Copious, the social marketplace for buying and selling your unique style, announced Tuesday that it will add two new categories – menswear and art - to its already existing selection of women’s fashion and accessories.
The new men’s category will include men’s vintage, new and closet items. The art category will feature photography, home décor and design.
As part of the men's category launch, celebrity stylist and Bravo’s “It’s A Brad, Brad World” star Brad Goreski will showcase his personal closet.
San Francisco-based Copious, which recently raised $5 million this past July from Foundation Capital, Google Ventures and Relay Ventures, and has raised a total of $7 million since being founded in 2011, allows users to sell items that are unique to them.
So what comes to mind when you think of Brad Goreski? Perhaps some jeweled Prada Spazzolato lace-ups, a Christian Dior leather jacket and fancy suits galore. Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less fabulous from Brad Goreski. Now, thanks to Copious, users who covet Brad’s style can have access to it.
The way it works is that people, like Goreski, or anyone for that matter, create profiles and post photos of their favorite items. Often people take photos of themselves modeling their clothes or accessories. Then people can follow Goreski or others with similar interests and connect with them as well. If you like an item, you can purchase it. You'd give your credit card to Copious, and they verify and charge the card. Copious takes a marketplace fee of 6% on that transaction. The seller doesn't receive payment until the buyer has received the item and is satisfied. The seller pays Copious a 3.5% listing fee, regardless of how expensive an item is.
Tapping into celebrities
A well-known celebrity stylist and TV personality like Brad Goreski is not the only fashion celebrity to showcase and sell personal style on Copious.
Copious has tapped into the online fashion blogger phenomenon by providing a selling platform for many of the online fashion celebrities that influence style today. I can’t think of a better place for bloggers like Man Repeller, Oh joy! and Le fashion to sell the items that have inspired so many fashion lovers around the world. A traditional online marketplace would fall short of allowing these avid fashion bloggers to celebrate their unique taste because of the push for anonymity and aliases on those other sites, which is exactly what Copious aims not to do.
Unlike eBay and Craigslist, Copious is capitalizing on the new wave of real identities online. Copious didn’t merely add on a social media component to its business model, instead, they made it the very essence of their mission when they launched in 2011. Copious wants you to showcase your personal, unique style, and they prefer users to tell a story when selling items, especially the used items. Being a seller of used items myself, I‘ve realized – and so has Copious - that such a model adds value to the items sold. Value that is lost in a traditional online marketplace. There is a clear difference between selling a used pair of jeans and a used pair of jeans that have traveled the world. Not to mention, when users see the jeans being modeled on the seller they feel even more of a connection.
According to Jonathan Ehrlich, one of the founders of Copious, adding a social networking component to online commerce adds a level of comfort to buyers making it an integral part of their site, especially since they don’t use a traditional eBay-like rating system.
Ehrlich admits that friends don’t want to buy and sell to each other necessarily because it could potentially break their bond; however, the value of these connections rests on a social filter that evolves from it. Copious has found that people in the same social network share similar tastes and style. So, connecting with your friends on Copious exposes you to their friends and so on.
This expanded network will perpetually advertise to each other through their similarities. Consequently (and finally!), an eBay-like rating system becomes impractical when the people are more important than the products.