Vintage search engine app Gem is unveiling a new look Monday.
Gem works like any other search engine, allowing shoppers to find online vintage and secondhand finds by entering any number of keywords. The tool — navigable as a website via Gem.app and apps for both iPhone and Android — indexes about 50 million listings (from physical and online storefronts). Its emphasis is on helping existing secondhand marketplaces and store owners increase traffic and sales, while securing repeat business.
The overhauled version includes category browsing so users can hunt items by category, including women’s, men’s, brand name or decade, instead of just a keyword.
“We think that every existing garment should be re-worn, appreciated and taken care of as long as possible,” said Liisa Jokinen, the app’s cofounder. “Our long-term goal is to make secondhand the first choice for more people. To achieve this goal, secondhand shopping needs to be more accessible, compelling and easier than before, and we hope that Gem in general, and the new category browsing feature in this update, will help with this.”
Gem, as well as start-ups like Beni, seek to make a shopper’s search for secondhand simple. In the case of Gem, revenue is generated from affiliate shopping sales, though no recent figures were provided.
On the side of luxury accessory rental, players like Vivrelle and Switch have reinvigorated the accessory rental model, much the same way Gem has reinvented vintage search. Also on Monday, luxury jewelry rental purveyor Switch debuted its newest membership tier, “Switch Select” which marks a newfound brand expansion into luxury handbags.
Switch counts recent investors like Human Capital and Watertower Ventures.
Switch’s bags carry an average value of $4,000 and its newest rental tier lets members rent and exchange items as often as they want for $195 per month. The membership also consists of high-end jewelry, including names like Chanel, Hermès, Van Cleef & Arpels and Christian Dior. The company said thousands of people have signed up since a waitlist became available in June.