Retailer Support for Consumer to Consumer

I was not going to post about consumer-to-consumer markets again, but one of my favorite brands has just set up a re-sale site.

M.M. LaFleur is what would happen if I moved to New York City and started a fashion company along with clones of myself, knowing that my consumers are me as a corporate lawyer. I have bought a few pieces from them that I like and wear to work. Even though I don’t plan to buy from them again soon, I enjoy getting their promotional emails.

I’m not a cynic, not when it comes to M.M. LaFleur or re-using consumer goods. I like that they are giving people a chance to reduce waste by getting unwanted clothes to new users. What they are doing is also good business. M.M. LaFleur is making it easier to clear out your closet and offering to pay you in credits to buy new stuff from them.

Their target market already has a stuffed closet. Help women get rid of unwanted clothes and then they will be able to buy more new clothes. If you are wondering why these high-income women don’t throw away the clothes they don’t want, then you haven’t been keeping up with my posts in the last month.

I had said earlier:

Will more businesses embrace the Carvana model of coming to your home to both sell you something and pick up the inferior substitute that you had been using previously?

M.M. LaFleur is not offering to buy used clothes, hold them in inventory, and then re-sell them at a higher price. They are making it easier for consumers to sell to each other. Then they either take a cut or direct the seller (with a dress-sized hole opened up in the closet) to buy a new item from them.

Here’s what sellers get:

If you choose cash, you will receive 70% of the sale price of the item. If you choose M.M. LaFleur store credit, you will receive 100% of the sale price of the item.

For fun, here is an example (I’m not indenting the following quote) of their snarky marketing emails that I haven’t unsubscribed from:

Hello there,

It’s Monday, which we don’t love, but it is a new month, and we appreciate any excuse for a fresh start. Here are a few things for you, depending on where you are. 

If mentally, you’re running your own bakery in Vermont:

  • You could make this bread—which requires no finicky adjustments, like multiple rises or specific kneading—but still yields a hearty, satisfying loaf. Let it cool just enough to slice and drizzle maple syrup on it. You live in Vermont, after all. 

If mentally, you’re the lone occupant of a ghost town in rural Colorado: 

  • You could learn from local legend billy barr. Mr. barr had his name legally changed to be all lowercase, so that isn’t a typo. He is the sole inhabitant of Gothic, CO—once a mining town, now a world-renowned laboratory. He has elected himself mayor. His general story is quite wonderful, and he also provided an excellent list of suggestions for navigating social distancing. He has fifty years of experience, after all.  

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