By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Technology
If you're a man and you hate to shop, wouldn't it be easier to send someone out to do the job for you? That's the theory behind Trunk Club, a new online service that allows a regular guy to fire up Skype for the ultimate shopping experience.
That's the theory behind Trunk Club, a new online service that allows a regular guy to fire up Skype and videoconference with a living, breathing personal shopper.
Your personal shopper will figure out your style and what's lacking in your closet, fill in the wardrobe gaps and ship you a box -- your "trunk" --of clothing choices in your size.
Simply fire up Skype again, model the clothes for your personal shopper, and tell 'em what you like and don't like about your new threads. Box up the rejects to return free of charge, and you're on your way.
Here's a promotional video from the company's site detailing the service:
So how does The Trunk Club do it?
Founded by Joanna Van Vleck, a personal stylist based in Bend, Oregon, the startup buys clothing at wholesale prices and sells it at retail markup, just like a traditional store. The difference is that there's no brick-and-mortar stores or inventory, since everything's ordered up as it's requested.
Personal shoppers -- who are all female for now -- work on commission, just like a real store, so it's in their interest to sell you what you like.
In other words, it's no discount service. But you're not paying a premium for the novelty, either.
TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld details his experience:
I went through a mock session with one personal shopper from the Trunk Club, Lisa Bruckner. She was very personable and it was fun talking to her. I told her what kind of clothes I wear, what is missing in my closet, my measurements, and other details...of the nine items she sent, maybe three of them are things I would actually buy....I was hoping for better results, but then I am really picky...my wife (who has final say in what I am allowed to wear out the door) was not a fan of the selection, and didn’t like the idea of another woman picking out clothes for me. But she likes shopping, so she doesn’t see the appeal of the service.
For sure, personal shopping is nothing new. High-end retailers have always offered the service, and it's even available in retail apparel chains such as J.Crew.
But the Trunk Club is one of a number of services that have emerged online to address male consumers who are not just shopping-averse, but leave-the-house-averse.
(Earlier this summer, SmartPlanet profiled ShirtsMyWay, a custom dress shirt service.)
Would you try a personal shopping service like The Trunk Club?
Aug 12, 2009
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