We got the chance to talk with Brendan Candon, founder of SidelineSwap.com, about his website, the service they offer, and the void they fill. Lacrosse has always been a sport where gear trades were rampant. And the internet is, well, the internet. Marry the two and you’ve got SidelineSwap.com. Let’s revolutionize the free market approach to gear!
Who is behind Sideline Swap?
I founded SidelineSwap with one of my best friends, Anthony Piazza. Anthony and I grew up around the block from each other in Long Beach, NY. We started working on Sideline right after I graduated from Holy Cross, when Anthony was going into his junior year at Bucknell. The idea stemmed from a conversation we had about one of Anthony’s shooting shirts from Chaminade, where we both went to high school.
I told Anthony I would trade him anything I owned for the shirt. The next time we talked, the conversation quickly moved from that shirt, to creating website where kids could buy, sell, and trade gear online, all the time.
Why create SidelineSwap? What service does the company offer, that didn’t exist before?
When we started looking into building the website, we were surprised to find that no one was doing it yet. Kids are constantly selling and trading their gear at tournaments and camps. We did it when we were younger, and I still see it today when I go to tournaments with the youth team I coach.
Gear is such a big part of the game today, and nothing’s better than one of a kind stuff that none of your friends have. We wanted to build something that recreated what was going on offline. Everyone would have a “locker” where they could show off their gear and negotiations would be open ended so you only had to commit to an offer when you receive one that you really liked.
In August we launched SidelineSwap 2.0, which includes new sections for teams and companies. Club teams can set up a team page where they can sell extra gear that they have left over from a season or tournament. Companies can set up a Sideline Store to increase exposure and supplement existing sales.
The service seems like a very “free market” approach to gear… how does pricing or trading work?
That’s exactly right, and that’s what makes us different. Before SidelineSwap there were basically two models: retail stores that sell at a set price, and eBay’s auction format. But that’s not how it works offline when you’re negotiating a deal at summer camp, and that’s not how we wanted it to work with us. When you add gear to your locker, you can say whether you’re looking to sell, trade, or list it as Buy Now.
We always say putting something in your locker is like wearing it around a tournament. People can make cash or swap offers on any item, and then you have the option to accept or reject those offers. You can also use our messaging system to negotiate.
Prices depend on what the owners are looking to get. Some people are looking for cash, others have turned down huge cash offers because they would rather trade for rare gear. You can look at the item description to see what the person is looking for before sending an offer.
What is the best piece of lacrosse swag you’ve ever seen?
There is some really cool college and pro gear on the site. Our Team SidelineSwap section features MLL stars like Rookie of the Year Matt Gibson, Ryan Young, Tom Palasek, Adam Ghitelman, and others. The gear they’ve collected over the years is some of the best on the site.
I’m personally a big fan of the apparel. Pro Athletics’ locker features some of the best club swag out there. It’s tough to pick just one, but I guess I would have to go with Hofstra’s St. Paddy’s Day shorts from last year. I thought Hofstra nailed it with those uniforms:
What were the principles behind the web design?
Our focus has always been on the user, so we designed everything with that in mind. We tried to make it simple and easy, while still creating a completely new platform for buying, selling, and trading gear.
Since gear has such a huge place in the lacrosse world, what can SidelineSwap do to help Grow The Game?
Later this fall we are going to open up the “Donation Bin” which will be a place for users to send gear that we will clean, refurbish, and donate to programs in underprivileged communities, who are just getting started. For players or parents who are looking to find inexpensive equipment, SidelineSwap is also a great source for lightly used gear.
We’re also looking forward to joining LaxAllStars on the Grow the Game Tour starting in Salt Lake City on September 23. You guys are doing a great job leading the Grow the Game movement. We’re very excited to get involved.
Thanks for that! We’re excited to have you guys on board with the GTG Movement! Ok, what is the most valuable piece of gear you’ve helped to move so far?
We’ve seen some crazy offers. Custom college gloves are definitely the hottest item so far. And the STX Assaults from UNC’s Blackout game this year stand out above all else.
Who is your ideal user? And why should they check out SidelineSwap?
You don’t need to be a gear head to enjoy SidelineSwap. Every day hundreds of new items are uploaded from all over the world. If you’re looking for custom gear, then SidelineSwap is for you. It’s also a good place to look for discounted or used equipment.
We offer direct access to some of the best players in the game, and the ability to communicate with players from all over the country. The focus will always be on cool gear, but there’s a lot more to SidelineSwap than initially meets the eye.
Note: If you run a team or company and would like to set up shop on SidelineSwap, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Make sure you check out SidelineSwap on facebook and twitter for all the latest.