Grailed: Making the Hard to Find Hard to Resist
- April 29, 2014
- Written By Timothy Nguyen
If you’ve been looking for a simple way to sell or buy designer clothes, Grailed.com not only offers an easy way to list your items, but is also a great resource for buying highly sought after clothing. Since its launch on December 28, 2013, the site has been growing in popularity as an alternative to the usual eBay and forum selling methods you would typically resort to if you wanted to sell your Thom Browne longwings or Visvim Ballistic 20L . Personally, I really enjoy listing items on Grailed because of the extremely simple interface for both buyers and sellers that keeps the transaction straight to the point. I figured since I love the site so much, it would be interesting to pick the mind of 25 year old Yale graduate and the creator of Grailed, Arun Gupta.
Please explain your thought process behind starting Grailed.com. When was the moment that you decided that you would create the site?
I’ve been a part of the online fashion community for a few years now. Last spring, I was pretty into buying clothes on the Styleforum Marketplace. Since I was using it so much I was constantly frustrated with the limited interface. Specifically I hated having to click each item to get a bigger picture. And I couldn’t stand how slow that viewer window was when you clicked to make a picture bigger. Eventually I was just like, fuck it, I’m going to make a better system for this.
How long did it take you to get the site up? Could you show us your workstation?
It took about 3 months (working part time) from last October to December. I work on a 13” Retina Macbook Pro and have a 24” Asus external monitor. It’s currently leaning against my window because the stand broke off.
One thing that I know is you really listen to your users. Could you briefly tell us what improvements you have made since the site launched?
Oh man, so many. Filter by location, hide listings, drop the price by 10% to bump to the front page, check out the seller’s height and weight. I’m also constantly making the site faster.
My favorite so far is probably the Fitting Room. You can send items you are interested in to your Fitting Room right from the homepage to save them and view them later. You also get notifications when they drop in price. A lot of people don’t know this but you can actually share your Fitting Room with anyone. Here’s mine: http://www.grailed.com/fittingroom/2.
I’m currently working on increasing the percentage of items that sell by analyzing our sales history and giving that information to the sellers. Right now about 40% of items posted sell within the first 30 days. If I could get that number north of 70% that would be incredible.
I love selling stuff on the site – it’s so much easier than eBay! Have you actually used Grailed to sell anything personally?
Absolutely! Though I buy way more than I sell. So far I’ve bought 20 pieces and sold 9. My latest pick up is this sweet pair of Persols I got for 70 bucks.
Has the growth of Grailed met or exceeded your expectations?
I had crazy unrealistic expectations when I started the site. So yeah, I’d say the speed of growth has pretty much met my expectations.
What have been the greatest challenges with Grailed?
The greatest challenge has been getting the word out about the website. I can always code new features but getting more people to the site is a way bigger challenge. Though one stat that keeps me happy is that over half of the users check the site at least once a day.
Anything you can tell us about the known future of Grailed? Are there any special projects “come on give me the scoop” or additions in the works?
Well we’ve had the ‘Something dope is coming’ banner up for awhile. There is something exciting planned for the community (that got pushed back a bit) but I don’t want to give any details until it’s ready. Sorry, I know that’s a huge tease.
Where would you like to take the site? Do you have a goal for the next couple years?
You know when you see someone who has awful style but is wearing really nice, expensive clothes? Or someone who has good style but can only afford really low tier stuff? It sucks to dream up sick fits with an Acronym jacket and FBTs and know you can’t afford it. I don’t think it’s Hiroki’s vision that only rich people can wear Visvim. I want Grailed to make high end clothing accessible to everyone so you aren’t limited by your budget when expressing yourself through your clothing.
I just wanted to personally thank you for doing this interview with me. Do you have any final thoughts for the readers?
Of course man, anything for you. I don’t want to sound preachy but one thing I want to impress on people is the importance of thinking for yourself. Just generally in life, but especially when it comes to fashion. Your unique perspective is what makes you special. Don’t lose what makes you special in pursuit of the herd.
One of the best things is in beta there are ZERO listing or selling fees. Its cool how there are so many talented people out there creating wonderful things.
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