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Can Anyone Make A 'Netflix for Baby Clothes' Work?

Collaborative consumption business models meet their test in the hyper-competitive baby clothing sector.

Sharing isn’t a simple way to earn a living, and barter is a tricky business, but one cute little market—baby clothes—turns out to to be a tough proving ground for collaborative consumption business models. Now a new company, GoodKarma, is entering the tot market with high hopes.

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How to Make a Barter Business Work: ThredUP's Millionth Swap ThredUP's Millionth Swap: a Milestone for the Barter Economy

Bartering reduces waste, cuts costs, and builds community. But to make a barter economy work, does it have to be niche?

Barter sites are booming businesses now. ZipCar and AirBnB are both now valued at over $1 billion, but the fastest growth, and the real potential for remaking our economy, comes from the consumer goods side of swapping.

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Hand Me Downs Go High Tech (Or at Least the Way They're Handed Down Does) Handing Down Hand Me Downs Goes High Tech

thredUP.com creates a kids' clothing exchange for the 21st century by merging online technology with traditional 'hand-me-downs.'


That old cliche about kids growing like weeds? It's true. In a matter of months, that cute dress I bought for my preschooler turns into a top. Her jeans quickly become Capri pants. I give away bags full of T-shirts, foot pajamas, and sweaters to other parents but I've still got to throw my credit card down at the Gap to start the whole cycle all over again.

James Reinhart, CEO & co-founder of thredUP.com (and a dad) feels my pain. "We knew parents needed this service because, well clothes don't grow and kids do." he explains. Since launching last spring, the online kids' clothing exchange has thousands of members and has facilitated the exchange of some 150,000 clothing items.

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