UPDATED – The marketplace is taking shape, changes to the model are being made including no listing or sales fees. Take a look here at the new DandyGoods site and leave a comment on this post to further the conversation.
I’ve been an Etsy seller for years. I’ve had limited success. I think they have a pretty site and have become better over time at making each shop more customizable by the seller. I also feel like they are so large now that my items get lost immediately after uploading and aren’t ever featured in a way that would encourage sales. Their fees are reasonable. They’ve provided a spot to place my things. They include vintage and some reselling of items that I’m simply not interested in and those items often get in the way of my searching. I have a hard time finding things I’m looking for. They do allow a semi-customizable widget you can place on your own site.
I’ve recently looked at Zibbit, Artfire and Cargoh. All have a few things to recommend them, but for the most part, I’m not excited about any of them because of design issues, marketability, ease of customization, total exclusivity, bad customer service and more. And none offer a barter group, as far as I know, but I haven’t researched that yet.
You know me, I’m always looking for a good project. I tried to do a barter site a few years ago using Ning, which wasn’t customizable to the point of people actually being able to use it the way I wanted or they needed. But, I think I’m ready to try again.
Here is what I think I want and I’d LOVE to get input from all of you interested.
A semi-curated handmade marketplace and barter site that lists and offers crafts, jewelry, art, patterns/How-tos, supplies. NO vintage, reselling
Various account levels including –
-Limited free account with small listing and transaction fees (includes barter/trading group)
-A few intermediary accounts which have monthly/yearly fees and include some site targeted marketing at different levels
-A robust all-pro package which includes targeted advertising on other large sites and a fully customizable store including code which can be used anywhere else on the web, i.e. your own website
I think the site should have –
-Very clear categories and search system, easy to navigate
-A Curated Market done by approval of site editor which includes interviews with sellers
-A barter area
-Easy shopping cart and purchase system
To keep the site from getting too big and turning into the same problem, I’m wondering if all sellers should be approved based on quality of items and photos.
I’d love to hear what you think works and doesn’t work with the existing marketplace site. Please no site bashing, just good discussion.