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Making kid and baby gear more affordable while reducing waste
Company: GoodBuy Gear is the first and leading online platform for discounted and gently used second-hand baby and kids’ gear. The company offers parents the opportunity to purchase toys, games, strollers, car seats, backpacks, and other essential items at significant discounts off retail pricing, all while preserving useful goods that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
HQ Location & Year Founded: Denver, 2016
Founder: Kristin Langenfeld, Co-founder and CEO, started GoodBuy Gear in 2016, after having been a product executive at several large and small companies in the telecommunications software and hardware sectors. Kristin holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo (Canada).
Funds Raised and VC Investors: $15 million from Access Venture Partners, Be Curious Partners, Boomtown Accelerators, Kokopelli Capital, Relay Ventures, Revolution Ventures, Service Provider Capital
Where did the idea for GoodBuy Gear originate?
The idea started over six years ago out of the personal experience and pain point of my sister-in-law. As I had been working in tech, she approached me about solving the problem of kids having so much stuff that they quickly outgrow. Once I had kids, I began to understand the problem firsthand myself. When people were ready to sell or pass along usable kids gear, there weren’t too many options other than posting in a mom’s group. This creates the awkwardness of messaging with strangers and sometimes having sketchy experiences. I sent out a survey to parents and verified that 80% say they are in the same boat and would like another way to sell gently used baby and kids gear. We had 70 families sign up to be beta customers and we were off and running.
What is the key problem that GoodBuy Gear intends to solve?
We are presently operating in four major markets (Denver, Philadelphia, New York, and DC), where we pick up quality-used gear from families when their kids are no longer using them. We have couriers and sell items online on consignment. We have developed significant IP, including a “blue book” of baby gear that contains 30,000 variations of items. We do a quality check to ensure that products are safe, have not been recalled, and are ready for another family to use. We then ship nationwide. In addition to this, most of our inventory actually comes from retailers and manufacturers. We take return items that are perfectly usable and save them from being destroyed and discarded. By inspecting every item, we are not acting as a liquidator. We make sure the item is still of high quality and safe for reuse. In doing so, we build trust and safety with our customers. We help our customers save money and conserve items from ending up in landfills.
How are you most differentiated as a service?
We have been able to build a brand that customers love because we are not liquidating unsold products. We offer a combination of brand new, open box, barely used, gently used, and well-loved products, but always with our quality control review process. And then we allow customers to sell the product back once they’ve moved on from it. It creates a unique flywheel where over 30% of our buyers become sellers. GoodBuy Gear is the largest marketplace that offers these incredibly important services for baby and kid gear.
What are the company’s key accomplishments to date?
GoodBuy Gear has served over 210,000 families since 2016 and we have saved over 350,000 products from landfills. We have gone from 6 to 19 brand partners (retailers and manufacturers) over the past year. I am also very proud of the great leadership team that we have put in place.
What lies ahead in the plans for GoodBuy Gear?
We are going to scale new partnerships with more brands coming online soon. We opened the New York and DC markets last year. Both are doing phenomenal, and we now have a playbook for rolling out new markets and there will be additional markets opening up soon. We also have a target to get to profitability next year.
The problem that GoodBuy Gear is addressing is utterly self-evident to anyone who has raised a child or even known someone who has. It’s a constant rotation of what gear is needed and often it is never clear how much wear any item might get before it quickly becomes obsolete within the household. GoodBuy Gear not only does the environment a service by preserving perfectly usable items that would otherwise be headed for the trash heap, but they are helping both buyers and sellers to save money. With the incredible cost of raising young children only increasing year after year, every bit saved can make a big difference.