Início Tech Kleinfeld Launches Platform to Buy and Sell Pre-owned Bridal Dresses

Kleinfeld Launches Platform to Buy and Sell Pre-owned Bridal Dresses


Giving new meaning to the wedding day suggestion of “something borrowed” for brides, Kleinfeld Bridal has launched an online platform for pre-owned wedding dresses.

Brides and brides-to-be can buy and sell pre-worn dresses from dozens of designers at the just-launched KleinfeldAgain site. The commission-free site is a first for Kleinfeld, an established bridal emporium that has gained global attention through the TLC reality show “Say Yes to the Dress!” The set-up connects buyers and sellers, who set their own prices but must undergo a verification process by an in-house team.

Targeting online and sustainable-minded shoppers, who are not looking for an in-store shopping experience with an entourage of friends or relatives in tow, KleinfeldAgain aims to attract a different type of shopper. The pre-worn items do not have to have been previously purchased from Kleinfeld’s to be offered online. Comparing the pre-owned wedding dress sector to the used car market, Kleinfeld Bridal’s co-owner and chief executive officer Ronnie Rothstein noted that consumers in each sector vary from those who only want brand new items.

To list a dress on the KleinfeldAgain site, sellers sign up for a monthly fee of $9.95, and they have upgrade options to increase exposure for their listings. A graduate student at Columbia University’s Business School first suggested the idea to sell pre-owned dresses during a talk that Kleinfeld’s co-owner and president Mara Urshel delivered there about 10 years ago. At that time, the retailer was — as it still remains — highly service-focused, and technology was not as top-of-mind as it is now, Rothstein said. After finding the right partner, the company decided to move forward with developing a digital platform about 18 months ago.

KleinfeldAfain

Online shoppers at KleinfeldAgain will find pre-worn bridal dresses.

Photo Courtesy KleinfeldAgain

Currently 100-plus dresses are offered via KleinfeldAgain but Kleinfeld’s plans to offer “thousands” going forward and is already equipped to do so, Rothstein said. The assortment is made up of existing labels and ones that the retailer has not offered before. With 1.6 million Instagram followers, there is a loyal base of Kleinfeld shoppers to draw from, but as mentioned new customers are being targeted, too. “We were concerned about cannibalizing the business, but we’re not anymore,” Rothstein said.

While the seller of the pre-owned dress can set their own price and a 30 percent discount is the norm, market research indicates that a lot of the sales are taking place at 50 percent off. Sellers can list dresses for a flat rate or be open for bids. Rothstein explained, “We’re not standing in the way of that. This is between the bride that is selling and the bride that is buying it.”

Once a garment is sold, the buyer is notified by email and text. Before goods are shipped, an in-house team inspects the dress to ensure it matches its description, including any imperfections such as stains. That inspection is also documented.

While Kleinfeld does not receive a percentage of any of the sales, sellers pay the $9.95 monthly subscription fee and a 5 percent transaction fee. KleinfeldAgain’s upgrade opportunities include the chance to be featured in its social media “for an extra pop of exposure,” said consultant Jennifer Shipe, who joined Rothstein in the interview. “One of the things that we tell the sellers is that they’ve got to be active and responsive. You have to ensure you’re answering questions and responding to messages. If you won’t have the bandwidth to, because you’re going on vacation or are approaching a busy time, you hit freeze on your subscription. The listing comes down on a temporary hold and then you can relist it any time,” she said.

To help spread the word about KleinfeldAgain, the retailer has partnered with “Summer House” star Lindsay Hubbard, who is listing her previous wedding gowns on the resale site. Like thousands of brides, she opted for multiple looks on her wedding day including a Pnina Tornai look from Kleinfeld’s. Proceeds from the sales of her gowns will benefit The Chick Mission, a nonprofit that focuses on critical issues that cancer patients face including post-treatment fertility challenges. In addition, KleinfeldAgain.com will match the proceeds of the gowns to be donated to The Chick Mission.

On another note, Kleinfeld saw strong results from recent in-store shopping events hosted by “Say Yes to the Dress!” star Randy Fenoli, who typically generates $200,000 a day in sales, according to Rothstein, who mused kiddingly about how having Fenoli visit weekly might spike sales. 



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