In business community there is a popular belief. As we say morning shows the day so as the business model of a venture shows how sustainable the business will become.
And the founders of Rekinza, just did the same. They founded a business model around offering solution to a certain day-to-day need of a woman. Retailer Media catches up with the founders to know more.
How did the idea of launching Rekinza come to you?
Rekinza was conceptualised to solve the paradoxical problem faced by all women - nothing to wear, and nowhere to keep clothes. All around us - amongst our family and friends - we could hear this problem growing. So, we decided to do something about it. We wanted to create an online platform for buying and selling pre-owned fashion in an innovative manner that helps create new value for unutilized items.
Rekinza provides consumers with an easy, anonymous online platform to buy and sell latest fashion from one another. Our community members don’t just buy and sell clothes; they also refresh and recycle their wardrobes from each other’s overflowing closets. Rekinza enables potential buyers who are currently constrained by price or availability to purchase these products at highly discounted prices. We aim to pioneer a shift in consumer mindset towards purchasing pre-owned fashion.
Whom do you target and how do you reach them?
From a buyer point of view, Rekinza’s demographic are women who do online shopping in India, so the majority lie in the age group of 18-40 years. Within this range, we are enjoying a good success rate in acquiring and retaining customers. We have held some offline events as well, where an interest amongst the 40+ demographic in purchasing pre-owned items has also been seen.
From a seller point of view, Rekinza’s aim is to provide women with an outlet to generate value from this underutilised part of their closets. Sellers range from college students whose wardrobes must stay on trend, to recent graduates who need a wardrobe makeover in sync with their new job, to someone who simply does not know what to do with all the gifts she got during her wedding, to women who have outgrown their closets.
How do you position your brand?
For a buyer, Rekinza is synonymous with quality pre-owned fashion. Our aim is it to provide access to affordable, quality fashion.This can be in terms of access to specific brands - for example, Zara is not available online and the stores are limited to metros in India - or affordability. Rekinza offers a unique solution to both of these concerns by providing access to brands, in new and like-new condition at affordable prices (50-75 per cent off retail price).
For a seller, Rekinza provides a hassle-free and anonymous avenue to sell their underutilised items. We handle the logistics, processing, marketing of all the items to help sellers generate value from their items.
Who were your mentors? What were the initial hiccups?
Although we did not have any mentors, our friends & families have guided us with a solid support system from giving us feedback to our pilot launch, to sending across our initial batch of inventory to sell.
Buying pre-owned is not a concept that is widely accepted in India. Finding a way to change people’s mindsets and getting them to try pre-owned products has been a challenge. To overcome this, every item that comes to Rekinza for sale is put an intense triple quality and authenticity. Rekinza’s focus on quality has helped us become a trusted name in the pre-owned market and gain competitive advantage over p2p platforms, say an OLX, where the buyers cannot be guaranteed of the quality of the clothes they are buying.
How does the Rekinza system works? How do you manage your supply chain and logistics?
Sellers schedule a free pickup of their clothes and accessories, and we take care of the rest. The items get picked up from the seller’s desired location (pan-India). Once received, the items undergo rigorous authentication and quality assessment. Items that are accepted are photographed, measured and priced by the team. Sellers are paid only after the item has been received by a buyer and is to the buyer’s satisfaction. Sellers can also choose to donate their earnings to our charity partners. Rejected items are either donated to our charity partners or returned to the seller, based on the seller’s preference. Rekinza offers free delivery and returns to buyers, all over India.
Rekinza has tied up with various logistics partners to ensure that our customers get the best service. For pickups we use logistics companies specialising in reverse logistics like Nuvoex and Fedex. For deliveries we use logistics companies based on delivery speed such as Delhivery, Pyck, Pickrr and Fedex.
How has been the response so far?
We are growing on a monthly basis. At an average we get around 80 - 100 orders a week. Thirty five per cent of current orders come from repeat customers. We launched with approximately 250 items and 20 sellers on our website in March last year. Now we have over 3,000 items on our website and over 600 sellers. At an average, we now schedule 5-6 seller pickups a day and we’ve processed over 6,000 inventory items!
Getting more customer on board - both buyers and sellers - on a daily basis has been very motivating.
How do you plan to make your brand a success in years to come?
Rekinza plans to be a one-stop shop for fashion for the whole family - women, men and children. Currently, we only cater to women’s fashion. Our next steps include expanding into the kids and mens segments.
At Rekinza we believe that for any brand to be a success, one must cater to the needs of the customer. Focusing on our customers and continuously evolving our services based on their needs is Rekinza’s main aim in the years to come. We want to inspire an entire generation to think second hand first.