James Reinhart on Turning Trash into Treasure in the Resale Industry

In 2009, long before the “resale market” had picked up steam, thredUP incorporated. Now, 10 years later, they’ve raised over $300m in funding, including a new $175m round announced in August. They also introduced a new platform powering apparel resale for retailers and brands.

But it took Reinhart awhile to understand thredUP’s unique advantage. How’d he do it? By constantly talking to his customers — and asking a few key questions. We talked to Reinhart about how thredUP found its footing, and how he created demand for a product that, at the time, no one was talking about.


  • Want to find out who your main competition is? Ask your customers what they would use if your company didn’t exist
  • To win at a secondhand marketplace, make it as frictionless as possible for sellers
  • In an early-stage market, competitors are your friend: The more players, the bigger the pie

What inspired you to get into the resale industry?