In this continuing series, we bring you a review of alternative selling venues, website hosting services, shopping carts, and basically anything else that you can use to sell your lovely handcrafted goods. Next up, one you've been asking for – 1000 markets!
NOTE: 1000markets is for U.S. sellers only because they only allow Amazon payments. This is not stated explicitly in their sign up and has left many people disappointed and frustrated. If you’re not in the U.S., this venue isn’t for you (sorry).
Tagline: In the forums it says “Powering the New Artisan Economy”
Company information: 1000 markets is a juried U.S.-based marketplace that allows independently owned artisan shops to take up residence in their online mall. It was founded by Matt Trifiro, who sounds a bit like another venue-founder we know. Though, unlike his counterpart, we hear that the staff Matt brought on is responsive and knowledgeable.
Storefront: The venue front page is extremely clean and rotates featured sellers three at a time. The actual storefronts are more organized than Etsy. There are tabs at top for home, products, policies, and the seller’s blog.
Cost: Free to open a shop and list. Commission upon sale is 5.5% + 50 cents.
Features: It’s a juried site, so no resellers or non-artisans allowed, even on the weekends – or unless they have express permission from the site administrators and artists they sell. The look is streamlined and sophisticated. Each shop can designate its own categories with highlighted items on the shop home page. The shopping cart was recently changed to apply fixes to problems that sellers complained about. Those who use the site like the seller interface.
Your portrait, banner, product photos and descriptions must be clean, accurate, and reflect the high quality standards of 1000 Markets.
Payment: They process through Amazon payments, which is U.S. only and somewhat limiting (If this is wrong or there’s a way around it please tell us so the disappointed international artisans can sign up). You get paid right away just like Paypal, but the venue takes its cut immediately, so no monthly bill. There is no Amazon fee beyond the venue’s cut.
Community: They have a community page and forums. The community highlights seller blog posts, recommended blogs, the founder’s blog, and where sellers have recently been featured – magazine, press, and the like. The forums have subtabs to the administrators’ blog that includes information on upcoming features, expected changes, and solutions. The main issue seen in the forums are issues with Amazon. One of the admins is also an Etsy seller who has not been doused in cupcake frosting, which bodes well for them nipping any problems.
Customer service: They are very responsive, present in the forums, on their own blogs, and via three different email accounts. The email addresses are provided on their About page.
Items that can be sold: Handmade via their definition
1000 Markets is a venue for independently-owned artisanal businesses. An artisanal business is defined as a business that makes or intends to make a substantial portion of its income from specialty products created in small quantities, often using traditional, time-consuming, or handcraft techniques. Artisanal products are not mass produced, nor are they mass distributed.
Shop approval is through an application.
General impressions: A lack of marketing may lead to a continued buyer slump, since the site appears to have difficulty attracting viewers, and thus buyers.
It may take away some business from etsy. It's a well curated environment and its not admin driven. the shops display randomly
Their lack of flexibility with payments accepted from buyers limits the customer base for sellers. It also closes the door on international artisans and their customers.
However, it appears to be a viable choice for U.S artisans.