Swap Meet 2.0 that took a look at a handful of sites at which people buy and sell handmade goods on the Internet. Specifically, we looked at eBay, Etsy, DaWanda, and Lov.li. This is a small, but growing niche and today we'll take a look at three more startups that provide ecommerce and community services to independent artists and crafts people.In June, we published a post entitled
If you know of any other such services, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Brooklyn-based Supermarket takes a no nonsense approach to selling handcrafted goods online. Their site is dead simple, with very large, easy-to-use navigational elements, and organizes products under just three main categories: wear + carry, space + place, and paper + print (each category is defined further with a handful of subcategories). Unlike other startups in this space, Supermarket is exclusive -- only artisans who apply and are accepted to the program can sell their items on the site. Currently, Supermarket works with about 80 designers.
On the buyers end, Supermarket is fairly easy to browse -- and considering they work with far fewer designers than other sites, there is much less to look at. But because the designers are pre-screened, the site offers generally high quality fare. There is a very simple category hierarchy which makes browsing products a headache-free affair, and artists can add searchable tags to make their goods easier to find. Each product can be commented on and rated, and payments are handled by PayPal.
Gr?©goire Ganter is a typical Supermarket store front.
ArtFlock.com is a UK-based site that lets artists sell, display, and promote their artwork online. They offer two levels of membership for artists -- the free "FreeFolio" account, which supports up to 200 pieces of art and unlimited event listings (think, gallery show promotion), or the ¬£4.99 per month "ProFolio," which supports unlimited artwork and a number of other features. Both account types allow artists to sell their work. ArtFlock takes a 10-25% commission on art sales (depending on the level of account) and though they seem to favor art over crafts (i.e., you'll see more paintings and sculptures than clothing and pottery), you will see some of the latter.
One of the coolest ways to browse the site, though, is via the "virtual exhibitions" (pictured above). I suppose you can think of these sort of as artist-created Amazon-style lists in visual form.
Toni Young is a typical ArtFlock.com store front.
Australian startup Mintd is a community site based around hand crafted, independent goods. Artisans can begin selling on Mintd for free with an account that supports up to 10 items. From there, Mintd offers paid options ranging from US$20-100/month and the site also takes between 3% and 5% commission on each sale depending on the level of account. Some paid accounts include store customization as well (think: custom backgrounds). The site has a large number of categories and product pages are very similarly laid out to those on Etsy. Payments are handled by PayPal.
Mintd has some interesting features for helping connect buyers with products, not least of with is the "Interest Rank." The IR ranks "interestingness" by determining which products are being interacted with in the most positive ways on the web site. These products may then be highlighted or more heavily promoted. Every store and product listed on Mintd has an Interest Rank. The site also lets buyers earn money by creating "lookbooks." Lookbooks are galleries of photos taken by users of the products they've bought on the site in action -- if your photos cause someone else to buy that product, you get a 2.5% commission, payable as store credit (or cash if you earn over $100). The idea is that supremely style-conscious users may have a "look" others will want to emulate. Customers on Mintd are also encouraged to form groups based around their sense of fashion. As you may have guessed, the site tends to favor wearable art over other handmade goods -- though there are plenty of choices in the other categories.
The Art Lee Makes is a typical Mintd store front.