Swap.com Receives $4 Million in Funding, Signs Marc Onetto as Adviser

We’re happy to announce that Swap.com, the largest online consignment store for kids’ items, today received an additional $4 million in funding from our current investors, Cleantech Invest Plc. (Nasdaq: CLEAN), Ari Hypponen (first employee at F­Secure Corporation), Ahti Heinla (Skype founding engineer) and Jaan Tallinn (Skype and Kazaa founding engineer), among others.

Also investing in Swap.com and joining our Board of Advisers is Marc Onetto, former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations and Customer Service at Amazon.com from 2006 to 2013, and member of the board at Flextronics, the global electronics manufacturing services company.

“Swap.com delivers an outstanding experience for the customers in terms of item quality and on­time delivery, which is unparalleled in the consignment store business. This is the foundation of their explosive growth and they have the potential to become a hundred billion dollars company.” Marc says.

We are tremendous fans of how Amazon.com does business, and with Marc’s expertise from his experience in arguably the most efficient and customer focused e-commerce company around, operations and customer service, we will be able to maintain our high level of customer satisfaction as we continue to grow and lead the consignment industry through 2015 and beyond.

What This Means for Our Customers

Over the past year, Swap.com has become the largest online consignment store for kids’, baby and maternity items. As we continue to establish ourselves as the leader in the online consignment space, this additional funding is going to allow us to invest more aggressively in our infrastructure, team and product to produce the best possible experience for our users.

“The consignment model combined with our extremely efficient fulfillment services provide both Sellers and Buyers the best possible deal: Sellers get most value from their unused items while Buyers get great products at astonishing prices.” – Juha Koponen, CEO.

Since we launched in early 2013, we have moved from a 6,000 sq ft space in Addison, IL, into our current 66,000 sq ft fulfillment center in Bolingbrook, IL. There are now over 160,000 items that sellers have listed on Swap.com, and we are adding an average of 50,000 new items every month.

Please send any press inquiries to pr@swap.com

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DIY Children Halloween Costumes on a Budget

By the time summer festivities come to an end and the new school year is under way, Halloween is right around the corner. Shopping for children’s costumes is stressful and expensive, as they are always for one-time use. DIY Halloween costumes are a great option for the crafty mom. Using old fabrics around the house, clothes your children has outgrown or transforming last year’s Halloween costume can be easy and save a great deal this Halloween.

“There is such a large variety of great costume ideas out there,” says Michelle Thompson, consignment expert of Swap.com. “With just a little bit of creativity and effort, it’s easy to save big and have your child stand out.”

Here are this year’s best DIY children Halloween costumes for every mom on a budget.

Mad Scientist:

More than likely, your little one will already have a pair of khakis and a plaid shirt. All you need is a white lab coat and lab goggles. Add a few finishing touches such as; a cute bowtie, yellow gloves and pens for pocket flair. Complete the look with a wild wig or if there hair is long add hairspray, and your little Einstein is ready to go!

Superheroes:

Superhero costumes are fun and extremely easy to make with items you already have. Take an existing track outfit or brightly colored, matching shirt and pants. Add colorful tape to decorate the outfit and make their favorite superhero sign. Another option; extra fabric around the house can make a quick cape, pair with comfortable leggings, purchase a mask or facepaint and you have a DIY superhero!

Raining Cats & Dogs:

This costume is super cute and fun to make. There are two routes for this costumes. The first, take a clear umbrella, you will need cat and dog stickers. Place the stickers on the clear umbrella, pair it with their favorite raincoat and boots. The second, take a few stuffed animals of cats and dogs and glue them to the umbrella and your kiddo will be the talk of school with their creative outfit.

Deep Sea Scuba Diver:

This is a great out-of-the box costume idea and easy to make with existing items. What you will need for the scuba gear; goggles, wet shoes and black gloves. Pair this with a black hoodie or long johns for underneath the accessories. For the air tank, take two 2-liter Coke bottles, and paint them silver or yellow. Duct tape them together and glue them to the back of a black sweatshirt. To add a finishing touch, you can use a tube or cord and cut a hole in the bottle and attach the cord to one side of the shoulder.

Little Piggy:

Take an old pink sweatshirt (2-3 sizes larger than your child), cut the arms and hood off. Sew or glue the edges showing to make a clean look for the arms, head and bottom. With the extra fabric and hood, you can make a hat and ears to pin to the hood. For the nose; you can paint on the pink, purchase a nose or cut a toilet paper roll and paint it pink. Pair this with pink pants or tights and a pink long sleeve undershirt.

Other Animals:

Follow the little piggy instructions above. Animals are super simple to make with existing items around the house. All you need is a sweatshirt that is cohesive with the animal’s color you are choosing, and extra fabric to glue for the specific markings of the animals. Take old tights, pants or play clothes to pair with, purchase a nose, ears and facepaint and you are set to DIY an adorable costume.

Thrift stores and consignment shops, such as Swap.com are a great option to find what you need at a low cost. Swap.com offers over 500 costumes from baby and toddler, girls and boys and even maternity costumes.

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Benefits of Buying Used Baby and Kids’ Clothes

There is something almost magical about baby clothes; they’re impossibly small, precious and sweet. It is hard to resist buying a pair of soft, organic cotton pajamas or tiny little socks and shoes. We might not even look at the price tag, initially. That is until we realize that, as magical as the clothing, is our baby’s ability to outgrow every item in the blink of an eye.

While most of us will indulge our craving for new sweet baby clothes with the first baby, many of us quickly realize that pre-owned clothes make more sense as our families grow.

Although kids don’t grow as fast once they hit the 2-year-old mark, they still go through clothes much faster than adults. A 3, 4 and 5 year old will still change sizes every season or even twice a season. Fortunately kids’ clothing styles are more stable than adult’s fashions, so a Spiderman t-shirts used by your 10-year-old 6 years ago will still delight your 4 year old today. We took some time to explore the benefits of buying used baby and kids’ clothes to help you stay within budget. (more…)

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Back to School on a Budget

After months spent in the sun, without a care in the world: swimming, playing, barbecuing, traveling and having fun, the time finally comes each year to end the fun and start thinking of those three words that bring joy to the heart of many parents and dread to kids all over the world: Back to School. But have no fear! There are simple ways to go back to school on a budget.

Going back to school requires a significant amount of preparation that can cut short summer’s fun activities. Kids need an extensive list of supplies to return to their academic life and also, in many cases, a new wardrobe to fit their growing bodies, their new fashion sense or simply to replace clothes that were too beat up by the end of the previous year. (more…)

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