Private buying club Tagadas wants to be a Vente-Privee for parents

Tagadas is a newly launched private buying club in the UK. Only unlike the more general designer offerings of Vente-Privee, Brands4friends and their various competitors, the London-based startup is attacking a more specific vertical: baby and children’s products from brands such as French Connection and Minihaha.

It could also be seen as a British version of US-based, a private buying club that like Tagadas, is targeting parents. Zulily recently received $6m in investment led by August Capital, with participation by existing investor Maveron, bringing the total raised to $10.4m, so it’s very well funded.

In comparison, Tagadas’ founder Samuel Serra (who previously co-founded ReceiptFarm with Matt Collins) has thus far bootstrapped the startup with his own money and that from friends and family, having originally tested demand via nothing more than a sign-up page and an adwords campaign. Today the site claims over 5,000 registered members, having only just opened its doors.

The buying club is private in the sense that users need to register to access the site and as with similar ‘clubs’, Tagadas is blocking search engines and price comparison sites so that the main way to find out about the deals on offer is through the newsletter, giving a sense of exclusivity on the part of consumers and hiding prices for all to see. Currently three time-limited sales lasting up to five days are on offer each week (this encourages impulse buying for fear of missing out) and this is planned to rise to five. Discounts are between 50-80% off the RRP and the product categories will include fashion, nursery, accessories, maternity clothing, toys and services.

In terms of revenue, Tagadas adds a small percentage on top of the discounted price that brands offer. Although compared with traditional retail, orders are placed with suppliers after they’ve actually been sold, therefore avoiding excess stock on Tagadas’ part, says Serra. That’s obviously a smart move since the ‘private buying club’ model is often reliant on the overstock market in the first place.