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By the time your kids have outgrown their baby supplies, you may have wondered if you can make money selling your gently used items. Stephanie Cartin had this thought when her daughter was eight months old. Today she is co-founder of Markid. She spoke to Jessica Abo to share how her marketplace is helping parents become entrepreneurs.
Jessica Abo: Stephanie, how did you and your business partner come up with the idea of founding Markid?
Stephanie Cartin: When my daughter was eight months old, she grew out of many items we bought for her, like her mamaroo, bouncer, and bassinet. And there were new products that I had to buy for them at the time. And my husband kindly said to me, "Can you please get some of these products out of our little apartment before you start getting other things she needs?"
I was trying to figure out how I would sell these items. And I realized that at that time there was no solution or marketplace for parents to gently buy and sell used items. I knew that if I had this problem as a parent, so many other parents had this problem too.
I quickly texted my business partner at Socialfly and told her I had the best business idea. She said, “Oh, my goodness. It's so fun that you share this. “Her former boss at her previous company, before we started Socialfly, reached out to her because he was launching this exact platform called Markid and was looking for marketing help. We decided to work together to launch and expand the Markid market.
How does Markid work?
Cartin: Markid is very simple and easy to use. If you already know what type of product you're looking for – a bassinet or a stroller, for example – you can search by category or by brand. Once you find the item you're interested in, you can message the seller or make them an offer and start a conversation with another parent.
Now, if you're a seller, set up a seller profile and start listing your items. Take some really great photos of the items you have, provide a description, let us know how gently this item is being used, set a price, and wait for your buyers to message you that they are on Are interested in your products.
I knew so much good could be done with this platform. First, there is the sustainability aspect and the passing on of these elements from one parent to another. At Markid, we say our hashtag and adage is "Good goes around." We have the sustainability elements and we also have the returns component through our partnerships with nonprofits and parents who are able to donate a portion of their sales.
We have teamed up with Beam to provide seamless integration with our platform so that our parents who sell through the app have the opportunity to give something back to every sale they make. In addition, as a company, we give something back with every sale and donate five percent of our sales to charitable organizations that are close to our hearts, including the Baby Quest Foundation and the Neonatal Comfort Care Program.
I love that. Tell us, for the parents out there who want to join this market and become entrepreneurs, what steps can they take to be successful?
Cartin: One of the best things you can do if you are selling items and want to be successful with the app is make sure you are looking for the news every day. You will receive a lot of messages from sellers and you want to be very responsive with them so you can easily communicate and get those items to them right away.
We also share lots of tips and best practices on our social channels and communities. We are @hellomarkid on Instagram. And then we also have a private Facebook group where we all share best practices for buying and selling. So be sure to come to us.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs out there starting their business during Covid?
Cartin: When there are tough times, there are always opportunities. When you have an idea, just start. Don't wait for the perfect time to find out when is the best time to start your business. Start small and buy the idea from friends.
The first step I took when I came up with the idea was to text my business partner Courtney and share the idea with her, just to get the impression that someone else thought it was a good idea considered a company. I always believe that, as an entrepreneur, when you have an idea, you don't hold it close to your chest and share that idea with others. And because I did that, I was able to meet my business partner, Ankur Dhawan.
Related: Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid of Starting a Business in Your Twenties