Treat your clothing purchases much the way you treat a new car purchase -- consider its resale value.
That's the idea behind a clothing trade-in service that's accepting thousands of items each month. Material Wrld is a luxury fashion trade-in company that pays with gift cards to retailers like Saks, Bloomingdale's and Shop Bop.
The company, its Rie Yano, a co-founder said, takes the work out of reselling clothes at consignment or on Ebay and offers more money per item than any thrift store.
The average return, Yano said, is $125.
"It's instant gratification," she added.
Material Wrld accepts only higher-end designers, ranging from Rebecca Taylor to Roberto Cavalli. The average article of clothing sent in carried a retail price of somewhere between $300 - $1000, Yano said. It's price point, she said, that's typically too high to donate the item. The customer usually wears the item for a season or two and then doesn't know what to do with it. With Material Wrld, the person gets an online quote "range" based on the designer and item and then sends the item in for review. In a few days, she gets the fianl offer which she can then accept or deny.
Shipping is free to the sender via a label sent by the company; users in Manhattan can have their items picked up at their door within an hour of a request.
If the customer decides not to accept the offer, she can decide to donate the item to charity. Material Wrld has partnered with Dress For Success, which provides professional attire to disadvantaged women. Material Wrld will supply the tax deduction form to the user. As for the other items, they'e sold by the company in its Ebay store and in its retail store. "It's a very different customer," said Yano.
Next up for the company: handbags. Currently in beta testing, the site will soon offer widely the ability to get a quote for a handbag with a few photos taken from a mobile phone.
And those who purchase the handbags? They can think of it like buying certified pre-owned.