Scrappy reseller platform Vendoo’s keys to acceleration

pronounced geeMASSisson took over in 2007 and turned his passion for vintage footwear, streetwear and design into a tennis shop. “It was impressive,” he said when he bought the Air Jordan in new condition for $ 12 from a thrift store. The influential (then emerging) rapper DC Before he knew it, Dzime-Assison was an image consultant in the hip-hop world who built his aesthetic on economics and resale.

But he soon discovered the pain points that every successful trader faces: visibility, inefficiency, and inventory management. A chance meeting with Thomas Rivas, founder, and CEO of Vendor, changed everything for the other fashionistas and the other two founders of the company, CTO Chris Amador and COO Ben Martinez.

Build a better car

The resale model of sites like Poshmark and Mercari is quite simple: the user uploads their items to the site, which helps to advertise the merchandise and enable paid sales and shipping. The vendor’s value proposition is to address the pain points, allowing users to simultaneously sell items in different locations and automate inventory management.

When they brought the idea to the social media shopping community, it immediately took off. Now that they had the design concept, they had to figure out how to do it. “We were all minorities, with no technical experience, so we had to look elsewhere,” said Dzime-Assison. He used his personal portfolio and experience with brands, practices, and standards to manufacture, evaluate and market articles. In the field of coding, the team developed a back-end developer linked to APIs on Etsy and eBay and developed closed API solutions on other sites. The uprising was difficult, but they resisted.

“[The customers] in this community … understand what we do and that’s what motivated us,”, “and as an entrepreneur, you need mental skills to survive, such as patience and agility.”, developed, and tested for two and a half years – worked a full day – before launching a beta version in 2019. They gave users six months of free software to test and provide feedback that everyone uses.

Financing problems

But the founders knew that all the organic social marketing and bootstrapping in the world wouldn’t launch a project on the scale they intended.  uses and starts its contacts in the entertainment and sports sector. After some lies that led to the budget and business plan, where they mainly sought money to hire front-end developers, they found their ideal investor, a colleague from the Baltimore area, who raised $ 400,000 injected.

“It was great to have a CMO with resale experience and a large network of contacts,”.

Unsolved problem

“Because we were inexperienced and had minorities in the space, we were often not taken seriously when we approached financial institutions,” said Dzime-Assison. It describes gatherings where bankers expressed skepticism about their intentions and funding sources. “We’ve heard a lot of things that I don’t know what other people have been through,” he said.

During the first round of funding, they explored Silicon Valley’s traditional technological decoupling methods.

The Vendor experience is normal. Non-white businesses and small business owners are beginning to suffer financially, and loans and investment capital remain stubbornly inaccessible to them compared to their white peers. One survey found that white entrepreneurs start at around $ 106,000, compared to black entrepreneurs, who start at just over $ 35,000.

And it’s nearly impossible to get venture capital support unless you’re a highly educated white male. (Bonus if the diploma is ivy, because with

Silver liners

With an ‘active and diligent waiting list for users’, Dzime-Assison said, the Vendor was launched on January 20, 2020, and raised $ 30,000 by the end of the month.

Since the site started quickly, they were able to avoid another round of funding and make money. “We can start our work that has worked.”

The vendor’s initial success was two months before the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which left a silver lining for the company and its customers. “People are sitting at home trying to find new ways to generate income,” says Dzime-Assison.

The vendor has built its product and customer base through sincere relationships with users, and this ethos remains a guiding principle for growth.  As blog posts and Instagram begin to gain new scalability, the team adds affiliate marketing, a newsletter, and media – essential to the resale of culture, education, and professional development – boosting the ecosystem. and customer success. in principle as much as the budget.

“At first we were very enthusiastic, inexperienced, and limited to a very small budget,” ‘We also chose the cheapest and had a lot of tutorials. It’s good to look back and see how much we did not know.

They chose their tools accordingly. The free level of Mailchimp, Zendesk for incoming messages, Google Docs, and Calendar for social media planning. Over time, Sendinblue, Userpilot, Google Analytics and Tag Manager, Hotjar, Hootsuite were added. They soon reached a turning point where the management and cost of the fragmented approach outweighed the benefits.

Your Martech stack today: HubSpot.

Marketing and its technology are essential for any startup. “There are so many tools that can help you grow and collect big data … that we can apply … to make a better product,”  We are constantly learning.

“This is almost our model,” Dzime-Assison said. “Learn and do, learn and do”.

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