nd-hand retail websites. Some business models connect users who exchange or purchase clothing directly from each other, like Poshmark. Others, like Threadup allow users to send in clothing or accessories directly to the company for cash or store credits.
This blog will discuss some of the terms of service you should consider including. Deciding on these factors will help you create a full business model, and help consumers understand how your service works.
Let your users know what type of brands you accept. This is particularly important for companies who are doing the resale on their own (not allowing users to connect directly with eachother) You’ll likely want a curated listing of brands, so that the user can know what type of apparel they can expect to find from your website, capturing the loyalty of well-known brands, within a secondary market.
Clarify the type of sizes that can be sent in. Consider all the specialty sizes that may come your way: plus, petite, maternity. These specialty sizes can help you cater to niche markets, but can also be burdensome inventory to move if you’re trying to cater to the masses. This is also a good time to consider if you’ll be allowing men and women’s clothing, as well as children’s.
Condition & Age
Users will likely be curious about the condition of the clothing being sold, and the age of the garments. Perhaps you are entering to the vintage niche, and age is a benefit to your business model, make it known which eras you are accepting. If you are trying to market those looking for contemporary or modern styles, you may want to limit the age of the garments, such as saying the garments must be less than 3 years old.
If you are attempting to sell luxury brands that are known for being victims to knockoffs or counterfeits (Gucci, Prada, Luis Vuitton, Chanel, etc), decide on how you’ll address authenticity concerns. Perhaps its taking higher priced items to a specialist in your city for authenticity review. Perhaps you offer full refunds within 90 days, allowing the purchaser to take the item to a specialist after purchase. Check out the RealReal, as one company who has an authenticity program: https://www.therealreal.com/authenticity
With 2nd-hand retail, you may have four points of shipment (1) initial shipment for buy-in or consignment to your business, (2) shipping of unaccepted items (3)shipment of purchases to customers, (4) exchange and returns. For peer-to-peer selling, you may allow the users to decide their own shipping terms. If you’ll be doing the buying of garments for resale, decide on who’s paying for each step of the shipping process.
Returns / Exchanges
Along with shipping of returns and exchange, you need to decide on return and exchange terms. Will you allow refunds? Exchange for other items? Store credit? How long does the the customer have to return or exchange the item? Some businesses add their own tags to the clothing, to allow for at home try-on. Once that tag is removed, the garment can no longer be returned. Consider if you can add your own tags to the garments, and the policies you’ll require for peer-to-peer sellers.
Limitations on Jewelry
Jewelry, including watches are often subject to additional State based regulations, so be sure to talk with an attorney about resale programs of these items!
For questions on writing your own terms of service for a 2nd-hand website, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org