1000 Markets – Indie Haven & Heaven
Launched by Matthew Trifiro just a few months ago, 1000markets.com (it’s still in sneak preview, aka beta mode) is already attracting the attention of hundreds of artisan merchants and indie-minded shoppers.
I would liken Matthew to a “marketplace anthropologist” as he has attentively studied and observed marketplaces in the real and the online world to develop his model. He explains that, without the proper support, opening a website is akin to setting up a stand in your own backyard… where there is no – foot – traffic and where no one but your immediate neighbors will know you exist. If you’ve had any eCommerce experience, you know how challenging it is to get noticed. And, that’s where 1000 Markets comes in.
When establishing its new marketplace concept, 1000Markets decided to focus on the merchants needs first, giving them all the necessary tools to market and distinguish themselves, at very little cost and with minimum tech drudgery. Merchants may present their wares through various marketplaces, but only once they have gone through an unofficial but rigorous filtering process. This makes for a better experience for the buyer, who can easily see that this is an environment where the best quality merchants get the maximum visibility and hence are easier to find. The cream rises to the top, so to speak.
The market is built in a way that, like a real live marketplace (the “original” social network, as Matthew remarks) artisan merchants can express themselves through the built-in social tools. This tells their stories and humanizes the shops.
You will be tempted to compare 1000Markets to Etsy. But don’t. The experience is vastly different from both, the merchant’s and the buyer’s perspective. Merchants (artists & designers) are easily lost in the Etsy marketplace and thus, so are buyers. 1000Markets shops are intuitively organized in marketplaces by theme (i.e. “The Boardwalk” where all things related to the beach and the sea), by location (“Handcrafted in Seattle”), by medium or technique (“Papercraft”) or by category (jewelry, eco-friendly, garden, etc…). The 1000markets seems more approachable, emulating the synergy or a brick & mortar marketplace.
I have already bookmarked way more treasures than my budget permits… But, please, do tempt me further by letting me know what you have found through this delicious markeplace experience.