We'd like to set up a clothes swap system. I'm just an employee but it's a small company so I have a say in things and I'm formulating my idea/devising a plan and will pitch it in a presentation to my boss. Below is an overview of the idea, why there's a demand for it, the issues we may face, how we'd overcome it etc.
Simply put, if your child(ren) outgrow their ski clothes, you can offer it for other families. Similarly, if you need particular clothing you can request it on the group.*(*One thing I'm worried about is there's no incentive for the family to offer their clothing to another family. People can be selfish and they get nothing out of this if they give clothing away for free. Not sure if I need to incentivise/eg allow them to sell for money?).
Since we*only sell holidays to families - you have to have kids to travel with us. Our audience tend to be wealthy however what I've learnt is even affluent people who could easily afford a lot of things appreciate value for money which is why a clothes swap will work.
Kids outgrow their clothing quickly. Even if they ski each year or every few years, they'll outgrow previous clothing quickly. Also, ski clothing isn't cheap especially when it's only worn for just a week. This is where a clothes swap comes in hand. It won't be limited to just kids though, the parents can also give/get clothes too.
I'll set up new social pages separate from the existing social pages we have already, however the new social pages will mention our name. Eg they'll be called "Clothes Swap with *Name of Company*" (*what do you think of this name since it's unlikely to actually be a swap... eg family A has gives too-big clothes to Family B's & Family B has another child who can give clothes to another child in Family B). Initially, I'll create a closed private Facebook group where the admin (me) approves members/posts. It'll be carefully monitored and I'll clearly define rules for post formats to adhere to to allow easy navigation. Must state:
If requesting/offering clothing
- Condition - Eg looks good as new
- Location - Our customers are usually from affluent family-friendly pockets of the UK. Eg Nearly half are in & around London, some in wealthy parts of Scotland etc. Since the UK is fairly small, these people aren't usually too far apart.
Nowadays people don't have long attention spans, a lack of time, and want quick, easy to use info. Our issue is this page could become clogged with rubbish that makes scrolling/navigating the group cumbersome. I'll keep the page tidy and creat a pinned summary announcement of all posts at the top & who to contact since we want the page to be peer-to-peer (i.e you contact the person independently without us being the middle man - we don't get involved much).
The other issue is it's unlikely for two people to be near each other to get/give their ski clothing. Since our UK customers tend to live in wealthy areas nearby, the likelihood of them being near is increased but still slim. Those giving clothes shouldn't be making profit but to understand the difficulties of growing kids from the perspective/mindset of likeminded parents. However, the only time it's ok to expect payment is to cover the cost of a family shipping clothes to someone else (i.e to break even & not for profit.
This won't generate us revenue. The idea is for the page to grow and it's a new stream of getting people to hear about us as the page grows (and shouldn't require us to do too much work other than starting it up). It'll be the start of their journey hearing about our company and may lead them to curiously visit our website and perhaps book. Even if they don't book, they may follow our "official" existing social pages for our larger holiday brand. To start with, the group is likely to start off with mainly our customers as we'd promote it in our newsletters to our whole 10k subscriber list (plus in dedicated emails just to guests a month before their holiday & 3 weeks after their holiday), on existing social pages, on our website & blog articles, on our guest app (to those who booked) etc.* Potentially also getting the word out via collaborations with companies with similar audiences. Over time we'd like to facilitate non-bookers joining the group via word of mouth/the power of things spreading on social.
Once the private Facebook group gets some traction, I'll post "clothes of the week" on a separate Facebook, Twitter & Instagram page. I'll then track which social page is doing best and in the long term, use this as the dedicated page to promote the "clothes swap of the week". During quieter periods, eg over the summer it may become "clothes swap of the month".