In a nutshell Swango.com describes itself as the coolest place online to swap clothes and “swapping as easy as shopping”. Sort of an eBay but for swapping clothes, Swango puts a 21st century slant on going round to your friend’s house and rummaging through their clothes. And we all know it’s greener to reuse than buy new.
At the moment just based in the US, Swango differs from other sites by being cheap and also allowing buying and sellers to share the cost of shipping. To find out a bit more and where the ‘swapping’ actually comes into it, Life Goggles spoke to Swango’s Matt Poulton.
LG: Tell us about Swango and how you became involved in it?
Matt: I have been involved with Swango since the inception of the idea. Along with others at Swango, I helped research and develop the business model behind it.
Most of us have lightly-worn, in-style clothing and shoes in our closets that we’ve lost interest in wearing (or that we’re still wearing, but not enjoying!). What if you could remix your wardrobe with a fresh set of stylish, brand name clothing for only a fraction of what it would cost new?
Swango allows people from across the country to swap their clothing with other Swango members, while paying next to nothing in the process. A small per-item fee of $.99 (plus co-shipping) is all you’ll pay on this ever-changing, real-time online clothing swap. Swango more closely mimics a real-life clothing swap than any other online swap site since it allows users to swap multiple items with multiple members and check out just one time.
Would you describe it as an environmentally friendly company?
Yes. Obviously, we cannot avoid the consequences that a company that relies on the transportation of goods has on the environment. We do not overlook that or try to skirt around the issue, but we strongly believe that swapping clothing on a large scale can help in the battle against fast fashion and needless consumer textile waste caused by the disposal of perfectly good and wearable clothing.
There are other swap sites and you can sell clothes on eBay and other sites – what makes Swango different?
Although these are great sites, we offer a different solution to revitalize your wardrobe. Without spending all your cash or increasing your credit card balance shopping for clothes, let somebody else give your clothes a try and grab some new clothes for a great price from like-minded people around the country.
You have a unique shipping/postage scheme – tell us about that?
Swango uses a co-shipping approach to relieve the buyer and seller of unnecessary shipping negotiations and to maintain a consistent experience for Swango members. Since peer-to-peer swapping is more co-op than an e-commerce in nature, it seems appropriate for both parties to contribute toward the cost of shipping.
With co-shipping, the buyer pays a flat rate of $1.00 per item for baby and children clothes and accessories, and $2.00 per item for junior and adult clothes and shoes. The seller chips in the difference to buy the necessary shipping label. On average, the seller pays about $1.00 to $3.00 per item, depending on how many items the ship in one package.
What’s been the most challenging thing about starting up Swango?
The launch. Developing Swango has been such an adrenalin rush that we have flooded our developer with ideas. There are still many exciting features to implement on the site, but we finally decided it was time to present it to the public. The response has been extremely positive and we project the excitement will only increase as our member base grows.
What’s been the most surprising thing about the business?
To be honest, the biggest shocker with Swango is the response we are getting from our main audience. We have come in contact with a number of women and mothers who are writing about Swango and they have enjoyed the site enough that they are telling all their friends and family about the site. This has been a welcome surprise to say the least.
What’s your hope that Swango will achieve?
We hope that people catch the vision and see the benefits that come from swapping their clothing on Swango. We expect our users will quickly appreciate the time and money they will save as they choose to swap their clothes from home. Rather than putting more money on credit cards and depleting savings accounts, we want people to see the value of swapping their clothing and getting gently used brand-name clothing for next to nothing.