#PyjamaReviews: To Spoyl or not to Spoyl?

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If you’re anything like me, you’re shopping online very couple of days (sometimes in your sleep), but not wearing half the things you buy. Some times a shirt’s material isn’t what you expected, or the fit isn’t right. And, you’re so spoilt for choice that you wear that cute dress once and then lose it forever in your wardrobe.

So, what’s a shopaholic to do with an overflowing cupboard? You could throw your clothes away in a six-month cleaning cycle. But, I hate that. It feels wasteful.

What’s the other option? A multitude of apps that are allowing women and men to sell their pre-loved clothing and accessories. Spoyl, launched in December last year, claimed that from the onset it had about 1100 app downloads, 800 active users, and close to eight orders a day. With two lakh users on its platform at present, and Myntra’s former user acquisition head Irum Ruqiya on board as a full-time advisor, Spoyl’s growth has been exponential. And, the Pyjama People decided to do a little undercover recon to see whether it works.

ALSO READ: Undercover op: Pyjama goes guerilla on H&M

I created a Spoyl profile (Avantika Mehta) and started uploading pictures of clothes and accessories.The pictures varied, taken from the websites from where the pre-loved fashion was bought and also pictures of the products in real time taken on my own phone. The app accepted both.

This I think is a dangerous path to go down, because website pictures can be used to sell fake products, cannot tell the whole picture, nor can they show you the current state of wear and tear on the clothes and accessories. Buyers themselves asked me for current pictures, so clearly Spoyl needs to look into this.

I uploaded also a variety of clothing — some with minor stains and others that were brand new. I wanted to see if Spoyl would check. Good News (for my review only. Sorry to those buyers!!) they do. All my sold items were picked up from my house, checked and sanitised by Spoyl. The ones I planted for investigative purposes — a white peplum top with a tiny coffee stain on it — was sent right back to me. Again, my apologies to that buyer, but at least now we know the app ensures that the buyer gets a clean, nice piece of clothing.

For a seller, Spoyl is a cool app. Upload your old stuff, sell it for half the price (or less, depending on how much it has been worn) and earn some extra cash for new shopping. They also sanitise and pack the product for you before sending it off to the buyer. So, all you have to do is upload a nice picture of what you want to sell.

The company definitely has issues with their pick-up service. Spoyl did schedule precise dates and times with me, but was always several days late to collect.

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Spoyl confirms this logistics issue, and only last night has changed their pick up policy. Now they do not confirm a precise pick up time, but “promise it will be done the same day.” This claim remains to be seen, but the upfront approach is welcome.

Buyers may find this app to be a waste of money.

I contacted three buyers on Spoyl. All of them had products I usually use, but at suspiciously low prices. Chanel nail varnish for Rs 550 and Dita sunglasses priced at Rs 1500 seemed like too killer a deal, if you know what I mean?

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It was, in fact, too good to be true.

One seller admitted the sunglasses were a copy. “You don’t get the real thing this cheap,” they said (Yeah, I know.) However, no such honest comments were mentioned in their description of the product.

Another seller from whom I bought the Chanel polish insisted her product was the real deal.

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But, when it arrived, in the words of a friend of mine who was there at the time, “Because we know what the actual Chanel bottle looks like, it’s painfully obvious that this is a knock-off.”

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I tried to return the nail polish to Spoyl, explaining that it was a fake product and could possibly infringe the French design company’s trademark and patents. The email I received was polite and said the managers were “working on a streamlined process and issues (fake sellers and fake products)” They don’t take back cosmetics, but would make an exception in my case. That was sweet of them, but I couldn’t help wondering: how many young women and men have been cheated in this manner and not gotten their money back?

Conclusion: I really liked the idea behind Spoyl, but wouldn’t buy from there yet. If executed well, an alternative selling place for pre-loved clothes could stop fashion wastage, and allow a young person to earn a little extra cash on the side. However, this app has a long, long way to go before it is a credible buying platform. There are too many fake products on the platform. These need to be weeded out ASAP. The app could start by making sure sellers upload photos of the actual product rather than website or stock images, as currently allowed.

Note: Pyjama People review anonymously and pay for our clothes. 
Avantika Mehta
Written by

Editor, Pyjama People

Avantika Mehta used to be a lawyer, resident Blue Frog party freak and proud wearer of harem pants curated from Kasol. Then she became a writer and it all went downhill. Famous Scottish journalists have been known to call her ‘a volatile woman.’

Twitter @bitingfriends / Instagram: @bitingfriends

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