The company plans to launch more specialized marketplace sites under the new name YellowDog Media, which will act as an umbrella to Style.ly, Yardsellr, and a number of forthcoming sites, co-founder and CEO Danny Leffel said in an interview Tuesday.
Yardsellr launched in January 2010 to connect individual buyers and sellers through the social network established on Facebook. Just like real-life yard sales, Yardsellr allows people to buy and sell practically anything — from musical instruments to Star Wars memorabilia — online. Yardsellr has amassed a solid following, with more than 6,000 new items being added daily and more than 120,000 things for sale on any given day on the site. But starting to focus on more specialized markets will allow YellowDog to hone its approach and amass different kinds of users, Leffel said.
Reaching a younger, fashion-focused market
Style.ly will be limited to a more curated selection of new, lightly used, and vintage clothing. While Yardsellr’s average customer is 38 years old, Style.ly’s target demographic is aged between 18 and 24. But for all the differences between the sites, Style.ly will run on the same basic infrastructure as Yardsellr, so YellowDog is optimistic that it will scale successfully.
“We built the platform always with the idea of creating verticals in mind. We’ve taken a lot of the complexity of running a marketplace and made that easily replicable for us into new verticals, so now we can build sites that on the surface work the best for their own audiences but also plug into that basic infrastructure,” Leffel said. The company has two more verticals in development at the moment, he said.
All YellowDog sites will be free for sellers to list items; the company makes money by charging buyers a small fee at the time of checkout. Sellers can choose to spend extra money to raise the visibility of their listings, but that is entirely optional. “I have felt very strongly from day one that sellers shouldn’t be the ones to pay the fees,” Leffel said.
But competition abounds
Asked how Style.ly compares with other Facebook-based fashion resale marketplaces such as Copious, which launched earlier this summer, Leffel said he has been too focused on building his own company to look at the competition. “We started working on this back in October 2009 and have grown so fast that I don’t see those folks in our rear view mirror,” he said. “I’m looking at the biggest players in retail as my competition.”
Whether or not the competition is on Leffel’s radar, the peer-to-peer marketplace space is certainly heating up (as evidenced by the success of Etsy, ThredUp, and others) as are the worlds of online fashion and creative design (see Polyvore and Pinterest, for example.) It will be interesting to see how well the market ends up responding to players like Style.ly that address the two together.
YellowDog has 26 full-time employees and has raised $5.75 million to date.