Sunday, August 2, 2009

being in the market...

I've spoken before about 1000Markets. Now, after being a member for a few months, I have a different (and more knowledgeable) outlook than when I first arrived. So for those of you who'd like to know more, or see my take on things, read on...

1000Markets (1KM) is one of the most exciting online shopping venues for artists I've seen. The company launched in April 2009, so its fairly new. Co-founder and CEO Matthew Trifiro explains that the company is performance based, charging merchants 50¢ for each sale, as well as a 5.5% cut on the transaction. This is way better than the 40% consignment fee added on in the physical world. In addition, there are no listing or payment transaction fees. The payment center is set up through Amazon, which means you don’t need a Paypal account, just a credit card. And I've heard about plans to offer premium services later in the summer, which might include specialized marketing and shipping services. The only current downside I see is that the shops are unavailable to buyers outside the US. Hopefully, that will change soon.
For merchants, there are specific guidelines. Some rules include displaying a proper banner and portrait, having a written return and exchange policy, and creating a valid payment profile through Amazon. I've read that more than half the merchants who apply are turned away! Yes, I'll admit it, I was asked to redo my photographs before I was accepted onto the site. This all might seem a little harsh to some people, but I really appreciated the critique and suggestions to make my jewelry look more appealing.


After merchants are accepted onto 1000Markets, they're encouraged to join individual marketplaces. This definitely makes your selling experience more pleasureable. And it's a blast to windowshop! Each artist must apply and be accepted by the marketplace. Again, it may seem a bit harsh, but once you find your niche, you'll be very happy. A word to the newbie: don't give up if you're not accepted right away. Look around at ALL the marketplaces and decide on a few that best suits your artwork and state of mind. In the end, the system makes it easier for buyers to connect with individual sellers, and it keeps the markets manageable. It's similar to Etsy's teams, but I think the market layout has the buyer, not just the seller, in mind.I belong to two jewelry markets, Jewelry Artisan's Marketplace (JAM)

and Bejeweled Arcade. These are large marketplaces, with approximately 300 members each.

The two other markets I belong to are smaller and very special to me: Passport and Mind-Body-Spirit. Passport is interested in artists whose designs are inspired by world travel or specific cultures, and have ethnic elements to their artwork. This is a dream come true for me, as I consider my jewelry ethnic in nature. The second marketplace I belong to, Mind-Body-Spirit, is a community of artists who offers quality products designed to nurture, inspire, heal and honor the spirit in each of us.Each artist has a blog in their personal shop, an area to download and manage photos and videos, and an inbox. I usually take information for Stroll Through Storyland and place it into my 1000Markets blog (there's also marketplace blogs.) Two devices I find really helpful are the shop statistics and the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Merchant tool. The SEO tool lets you see how your search title will appear in Google and other search engines.

I hope this gives everyone a sense of what 1000Markets is all about. Come by and visit me and the other unique shops. It's easy to communicate with individual artists - all you do is scroll down under their display windows and type a short message - it will appear on their "wall" - for all to see!

8 comments:

NICO Designs said...

Thanks for the information. My shop with children's clothes had been accepted at 1000 Markets but I decided to close it because I just do not want to worry about the CPSIA law. I do hope to try again with new diaper bags and handbags I am working on.....

I hope it is working for you!

Lenox Knits said...

Great insight. I was accepted last fall and done nothing with my shop to date. I plan on making a real go of it this fall and see if I can make it a home for my work. it is such a lovely venue and has such a nice feel to it.

Vanessa said...

Interesting...thanks for the information!

Nancy said...

Wow, that sounds like a really interesting selling venue with some great tools. Have you found that you sell more or get more views here than on etsy or artfire?

cindy said...

Great article. I like 1000M. too. I was just accepted into the Grand Arcade and JAM. Waiting to hear about a few more also.

Dana said...

Informative article. I'm a small biz coach and see overwhelmingly that the only folks making money are those building a new economy as "bottom-up dispensers of cool" who've put a website as the heart of their biz--folks like you. I am glad to have this resource to send my clients to!

I've also noticed that a big portion of the guests at my vacation rental homes are Etsy, JAM mom's! They come to Sedona for inspriation and to rejuvenate.

PurrPrints said...

Wow, that is really intriguing--I like that there is selling fees rather than listing fees, and that you only get hit by a transaction fee once, rather than by both PayPal and the site--still, the fees are higher than etsy's--have you found the higher fees to be worthwhile?

QuirkyDolls said...

Very interesting I have the same questions as Purr and Nancy. will Amazon send traffic there?

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