Fancy Founder Returns With $1000-a-Month Luxury Shopping Startup, Long Story Short


Long story short, a new luxury goods e-commerce startup called The Sun has a provocative concept: It’s $1,000 a month to join for the privilege of shopping its curated collections. It sounds shocking, Founder Joseph Einhorn believes he understands this aspect of the e-commerce market, and why many online luxury ventures to date have failed to work. The founder, best known for his 2010 e-commerce site The Fancy, a high-end shoppable Pinterest rival, says high-net-worth individuals are increasingly concerned about privacy and security in their online experience. Demand more – something that shopping in a luxury market doesn’t often provide.

Long story short, Private Shopping Club takes a different approach than other shopping sites.

In addition to needing the money to pay its $1,000 per month fee, potential clients must apply for approval. Once inside, customers can shop from the site’s 50,000 hand-picked luxury products, including categories like home decor, luxury apparel, art, cards, jewelry, watches, gadgets and more, or they can (Long story short). The team will purchase the items on their behalf.

The value proposition – if such a term can be used for such an expensive service – is that LSS will manage the transaction on the customer’s behalf. This means negotiating with sellers and vendors, receiving the items, then inspecting and verifying the items for authenticity before shipping them to the buyer. This allows customer transactions to remain anonymous to the seller – something that is valuable among high net worth individuals because of the security risks associated with their name, address or phone number being compromised.

While LSS will have this information, Einhorn’s experience in e-commerce means he is already familiar with the world of online fraud and how to deal with it and has created the new company with privacy in mind. The company won’t detail its security practices so as not to invite hackers, but note that it trades security for convenience by not collecting or storing anything beyond essential information in some cases. Moreover, some of its systems are not even connected to the web.

Image Credit: long story short

The concept of a private shopping club is something that Einhorn compares to other efforts at catering to high-net-worth individuals, as Farrell did last year with the launch of his own auction house, Jupiter. And, similar to offline luxury retail, LSS aims to provide the white-glove service luxury buyers expect.

Also, Einhorn argues that subscribing to LSS makes sense for anyone who is already spending at least $1,000 per month on luxury goods because of the savings it brings. He argues that today’s online marketplaces are often heavily marketing their wares, meaning people are paying “at least $1,000” by overcharging “market garbage”.

“Number one, we’re recommending items to you – you can see items you probably didn’t know about and you can get involved. And then, number two, we’re able to find the best way instead of having to log in somewhere. Let’s get the best value possible where everyone is being drawn to the same marked-up, overpriced item,” explains Einhorn.

He believes that by combining the elimination of market fees and establishing direct relationships with sellers and vendors, the savings of LSS can reduce the cost of luxury goods by 20-40%. However, their thesis has not been tested yet as the site is just launching.

“We hope that by harnessing this collective purchasing power of serious spenders – like serious buyers – we will unlock better terms for everyone as a group,” says Einhorn.

Meanwhile, LSS itself does not mark up items nor charge any other fees beyond the (expensive) subscription.

Image Credit: Long story short (user profile)

Still, Einhorn understands that this business model will change some people’s minds, especially in the current economic climate where housing prices are so high, young people can’t afford homes, mass layoffs are occurring, and for many people The American dream has been put on hold. ,

“It’s no secret to me that this is an exciting concept,” he told TechCrunch.

Despite the state of the larger economy, rich people stay rich, meaning that even before today’s launch the startup already has a handful of customers, including “executives at our favorite companies, athletes, entertainers, and people in technology.” Including,” Einhorn explains. We. And because of its subscription pricing, LSS does not need a large user base to break even or be successful. Even with fewer than 100 customers, “there will be plenty,” he notes.

The founder believes LSS will go even further, however, pointing out that there is a global market for this kind of luxury retail.

“We believe that in the United States, the Middle East and China alone, there are hundreds of thousands of potential members in each of those markets that we’re going to try to go after today,” Einhorn says. In some cases, those customers are less interested in wearing luxury brands, but more interested in adding luxury goods to their homes, as is the case in China. He also suggests that there is an untapped market of young professionals who look at luxury as an asset class for investment, the same way they might look at something like crypto.

However, the LSS aims to discourage customers from pooling their money for membership by screening applications. Instead, high net worth individuals can “sponsor” others, such as their children or assistants, by paying their monthly fees.

The founder’s e-commerce experience and ability to develop a following dates back to the early 2010s.

His first shopping startup, Fancy, developed a following among tech elite such as Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Meta’s Chris Hughes, Apple’s Tim Cook, as well as Allen & Company partner Leroy Kim. Meanwhile, Fancy’s investors include VCs Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Allen & Company, General Catalyst, Esther Dyson, Celtics owner Jim Pallotta, MTV producer Bob Pittman, former eBay COO Maynard Webb, Eric Eisner, Jeff Samberg and Ashton Kutcher. Were. , In a later period, it also brought Mexico carlos slim domit and CCC, a Japanese holding company behind the Tsutaya chain of book and media retailers.

Although Fancy did not last, Einhorn co-founded other companies, including a New York-based comics bookstore for children, an e-commerce software engine The Archivist (which was also backed by Kutcher), as well as a social organization Was involved. The network for those who like walking, the way to go.

With LSS, he is returning to e-commerce with the support of new investors, Misfit Market co-founder Abhi Ramesh (CEO) and Edward Lando. The startup has raised nearly $500K.

,[Lando has] “I’ve always been itching to get back into the world of luxury, and she’s the dream companion,” says Einhorn.

Currently, New York-based Long Story Short has a team of seven people and plans to increase the number of employees serving the service as its customer base grows.

For now, the e-commerce startup is available via the web and as a mobile app for iOS. The latter prompted TechCrunch to ask, somewhat cheekily, whether LSS is, in a way, a modern-day “I’m Rich” — an early iPhone app whose presence on your home screen serves only one purpose. : That you can buy it.

“I’m not surprised you said that,” Einhorn says. “I have thick skin. I know what I’m achieving by putting it out there. I think it’s a fair issue,” he agrees.

However, he adds, “The price of these products is very high and the number of them is very high. There is magic in it. We think they have lasting value and they deserve, I would say, a private membership club for power shoppers, where someone is thinking about their privacy, and someone is also thinking about getting them the best deal. … I think that ROI could exceed $1,000 per month very quickly,” Einhorn concluded.

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