Picture this, you’re on the couch with the tv on in the background and scrolling through Ebay. You see this awesome shirt that you can’t live without and you order it immediately. When it arrives, you try it on and it doesn’t fit. Bummer, man! Now you have to return it.
We’ve all done it, especially in this last year. But do you ever wonder what the reseller does with that return? If it’s damaged, they can’t re-sell it, right? If you do return it, do they put it back on their shelves? That’s where the Hoang brothers come in and save the day. Co-Founder and COO of Patturn, Dennis Hoang, sat down with Innovate Fort Worth and tells us how they help business resellers.
What is a reseller?
“A reseller is more of a mom-and-pop shop. Imagine a thrift store, a bench seller, or a seller at eBay. These are people that sell items that aren’t branded amongst themselves. They might sell clothes from a variety of retailers, but a lot of that inventory that they’re getting isn’t new. That’s the key, they’re finding this inventory through thrift stores, antique stores, maybe some friends, or just selling off old t-shirts or stuff around their house that they don’t really need anymore.”
Can you return an item to a thrift store or reseller?
“Typically you can, but as a donation. When it comes to returning to a normal retailer, like Amazon, they make it really easy for you. You create a return label and it’s a simple as slapping a label on it and shipping it off. But when it comes to returning it back to a thrift store, it’s simply a donation.”
How does Patturn help with a return?
“Patturn is helping resellers monetize and find a new home for their old, used or vintage inventory. If a reseller sells on eBay and they have their own website on Facebook or Instagram, the resellers would have to monitor and manage all of those places separately. This eventually becomes a more time-consuming tasks as you scale that business. What we’ve created was a platform to manage all of these channels on a single portal. It’s known as a multi-channel commerce system.“
See a need, fill a need…that’s their motto!
“There are other Multi-channel commerce systems available that support this type of business, but none of their features really support a reseller and we found that managing inventory that isn’t new became a complex problem.”
” We couldn’t find a system to help us manage inventory that wasn’t new, so my brothers and I basically listed out the problems that we experienced in our own business and built features around it. What’s nice is that we’re able to actually test those features out in our facility to make sure if they work or not.”
What is re-commerce?
“That’s kind of the niche term that we’re trying to make more known. Re-commerce is basically what a reseller does. They try to find old used or vintage items and bring it back to stock. This may mean having to clean the item, or remove a stain, or do some work to the product to bring it back to its best condition and then resell it again.”
Business intelligence and shipping fulfillment, what do these mean?
“Our main business we conduct right now is an e-commerce and we built feature. We always tried to build features that benefited our business first. When it comes to a feature like business intelligence we want to make sure that we’re making decisions that are more data-driven instead of just having a hunch. When it comes to shipping and fulfillment, especially for resellers, this is one of the biggest cost drivers. Especially in e-commerce, if you’re not providing free shipping as a service to stay competitive, you’re losing customers and you’re losing sales. Shipping and fulfillment are some of the biggest costs when it comes to a simple e-commerce operation and that’s where we come in.”
The brothers at Patturn are filling a need that most of the general population didn’t even know existed, tracking and managing re-seller products. It’s said that 100 billion pounds worth of products eventually end up in landfills a year. It’s expected to increase to 170 billion this year, which is almost doubled! The Hoang brothers innovative idea has the potential of keeping more returned product from collecting dust on the shelf, and out of landfills.