E-commerce enters a new arena. From the N.Y. Times’ Bits blog:

When most people clean out their closet, they usually either lug the castoffs to a consignment store, trade pieces with friends or simply donate the whole lot to Goodwill.

But James Reinhart, a recent graduate of the Harvard Business School, thinks there might be a way to upgrade the age-old clothing swap – and turn it into a lucrative business.

Mr. Reinhart, along with his fellow Harvard classmate Chris Homer and a college roommate, Oliver Lubin, came up with ThredUp, a peer-to-peer system to swap clothes.

When members sign up, they create a virtual closet listing the items they have and detailing what kinds of items, including sizes and brands, they would like to receive.

After ordering a package of prepaid envelopes from ThredUp (three for $25), the company’s algorithms match size and apparel preferences and send members an e-mail telling them where to snail-mail their gently used finery. A week or so later, those members should receive an item of their own.

… If it sounds a bit like the model popularized by Netflix, that’s because it is: Reed Hastings, the founder and chief executive of Netflix, is an adviser to the company.