The internet has made it easier than ever to buy and sell on a person-to-person basis. Etsy, Amazon, Craigslist, eBay — the list of sites that offer selling and buying platforms grows every day.
But when entrepreneur Nicholas Parga looked at the ecommerce landscape, he thought something was missing: Luxury.
“We realized that every other company that has been created to be a person-to-person marketplace failed to address the needs of one key demographic,” he said. “People who want high-end luxury goods.”
Along with his team, Parga has built Pyazza, a marketplace for luxury goods that’s currently in beta. Think of it as an upscale consignment shop online, where sellers can list their high-end products and shoppers can feel secure buying them. The company is founded not only on the idea that ecommerce can be localized, but that it can foster a sense of community.
“Shopping has always been a way to create and nurture amazing relationships,” Parga said. “The transaction itself is just the icing on the cake. So what we are telling our members is to go out, meet people who have your similar taste.”
— Garrett Bauman (@garrett_bauman) October 15, 2015
To help Pyazza members connect, the site offers verified profiles, cashless sales, and standards meant to ensure reliably high-quality. Brands that can be listed on the site are determined by the company, and users are able to indicate when items don’t seem to meet the site’s standards. The philosophy is summed up by Parga’s partner, Rochelle Pennington: “If it’s in Neiman Marcus, it’s on Pyazza. If it’s not, it’s not.”
For Parga, Pyazza is the latest in a lifetime of startups. At eight years old, Parga started selling fragrances door-to-door with his grandfather. The experience wasn’t just about making money; it’s easy to see the roots of Pyazza’s community-based approach to sales in the story.
“That was the first seed planted,” Parga said. “The feeling of meeting new people, making them laugh, and finally closing a deal — it was addicting.”
Since those days selling perfumes, Parga has taken on such diverse projects as running a party promotion company and a car dealership. As the diversity of his work history shows, being an entrepreneur isn’t just a title for Parga. “I like to tell people entrepreneurship is not something you do because it’s fun, because it’s chic to say, ‘I’m working on my startup,’” he said. “It’s a lifestyle, a bug that feels like you’re going to die unless you do something about it.”
With a full launch about a month away, Parga and his team are still learning how best Pyazza can work for its members. But after years of being an entrepreneur, Parga knows that this stage is for the tweaks that he see as inherent to his style.
“I’m constantly telling my team to just built it and put it out there,” he said.