Used Clothing Seller Ventures Into Subscription Box Business With States Crates – Forbes
Nicole State does a brisk business on eBay, selling tens of thousands of dollars in inventory each year, the majority of which she purchases through thrift stores like Goodwill and Goodwill Outlets. She runs an eBay store named States Place and regularly shares videos on YouTube about her “hauls” – what she’s bought to resell – and how she runs her business, amassing an audience of about 30,000 subscribers.
One of State’s guilty pleasures – when she’s not sourcing new inventory (a.k.a. shopping), listing on eBay, or packing and shipping her sales – is subscription boxes. Her current favorites include Ipsy, POPSUGAR Must Haves, and Sensory TheraPLAY, for her son.
So when strategizing how to expand her reselling business, State decided to merge her two loves, reselling clothing and subscription boxes, by launching States Crates from States Place in August 2017. The subscription boxes, which are sold through Cratejoy, offer customers at least four pieces of women’s clothing in their size.
Unlike other subscription boxes that charge a styling fee of around $20-per-month, plus a per-piece charge for any items the customer decides to keep, State’s Crates ships customers a box of items that are theirs to keep. “People love it!” says State.
State’s subscribers pay $30-per-month, plus $5 for shipping, for each crate of clothes. In exchange, they receive at least four pieces of clothing in their size. State asks questions as part of the registration process to learn more about the customer’s style, favorite colors, and particular pieces of clothing they can use. The crates are currently only for women, but State says she may expand later into children’s clothing.
Everything in the crates have been purchased at thrift stores and then cleaned before being shipped out from State’s office/warehouse. It costs State an average of $10 to fill each box, mainly because she can buy clothing by the pound at her local Goodwill Outlet, where she spends 20-30 hours a week hunting for clothing treasure that her customers would love.
Lest you think customers are being shipped junk, however, State assures customers that they receive brand name goods in excellent condition that are typically found in mall stores. These include J. Crew, Banana Republic, Nike, Adidas, brands found in Anthropologie, and some higher end pieces when she comes across them.
“I’m lucky that I live in an area with really good stuff,” she says of Hillsboro, Ore.