The team at Recycled Bride knows weddings are expensive, time-consuming to plan, and that’s the reason they want to make it easy to source great deals on pricey wedding items, and help you recover some of the money spent.
The firm says nearly 20% of all brides now shop for or sell a gently used wedding dress online, compared with just 6% in 2009 and they firmly believe Recycled Bride is helping make the sales even more possible.
TechZulu caught up with Recycled Bride and here is what we found!
What is Recycled Bride?
Recycled Bride is the world’s largest wedding marketplace; a peer-to-peer platform that connects buyers and sellers of designer wedding dresses, accessories, and anything else wedding-related.
When was Recycled Bride founded and where is it based?
Recycled Bride was founded in 2009 in Santa Monica, CA
Tracy DiNunzio is the founder, and was 30 years old with no background in technology when she started the company. She was a painter (art not houses), who saw an opportunity and went for it, funding the company by taking a loan from her parents and selling off all of her paintings.
As a painter, Tracy traveled through Europe and South America exhibiting and selling her work for ten years.
Why the name? Do you recycle?
“Recycled Bride” refers to the “recycling” of wedding items when they’re sold and passed from one bride to another, turning a one-time-use item into something with an extended product lifecycle. Part of Tracy’s inspiration for Recycled Bride was to make the wedding industry more sustainable. In addition, it’s a fun, weird, cheeky name that’s memorable.
How does Recycle Bride work?
Sellers list their items on the site, using a simple 60-second listing process. Buyers can then contact the seller through Recycled Bride’s internal messaging system if they have questions, and they can purchase the item directly on-site. Recycled Bride uses PayPal to hold the funds until the seller ships their item and enters a tracking number into the system. Then funds are released to the seller, and Recycled Bride takes a 9% commission on each sale. It’s free to list one item for sale — If sellers want to list more than one item, they need a Recycled Bride Plus membership, which costs $9.95/month. Professional sellers, like bridal salon owners and Etsy sellers, can sell on the site with a $19.95/month Recycled Bride Pro account.
Who can use it, what do they gain?
The average wedding costs $27,000, and the figure is much higher in urban areas. Recycled Bride helps brides and bridal party members save money, connect with a supportive community of other brides, and minimize wedding waste. Sellers can use the site to recoup some of the costs of their wedding, and buyers save up to 90% on designer wedding dresses and more. Recycled Bride’s unique internal messaging system and transaction system help to prevent spam and fraud, making it a safe option for brides who want to buy and sell online.
What problem are you solving with Recycle Bride?
Weddings are expensive, and time-consuming to plan. Recycled Bride makes it easy to source great deals on pricey wedding items, and to recover some of the money spent. Nearly 20% of all brides now shop for or sell a gently used wedding dress online, compared with just 6% in 2009, so this was a problem that was ripe for solving. Existing solutions like eBay were too complex and time-consuming for our market (It takes the average bride 35 minutes to sign up and create her first listing on eBay), and our users wanted a place where they felt safe and could connect with other brides. Our members don’t just get great deals; they also connect with a supportive network of engaged and recent brides who help them navigate the wedding-planning process. And the Recycled Bride Blog provides information and inspiration for brides who want to plan a fairytale wedding without blowing their budget.
Recycled Bride earns revenue from sales commissions, premium memberships, and advertising.
What inspired you?
Tracy was married in 2008, and found the wedding planning process frustrating and expensive. So she created the product that she would have wanted when planning her wedding.
Any funding yet?
Funded by LaunchPad
Stats on users so far and pieces sold/exchanged?
Over 6 million brides have shopped and sold on Recycled Bride, and nearly half a million dollars in sales happen through the site each month.
Any notable achievements/awards etc?
Recycled Bride hit profitability in year 1.
Any challenges? How did you overcome?
Funding was a major challenge for Tracy, since she had no experience in the space and needed to prove her model before finding investment capital. A true believer in collaborative consumption, she bootstrapped the company using Airbnb, raising $28,000 to fund its growth. She also had to learn every aspect of running a technology business on her own, teaching herself the necessary skills (social media, SEO, design, some light coding, etc) by simply Googling it. Before hiring a technical co-founder, Tracy’s only expense was the outsourced agency she used to build and maintain Recycled Bride’s technology.