Vinted is a marketplace for women to buy, sell, and swap clothing with one another. After building a successful app and site in Europe, Vinted was readying for their launch in the US. As part of this preparation, they needed to make it dead simple for their US users to ship clothing to one another.
Running a marketplace at Vinted’s scale has some unique challenges compared to shipping from a warehouse. Vinted has hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers distributed all over the country. Since their model is a marketplace, the easiest option is USPS. The USPS offers dropoffs nearly everywhere and doesn’t require the seller have an account with them. Sellers can drop a package off at any mailbox because clothing is generally small and light. This made it much easier for their sellers, and meant that clothing would be shipped much faster.
Now, Vinted needed to figure out how to work USPS into their application. Their team found that EasyPost gave them the best flexibility and speed to market. They were able to easily generate shipping labels on demand with the EasyPost API. This meant that as soon as a buyer purchases an item the seller has a shipping label ready to go; they just print out the label and put it on the package.
Once the label had been generated, Vinted still needed a good way to make sure the shipper sent the package and the buyer received it. Vinted used the EasyPost Tracking API with Webhooks to tell when a package was received by USPS and when it arrived at the buyer’s doorstep. EasyPost Webhooks updates Vinted when the statuses of their packages change, without them having to poll the Tracking API repeatedly.
If a shipper hasn’t yet shipped the package, their app can send an email reminder. If the package is shipped, it can let the buyer know the clothing is on it’s way.Once the package is delivered, Vinted pays the seller because they know the clothing made it to the buyer. All this is possible because EasyPost sends updates to their app whenever the shipping status of packages changes. Even better, if Vinted finds that the seller never shipped the clothing, they can use the EasyPost Refunds API so that the cost of the shipping is returned to them for unused postage.
Vinted successfully launched its US marketplace in September of 2013 and is growing faster than ever. EasyPost has let Vinted easily keep up with the ever increasing scale of the US shipping operations. In January of 2014, Vinted raised $27 Million to fuel their expansion in the US and around the world.